There’s simply no good time for skin issues to arise, but if there were, during vacation would most definitely not be it. A bad breakout is one of the worst things that could happen to a person’s travel plans. Sadly, it’s one of the most likely, too. Whatever skin woes you struggle with, they’re sure to flare up the moment you abandon your daily routine for carefree lounging on the beach. As inevitable as it all may seem, there’s a chance that you’re actually the one causing your own grief. Here are five common skincare mistakes that stand between you and the perfect vacation complexion.
1. You’re repackaging your products into travel-sized bottles.
Jar packaging has long been a controversial topic in the skincare world. Any dermatologist will tell you that common ingredients such as retinol — a key component to almost any anti-aging product — lose their potency when exposed to light and air.
Funneling your favorite skincare products into those travel-sized bottles you bought at the drugstore has the same effect, according to the research team at Paula’s Choice. Carrying heavy containers around in your suitcase isn’t ideal, but in order for those essential ingredients to maintain their blemish- and wrinkle-fighting power, they should always be kept in their original packaging. If possible, simply purchase them in smaller doses.
2. You’re not adapting your skincare routine to your destination.
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery says you need to be switching up your skincare routine at the beginning of every season. When the summer heat gives way to drier, cooler air, that’s when you should swap out your lightweight lotions for rich, heavy creams.
Traveling to a new climate is no different. If your destination is the tropics of Southeast Asia, prepare for thick humidity with lightweight products that let your skin breathe and won’t clog pores. Alternatively, if you’re headed to the mountains this summer, pack the heavy-duty moisturizers to prevent your skin from drying out, especially if you have a history of eczema.
3. You’re buying all new products or using what the hotel provides.
While switching up your morning routine might be necessary protocol for traveling, now is not the time to try new things. Ultimately, the aim should be to adapt the procedure that works for you rather than to reinvent it altogether.
Stocking up on new skincare products just because they’re in smaller bottles would not be wise, Ranella Hirsch of Dermatology Times told Allure. And avoid those hotel freebies at all costs. While the complimentary soaps may work for some people, they can wreak havoc on others. Some don’t even list ingredients on the packaging, so slathering on mystery products could come with consequences.
4. You’re skimping on the wrong things.
You might think that because your skin has been behaved as of late you can go ahead and eschew the acne treatment for a week, but this would be a false assumption you may gravely regret.
According to the experts at Paula’s Choice, “Treatments for redness, clogged pores, and acne, as well as those that promote hydration and brightening should not be left at home because you must use them consistently to maintain the results.”
If you’re going to skimp, the experts suggest leaving behind the face masks, cleansing brushes, and toners.
5. You’re throwing out your healthy diet for too many indulgences.
It’s no secret that excess sugar and alcohol consumption can do terrible things to your complexion. Not drinking enough water can do the same. Summer vacations are often chock-full of sun and activity, often leading to dehydration and more junk food and booze than you might consume on an average day.
While the American Academy of Dermatology says diet isn’t all to blame when it comes to most people’s skin woes (contrary to popular belief), the combination of bad eating habits and lack of hydration can certainly play a factor in throwing your skin out of whack.