What causes travel-related skin issues

There are many different aspects of vacationing that can cause skin issues. Knowing the causes and understanding why they are taxing for skin will help you solve and prevent problems and keep your skin glowing. Let’s break down the most common causes of travel-related skin issues.


Change of climate

Just as we need to acclimate to a new time zone, our skin needs to acclimate to a new climate zone. Humidity may help keep skin hydrated, but it can also aggravate acne and yeast rashes. Also, because the combination of humidity and heat opens pores up, they become more susceptible to congestion due to dirt, pollen, or other particles in the air.


Dry climates can cause skin to become extremely dehydrated and can also trigger and exacerbate other skin ailments such as psoriasis, eczema, and acne. Dry climates can also make it more difficult to keep pores clean, leading to congestion and build up.


Diet changes

One of the best parts of vacation is letting go of rules, routines, and of course, diet restrictions. But what you eat shows up in the health of your skin - as they say, “You are what you eat.” Even if you aren’t purposely splurging, just trying new foods, eating out often, and increased snacking and/or drinking can be stressful for our skin. When alcohol is overdone on vacations not only does your skin suffer, but you might also have less energy to enjoy the day and weight gain is more common.



Even vacays can bring physical and mental stress. The planning, airports, missed flights, getting lost, family, and more. Traveling alone is stressful on our bodies, even if everything goes perfectly.


Lack of sleep

Jet lag, excitement, packed schedules, a new bed, trying to sleep on planes, trains, or cars. Vacation sleep can be difficult. The lack of sleep shows in your skin - you need your beauty sleep!



Traveling to, or through, a large city? Increased pollution can wreak havoc on skin! Particulates in the air mix with your skin’s own oils and dirt and clog your pores. Clean, properly functioning pores are key to healthy skin so when pores are congested, it can cause many different skin issues.



We all know that we need sunscreen when we are in the sun, but we often forget about the increased exposure that is typical during vacation. Not to mention that when we are in the sun, it is important to stay hydrated. Accessibility can be an issue while traveling.



What you can do

Here are some travel tips to prevent skin issues from dampening your vacay:


Drink loss of water - Bring your own reusable water bottle so you can refill it often and take it with you when you’re out and about.


Take your vitamins - Pack these travel essentials in your suitcase:

  • Fish or flax oil
  • B complex to prevent stress from appearing on your skin
  • Vitamin A to prevent cracks around lips and eyes
  • Vitamin C to promote collagen production
  • Vitamin E to preserve elasticity


Be mindful of your eating - this will help you keep the splurging down and decrease the drastic swing in eating habits. But be realistic! There’s no way I’m going to Italy and not eating gelato so saying I won’t splurge at all is just not gonna happen.

  • Find a local grocery store where you can buy nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies to snack on instead of chips, crackers, cheese, bread, and processed foods
  • Pack healthy snack bars, nuts, oatmeal and other goodies
  • Opt for salads with dressing on the side, and eggs or oatmeal with fruit for breakfast
  • Keep the sweets and splurges to one meal a day
  • Eat healthy fats like avocados, nuts, and seeds


Limit drinks to 2 cocktails - and have drinking days and non-drinking days, too.

Also, make sure you are drinking 2 glasses of water for every 1 alcoholic drink.


Make the most of your amenities - minimize the effects that staying in a hotel can have on your skin.

  • Leave the AC and/or heat off whenever you can
  • Shower or bath in warm water (not hot!)
  • Use a face mask in the shower or bath. Not only is it the most effective way to use a mask, you won’t waste any of your adventure time!
  • Avoid detergent based soaps
  • Only use soap where you need it (i.e. where the sun don’t shine)
  • Bring a sleep mask and/or earplugs to help you sleep


DIY! If your hotel has a restaurant or you have a kitchen, use it as a beauty pantry.

  • Coffee is great to add to your mask and splash on your face in the morning.
  • A DIY oatmeal, coffee, and honey mask are my go to when traveling (vegan option: sub honey for fruit jam).
  • A little olive oil, cream, honey, or milk in the tub will help with dryness
  • Orange juice, hot coco, wine, and champagne are perfect mask mixers


Get some R&R - don’t let stress & lack of sleep wear you down. The more self-care and prep you do, the better you will be able to manage your stress.

  • Take 30 minutes before bed to relax, meditate, read, breath, and unwind to help promote sleep.
  • Plan some down time during the day, especially if you are traveling with kids. This will decrease exhaustion and also help your body relax at night.
  • Try hydrosols or essential oils for stress relief
  • Take advantage of the hotel spa
  • Take time alone to help you decompress


Bring your own products - here’s a list of skin essentials you should bring with you on your trip.

  • Non-foaming, detergent-free facial cleanser. I never travel without our Pore Purger Charcoal Cleanser.
  • Toner pads. Try our detox wipe pads. Bonus: these wipes can double as an on-the-go deodorant pad!
  • Oil-based moisturizer, like our Just Stop It Antioxidant Moisturizer - rich in antioxidants to protect against the elements.
  • Deep pore cleansing mask. Our Deep Sea Decongesting Face Mask is a must-have while traveling.
  • A bar of handmade, natural soap.
  • Hydrating mist to keep skin glowing throughout the day. Try our Rose dew me.
  • Lip balm without cocoa butter or petroleum like our Lucky Lips Lip Balm.
  • Natural sunscreen.
  • Shea butter or a rich body lotion. Our 2 oz Indulge Me Body Cream is perfect for travel and TSA compliant.
  • If you are gone longer than 3 days, bring an exfoliate. Powders, like our Hemp Hemp Hooray, are easy to pack and meet plane guidelines.
  • If you suffer extreme dryness try my “Seal the Deal” layering method: apply a face oil and then apply a face cream on top to lock the moisture in. Grab our Creme Fraiche facial cream.
June 29, 2023 — Deborah Burnes