Don't Take a Vacation from Skin Care

Health Writer

Millions of Americans will be hitting the road during the next few months, traveling to see family, head to the beach or spend a week camping. Vacation time, no matter where you are going, brings with it some special needs for skin care, particularly since you might be traveling where it's difficult to carry out your daily routine.

Here are tips for helping you care for your skin while on vacation:

Start the process before heading off for vacation. Avoid products that dry your skin or make you more sensitive to sunlight (for example, retinoids) for several days before leaving. Use an extra dose of moisturizer before getting on an airplane, as air travel can dry out your skin.

If you are using products or prescriptions that make you more sensitive to sunlight, talk with your doctor about what extra protections you should take during your trip.

Pack essential skin care items. The following are some items you probably want to include:

  • Sunscreen
  • Band-aids
  • Hydrocortisone cream for bug bites
  • Calamine lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunglasses
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Facial cleanser
  • Body lotion and hand cream
  • Lip balm
  • Exfoliant
  • Eye drops
  • Nail clipper and file

If packing makeup, take water resistant mascaras, eyeliners and bronzers.

Bring along comfortable shoes. There is nothing worse than having uncomfortable

shoes when you're traveling. Even if you bought new shoes for your trip, pack a second pair you know are comfortable and reliable.

When applying sunscreen, make sure to apply to all areas of your body, not just the face, legs, arms and chest. Don't forget your ears, feet and hands.

Don't rush to the beach as soon as you arrive. It is exciting to finally arrive at your destination and the urge to jump in the pool or head for the beach can be overwhelming. But travel can dry out your skin and make it more susceptible to the sun's harmful rays. Make sure you apply sunscreen before heading out.

Keep makeup to a minimum. Adopt the minimalist look for your vacation, using makeup to highlight your eyes, lips or cheeks, but avoid overdoing it. During vacation you want your makeup to look light and natural, rather than heavy.

Have plenty of water on hand. Make sure to drink water before heading to the beach as well as when you are sitting on the beach or by the pool. Moisturized skin starts from the inside; staying hydrated helps you look your best.

Pay attention to the area around your eyes. Even though you may be wearing UV sunglasses, the skin around your eyes is sensitive and sunscreen may irritate your eyes. Use an eye cream that has an SPF 15 or higher to keep your eyes protected.

Don't forget to reapply sunscreen. You might take the time to apply sunscreen, eye

creams and such before heading out the door in the morning, but it isn't going to last all day. Be sure to bring the sunscreen with you and reapply throughout the day (every two hours is recommended and when you get out of the water).

If you have skin conditions, such as acne or eczema, make sure to follow your daily skin regimen every day, even during vacation. That helps to ensure that breakouts or flare-ups don't occur while you are away or when you return home. Even if your acne is under control, bring along an acne spot treatment, just in case.

If you normally have trouble falling asleep when you aren't at home, bring along a sleep mask and some earplugs. Lack of sleep usually shows up on your face.

Once you arrive home, take special care of your skin. Usea facial mask or treat yourself to a facial to help replenish and rejuvenate your skin and make you look like your vacation was relaxing and fun.