By Elizabeth Nguyen
Traveling can be fun especially when we want to explore other places or countries but it can be also stressful when you suddenly get acne pimples the day before your flight. But the question is why do people often experience acne breakouts while traveling? What causes them? And how do we prevent acne while traveling?
We all love traveling especially during holiday seasons but we also dread the possibility of developing travel acne.
WHAT CAUSES TRAVEL ACNE?
It’s simple. We all love traveling at one point, but at the same time we also hate it… perhaps you’re wondering what’s the reason behind it. Consider the weather, the stress you get about packing up pieces of clothes when you travel, the food you order or eat upon boarding the plane and a lot of factors that cause acne when you travel – locally or internationally. Let me point this out one by one:
- Skin dehydration
- Unhealthy food choices
- Poor quality sleep
- Wearing heavy makeup
- Not packing or preparing right before the trip
- Not applying sunscreen
- Touching your face habitually
1) Skin Dehydration - When traveling, our body requires adjustment to the environment and the climate of the place we are heading to, most especially when it is a foreign country. Hence once of the reasons why we get travel acne is our skin gets dehydrated as the humidity in the air is lower than if we’re traveling by land (bus, van or other public vehicles).
2) Unhealthy Food Choices - Another cause of travel acne is the food we eat – the unhealthy choice of foods we usually buy while we’re on board the plane as it can possibly cause digestive problems leading to acne breakouts. Fat, sugar and salt rich are foods are very dehydrating to your body and they can increase any inflammation.
3) Poor Quality Sleep - Failing to bring your neck pillow along with you as you travel can cause you poor quality sleep due to neck, back and stress problems. This is another possible cause of travel acne breakouts. This poor sleep quality is known as jet lag as your sleeping habits or patterns get interrupted not only because of time change but also due to stress in traveling.
4) Wearing Heavy Makeup – While we love to make ourselves pretty or good looking as we travel and explore a different place, wearing heavy or cakey makeup can be another possible cause of travel acne as it does not allow our skin to breathe well. Hence, wearing heavy makeup is a big NO when we want to take good care of our skin and prevent travel acne.
5) Not Packing Or Preparing Right Before The Trip – What happens when we fail to pack or prepare the night before the trip would be that we stress out or cram in packing the clothes and stuff we need or we end up leaving some of the things we needed behind, which would only add stress and cause travel acne breakouts.
6) Not Applying Sunscreen – Another possible cause of travel acne is failing to moisturize your skin with an SPF sunscreen.
7) Touching Your Face Habitually – This would already be common sense; habitually touching your face when your hands are dirty is enough to cause you travel acne breakouts.
HOW DO WE PREVENT ACNE WHEN TRAVELING?
- Keep Yourself Hydrated - Getting hydrated is one of the most important steps or tips on how you can prevent acne while or when traveling. Hydrating fruits or drinks such as watermelon, cucumber or just plain mineral water (be sure to bring a liter bottle of it or drink at least 8 glasses of water) is just one example of keeping yourself hydrated during travel. Bringing sheet masks or spritz to spray on your face may be another good way to keep yourself hydrated as well as such products are beneficial. One of the recommended brands of hydrating masks is the Etude House from Korea as their sheet masks help keep your skin hydrated on warm weather.
- Pick The Right Foods - Pick or prepare healthy snacks instead of the usual junk foods you usually buy at the convenience store. This helps save you from having digestive problems and acne breakouts when traveling. Bringing a cooler full of snacks and drinks is one of the best ways to beat road trip junk food cravings when the only thing you spot for over 60 miles is McDonald's and gas station sushi.
- Research Places To Eat Along The Way - Although it may take some of the spontaneity out of your road trip, knowing where to stop along the way can take some of the guesswork out of where you can get a bite for breakfast or lunch. Plan the time you're leaving and then see what options will be around during lunch hours or whenever you prefer to eat. You can also try to pick a stopping point that offers other things to do while you're there, such as sightseeing, shopping, or even a quick visit to a local museum. That way you can get the most out of your lunch, and if others are traveling with you they may be quick to hop on board to see a spoon museum (and then you can sneak in the healthy lunch you trickster!)
Have A Good Quality Sleep - Another way to beat or prevent acne when traveling would be getting enough sleep as it is another important milestone to keeping your skin healthy and acne free.
- Wear Light Makeup - Another helpful tip to help you prevent acne when traveling is to wear light makeup as this allows your skin to breathe while traveling. If you do want to wear makeup, do avoid heavy foundations and powders as these can look patchy in the drying condition or instead maybe use a BB or CC cream along with a cream eyeshadow and lip balm.
- Prepare Before The Day Of The Trip - Pack only what you will need for the trip – your camera, set of clothes good for a few days or a week, a diary and of course a few skin care products. You don’t have to bring the whole wardrobe with you especially when you’ll be only staying for a short period of time.
Don’t Forget The Sunscreen - Try to use either a moisturizer with an SPF or a sunscreen to protect your skin from the UV rays. The UV rays do travel through plane windows and you are closer to the sun! Additionally, your skin is more exposed to radiation, so you should use ingredients such as vitamin e, jojoba, and olive oils.
Don’t you know that moisturizing your face is one helpful step to getting your skin free of travel acne breakouts? When you moisturize your face, it keeps your skin hydrated…. Drinking plenty of water instead of soda drinks helps!
Don’t Touch Your Face - Avoiding or quitting the habit of touching your face once and for all can help save you the trouble of having travel acne.
Have A Facial Scrub Or Charcoal Mask By Your Side - One of the benefits of bringing these is that they help clean the face, which is another helpful tip on preventing acne breakouts.
- Choose Spearmint Tea Over Coffee - Skip the coffee…. and drink two cups of spearmint tea a day instead to prevent acne when traveling.
A Bit Of Turmeric Won’t Hurt… - Have a bit of turmeric to prevent acne when traveling. This is considered as one of the best spices, especially for glowing skin. It is also packed with anti-inflammatory properties such as curcumin.
Include Zinc - Zinc is one important element in taking care of your skin and preventing acne when traveling. Francesca Fusco, a board-certified dermatologist from Wexler Dermatology would often advise her patients to take zinc supplements while on a plane trip. Nicomide is one of the recommended zinc supplements since it helps keep the skin clean. But be sure to consult your skin specialist first before starting a new oral regimen.
- Prepare Your Skin - Lastly, it is important to prepare your skin before you go on a journey. Remember to bring cleansing and extracting chemical peel containing salicylic acid before boarding the plane as they clear up the residual debris left in your face. Banish All Mint Cleanser is also one of the recommended skin care products as cleansing your face or skin completely beforehand makes you free from having acne breakouts when traveling.
These are just some of the tips that can be enumerated at the moment. There are still a lot of things that we can do to prevent breakouts from occurring while traveling but for now, I’ll end with these in mind first. Which of these tips will you be trying out first to get rid of travel acne?