How to Build a Skincare Routine for Travel

I’m sure we can all relate when it comes to skincare woes. It’s important to learn how to build a skincare routine for travel because we put it through so many different extremes, sometimes all at once in the span of 24 hours: artificial heat, sun, dry air, altitude changes, humidity. Our skin is actually pretty fragile and is easily affected by our environment, food and internal health. It’s difficult enough to maintain healthy skin while at home but traveling makes it even tougher. I’ve put together a few tips and reminders for easy things we can do to try to hydrate, moisturize and keep our skin looking fresh.


How to Build a Skincare Routine for Travel

Moisturize Often

I’m sure you all have read countless articles on flights and what it does to your body and if you haven’t, you’ve experienced it firsthand. Our skin dries up drastically because of the lack of humidity in the air and that in turn causes a whole slew of skin woes. Your flight essentials list should include face masks or at the very least lotions and oils on board to moisturize while you’re flying. If you aren’t a fan of wearing a mask in front of strangers, there are plenty of travel-sized lotions and creams out there that you can carry on board with you. Reapply every hour or so to maximize efficacy.

Rest Well

We’ve all said the words “I’ll sleep when I get home” and while I don’t see anything wrong with it because I’m guilty of doing it myself, this shouldn’t be your motto if your goal is to maintain a good routine for skincare. Personally my skin tends to react harshly to lack of sleep; I experience circles under my eyes, blotchiness and dryness which in turn causes acne. It’s never a pleasant experience and usually it takes my skin at least a week to recover from it. If you can’t sleep a full 6-8 hours of sleep, then at least allow yourself an hour or so of rest in your hotel. Use it to check your email or whatever it is you need to do but do it in a place where your mind can de-escalate and relax.


Use SPF Products

Sunscreen is so important in the skincare realm. I used to sunbathe, burn and go an entire summer without applying proper sunscreen even though I worked outside several times a week. I cringe every time I remember those days and I’ve spent the last 5 years trying to recover and heal my skin. While you might not be heading for the beach on a sun-soaking and swimming vacation, you’re still headed to a place filled with sun. If you’re going to Italy, you’ll encounter lots of sun as you wander through streets. You may be visiting National Parks where you’ll find even more sun. No matter where you’re headed, your face will be exposed to plenty of sunlight and a good SPF-based moisturizer should be your go-to.

There are a variety of skincare products available to help us protect our faces and skin from early aging and skin cancer. NEUTROGENA® and AVEENO® both offer an extensive line up of SPF lotions all available from the Wellness + Beauty section of Rite Aid. What’s cool about this program is that for every NEUTROGENA® product with SPF that you buy in-store or at Rite Aid online (April through September), Neutrogena will donate two products with SPF to help children and families in need. My top picks are the AVEENO® Active Naturals Positively Radiant® Sheer Hydration and NEUTROGENA® Rapid Tone Repair Moisturizer.



I don’t know why but this tip is the hardest one for me to follow. I can usually manage to eat healthy because most of the places I visit have a lot of variety in their foods but staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water is so hard. At home I constantly have to remind myself and yet I fail miserably. So imagine my difficulty in remembering when I’m excited about seeing a new place. The best tip I have for those like me who do not remember to drink enough water is to buy a pack of bottled water once you reach your destination, especially if you plan on being there longer than 3 days. The sight of them is a great reminder when you arrive back at your hotel room or Airbnb. Ideally you have a reusable water bottle that you just remember to continually fill up (I hate using plastic) but you can work up to this by forming the habit of drinking water often and then later just carry that bottle with you everywhere.

Eat Healthy

It goes without saying that you are what you eat and since skin is your biggest organ, you should be eating as healthy as possible while you’re traveling. I love feasting on pizza, pasta, ice cream and bread especially when I’m visiting Italy, the queen of carbs. However, I always try to mix in greens and salads whenever I can. Luckily most places have salad readily available but if not, try to seek out fruits (as opposed to heavily fried foods). Anything light to help keep your skin looking fresh.


*This post is written in partnership with Johnson & Johnson and Rite Aid*




A travel photographer and writer with an insatiable desire to explore the world and inspire others to see it for themselves.