How to Pack Your Skincare for a Vacation

As fun as vacationing is, travel tends to stress out our skin. We’re talking jet lag (and the lack of sleep that comes along with it), mid-air dehydration, visiting new climates, and experiencing different kinds of pollution. Plus, with face masks now a staple piece in our airport outfit, there are new skin concerns (talking to you, maskne) that are even more likely to pop up while traveling. 

Before you jet off, bookmark this guide for taking care of your skin while traveling and on vacation.

How Does Travel Affect Skin?

Sometimes it seems like skin starts to freak out right after landing. Before we talk skin solutions, understand exactly what happens to your skin while you travel. 


There’s a reason you tend to feel drained after a flight. Besides the general exhaustion of lugging yourself through the airport, there’s less oxygen and humidity on airplanes, dehydrating you and your skin and making you feel sluggish. Even if you’re not flying, vacationing can mean more alcohol and sugary foods and less water and greens, which can also wreak havoc on your complexion and cause flakiness, dark circles, and puffiness. To keep dryness concerns at bay, smooth on our Dew Point Moisturizing Gel-Cream before and after you land. Its hydrating, yet light and its antioxidants keep the skin’s moisture barrier strong, too.


While we’ve mastered the whole mask thing, maskne is still a force to be reckoned with. Because public travel requires wearing a face mask for long periods of time, there’s a solid chance skin will feel the repercussions. While there’s not much you can do about the humidity and sweat, you can take preventative measures by spritzing Back-Up Plan Acne-Control Body Mist on the inside of your mask before wearing it. The combo of 2% salicylic acid and tea tree oil prevents acne from popping up. As for the whiteheads and blackheads that are attempting to ruin your vacation pics, toss the Game Over Acne Drying Treatment into your bag. Its teensy tiny tube dries out pimples overnight.


Traveling is an experience and sometimes, it’s a stressful one. Stress has a powerful impact on our complexion, causing breakouts, inflammation, and even rosacea and psoriasis flareups. Not to mention lack of sleep, whether it be from jet lag or late nights, inhibit skin’s recovery. Besides adding a bit of mindfulness to your travel routine, pack in some skin-soothers, too, like our Look Alive Hydrating Plumping Mask. Its slim pouch takes up very little space in your luggage and the cool, jelly texture is instantly calming. Its aloe leaf juice plumps up tired skin too, making it a great primer for makeup or a remedy for sunburn.


Skin damage can happen anytime, anywhere but the chances tend to increase while you’re vacationing. Excess time in the sun (and forgetting to reapply your sunscreen) is a big one, but there’s also the fact that your skin may be experiencing new kinds of pollution it isn’t used to—not just city smoke, but hard water, too. Defend against damage by wearing an antioxidant-rich, broad-spectrum Daily Mineral Sunscreen. It not only protects against skin cancer but fends off rays and pollutants that can cause premature aging. As far as washing your face goes, prevent hard water residue from throwing off skin’s pH balance by sweeping the Baby Cheeks Hydrating Milk Toner across the skin post-cleanse. It also doubles as a makeup remover, so you can skip wasting wipes and save room in your luggage.

6 Travel-Approved Beauty Tips

More advice? Follow these traveling hacks to keep your skin happy while also limiting waste and carbon emissions.

Skip housekeeping 
Not so much the late-night snacks (although you can also limit waste by packing your own in the mini fridge), but skip the towels and linens brought to your room every day. Most of us don’t really need fresh sheets and towels daily and turning around the Do Not Disturb sign can mean saving water and energy.

Refill your empties
Purchasing travel-friendly items each and every time you vacation is not only wasteful, but it also gets pricy. Keep empty ones (or any mini bottles you own) and refill with the shampoo, body wash, cleanser, and serums you have at home. Hint: Our Weekend Glow Daily Brightening Toner and Just Breathe Clarifying Serum come in refill pouches for this exact purpose. Plus, packing the products you’re already using prevents your skin and hair from reacting to a switch.

Check local recycling guidelines
ICYMI: Recycling do’s and don’ts vary from city to city. Before you go, read up on what their bins accept so you don’t accidentally toss something unrecyclable (a.k.a. wishcycling), infiltrating the waste stream.

Bring your own reusables
Disposable items sure are convenient while traveling, but these single-use items are also wasteful. Whenever you can, bring reusable alternatives instead like our Down to Earth Reusable Cotton Pads, which can be used to apply toner and remove makeup.

Leave unopened toiletries
They’re probably not the best for your skin and if you don’t really need them, it’s a waste (don’t let the free aspect tempt you). 

Pack multi-purpose products
Pro tip: Just because a product is labeled as one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be used for something else. Get creative to save waste and room in your luggage. Our Day Dissolve Cleansing Balm can double as shaving cream. Sunday Morning Antioxidant Oil-Serum can replace your facial oil, serums, and moisturizer so you can pack one item instead of three. Our Silk Slip Tinted Lip Oils double as a lip tint and a blush.


Shop our favorite travel-friendly products below.