We’re knee deep in the summer holiday season, but while you might be enjoying some time with friends and family and being away from work on a much-needed break, have you considered the impact it might have on your skin? Changing temperatures and humidity levels, lack of sleep, being out of routine, excess alcohol, and an all you can eat breakfast buffet are just a few of the things that can play havoc with our skin. Check out my tips below on how best to look after your skin, depending on what kind of holiday you might be going on. This will help you put your best face forward, all year round.
I’ll go into more detail about different types of holidays below, but firstly there are a few best practices that you should consider, whatever holiday you’re on.
The first and most crucial consideration, not only is sun damage the leading cause of skin cancer, but it also causes skin ageing in the form of wrinkles and uneven pigmentation. Of course, you’ll already be wearing SPF50 on your face year-round anyway (I don’t need to tell you again, do I?) but when we’re on holiday it’s so easy to get out of routine and forget. Factor 50, all day every day, reapplied every 2 hours, no excuses.
Being out of routine can really mess with our skin. Lack of sleep and the stress of travelling can cause a spike in cortisol levels leading to breakouts. Try and get your full 8 hours and stick to a routine as much as possible.
We all know that certain types of food can impact our skin. If you know that your skin reacts to certain types of food (wheat, dairy, sugar, and fat are common culprits), try and eat a healthy, balanced diet as much as possible to offset the trips to the buffet!
If you consume alcohol, do try and drink plenty of water in between those cocktails to avoid dehydration which will make wrinkles appear worse. The same goes for fizzy drinks, while there’s nothing quite like a cold drink in hot weather, don’t forget to alternate fizzy or sweet drinks with plain water. Your skin will thank you for it.
How to look after skin when flying
Planes have pressure-controlled cabins which means that the air is constantly getting recirculated. This can leave our skin dry and listless. When you add in different time zones and jet lag, your skin can really suffer. Here are a few tips for skin friendly flying:
Yay, you’re off to the beach! Going to the beach is great fun, but how does it impact our skin?
Sun exposure – As always SPF50 is crucial to protect your skin, don’t forget your lips too! I would also recommend a wide-brimmed hat if you’re going to be sitting in the sun for any length of time. Avoid sunbathing during peak hours when the sun is strongest, usually between 12 and 2 pm.
Sea water – while saltwater can be beneficial for the skin and help with some skin conditions, it can also be irritating and drying. And if you have open wounds or active acne, sea water might even cause infection. If you swim in the sea, ensure you rinse with pure water as quickly as possible, carrying a mineral water spray is great for this.
Sweat – We all sweat, and while sweating can moisturise and cool the skin on a hot day, leaving sweat on the skin for too long can cause irritation and inflammation due to high levels of ammonia and urea. Again, make sure you rinse with clean water as soon as possible.
After a day at the beach, use a gentle cleanser and a hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid to replenish the skin.
While you might be sunning yourself on a beach right now, there are also things to consider if you are going on a cold weather trip.
When holidaying somewhere cold, it’s common to be exposed to extreme temperature fluctuations, being outside in the cold and then inside in a heated building. This can lead to dehydration of the skin, which can again make it dry, flushed and irritated. Ensure that you drink plenty of water and use hydrating products to protect your skin. Also avoid really hot showers and baths which can shock the skin when you’ve been out in freezing temperatures all day.
In cold weather, and even on a cloudy day, the sun can burn the skin. It can be even worse in snowy climates where the sun reflects off the snow and multiplies its effects. Ensure you always wear SPF50 and a good quality vitamin C serum.
If you’re wearing a helmet, make sure you keep your skin clean to help prevent infection and acne, and wash your face as soon as possible after wearing it for a long time.
When you return from your holiday is a great time to rethink your skincare routine, why not book a consultation? Have a great holiday!