How to look after your skin when you travel: 5 tips

It can be easy to forget to take care of yourself when you’re caught up in the excitement of travel. There are new places to explore, new things to do, and your usual routines get put on the backburner.

It’s understandable, but there are still some things you need to do to ensure you remain healthy — and that includes looking after your skin. The skin protects you from harmful substances, bacteria, viruses and infection, so its importance can’t be underestimated.

Here are five easy ways to look after your skin when you travel!

1. Wear SPF

Photo by James Douglas

Sun damage causes fine lines, wrinkles, sun spots and, more severely, skin cancer. The most intense sunburn may even need medical attention, landing you with hefty bills and lifelong damage.

When choosing a sun cream, look for an SPF of at least 30 to protect against UVB rays (pale-skinned people may prefer SPF 50 or higher) and a UVA rating of at least four stars. The letters UVA should appear in a circular logo. You might prefer a lighter formula for your face.

Apply your sun cream every two hours, and every time you’ve finishing swimming –  then you can enjoy Greece for example without feeling guilty!

2. Seek the shade

Photo by Amarens Elise

Sitting in the shade is not a substitute for wearing sun cream, but staying out of direct sunlight does help somewhat, since it reduces your exposure to UV rays. It’s also a good way to stay cool when the heat gets too much. This is particularly vital in countries such as the Philippines or Thailand !

Did you know? The sun is at its hottest in between 11am and 3pm!

3. Wash and moisturise daily

Photo by Claus Grünstäudl

A gentle cleanser will wake you up in the morning and help to remove dirt, sweat and sunscreen residue at the end of a long day. Massage it into your face and then remove with lukewarm water and a flannel.

Pat your skin dry and then apply a moisturiser. Moisturiser will keep skin hydrated, which is especially important in the sun and after you’ve been on a plane, where the lack of humidity causes your skin to lose water and appear dry and dull. Air conditioning can also have the same effect to a lesser degree. According to the NHS’ guide to looking after your skin, people with oily skin respond best to water-based formulas, while those with more dryness can use products containing oil.

4. Drink plenty of water

Photo by Joseph Greve

Water helps to solve a number of problems and stressed-out skin is one of them. As an organ, the skin needs water in order to function properly, but all the other organs receive water first. This is why it’s so important to drink enough to hydrate your entire body.

How much water should I drink per day? The answer varies from person to person, although two litres is a good guideline. You’ll need more if you’re active or staying in a country with a hot climate.

5. Pack aloe vera for burns and stings

Photo by Christin Hume

As much as we try to stay out of harm’s way, we’ve all suffered from sunburn and insect bites at some point during our lives. Aloe vera is ideal for travel because it’s a multipurpose product, plus its anti-inflammatory properties mean it’s soothing when applied to irritated skin.

You can use aloe vera:

  • For sunburn
  • As an aftershave treatment
  • As a moisturiser
  • As a topical spot treatment

Follow these simple tips and before you know it they’ll have become a normal part of your everyday routine. Your skin will thank you for it!

How do you like to look after your skin when you travel? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Kassie

    Sunscreen is so important! When I was young I was always so casual about sunscreen but now I make sure to put it on every time I leave the house. These are great tips and I will keep them in mind on my next trip!

  2. Sandy N Vyjay

    Travel does take a toll of the skin. Constant travel wreaks havoc on the skin. It is always better to take precautions and care proactively, rather than react to skin issues later. You have given some really sensible and practical tips in this direction. Staying hydrated and frequent moisturizing helps.

  3. Shaily

    While travelling, we often forget to take care of our skin. You’ve shared some great tips here. I always use SPF and drink a lot of water while travelling. Carrying aloe vera for burns and stings is my takeaway from this post.

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