Travel skincare

So, I recently returned from a one and a half long trip to London and Paris. The weather was perfect – somewhere between 14 and 20 degrees (celcius) most days, and mostly sunny. A top, a cardigan, a light spring jacket and a scarf were all that were needed to keep me feeling toasty. While my body was feeling good temperature-wise, my skin wasn’t so fortunate. My skin felt dry from the 13 hour plane ride there. And then throughout the second half of the trip, there were dry patches on my cheeks and around my mouth, and my skin was also red and blotchy. Terribly unattractive look for holiday photos, but what can you do?

And so, I will go through my travel skincare in the hopes that people can learn what NOT to do when going on a holiday to a dry climate. (Note: Where I live the climate is hot and humid.)

Mistake #1: Not bringing tried and tested skincare.I take travelling as an opportunity to try out my skincare samples. So instead of sticking to my tried and tested skincare routine (not that I find all the products I’m currently using to be excellent or even good enough to repurchase, but at least they don’t cause my skin to go haywire), I take my little satchets and travel-sized bottles to test them and use them up at the same time. Acceptable? I’d think so. But in this instance, my mistake lay in failing to bring a backup of skincare products which I know I can rely on, such as the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack. Every once in awhile, my skin will freak out, and the Laneige Water Sleeping Pack is about the only thing I can put on my skin which will not sting it. Silly me, for awhile my skin had been good, not too sensitive, and I took a chance. For moisturiser, I brought a small tub of the Perricone MD Firming Peptide Moisturiser* to test and the Face Shop Ice Flower Aqua Water Drop Pack which I was trying to use up. Perricone MD is a reputable, expensive skincare brand, and I thought that it must work for me as well. But after a couple of uses it became clear that it wasn’t enough – my skin felt dry and sandpapery just minutes after moisturising – and about halfway through the trip, my face began to sting whenever I slapped on moisturiser. I think using new products per se isn’t bad – after all, it is sometimes a necessity to swtich up skincare depending on the climate you are travelling to. But learn from me, and bring a backup of old favourites.

Mistake #2: Trying too hard to save space. I tried to save space and so brought less than I would normally use. I brought a tiny, tiny half-used bottle of Bioderma Micelle Solution to remove my eye makeup and ended up finishing it by the third night. I had to rely on my Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil, which is meant to be able to remove all makeup but doesn’t work all that well for eyes. The result? Panda eyes and having to scrub off the remaining smudges from my undereye area, which cannot be good for my skin. I only brought two sheet masks, which is stupid considering that sheet masks take up so little space. STUPIDDDD. My trying too hard to save space also meant that I did not bring toner, and also contributed to Mistake #1 (see above).

Mistake #3: Insisting on using up what I brought even when they weren’t working for me. It wasn’t like I was on a beach or in a forest in the middle of nowhere. I was in London and Paris, where pharmacies abound. I had every opportunity to buy skincare products when it became clear that what I brought was not working for me. But I did not. Why? I’ll never know. I think it was my stupid insistence on wanting to use up what I brought and not buying things frivolously. But on hindsight it would not have been frivolous to buy something which did not sting my skin each time it made contact with it.

I’ve now been back home for 2-3 days and my skin is back to normal once more. I’m not sure whether it’s attributable to the weather or the skincare or a mixture of both. In any event, lesson learnt? More options is more – even if you have to bring one less dress, do not scrimp on skincare space.

*To be clear, I am not dissing the Perricone MD Moisturiser or saying that it is a bad product. It was just new to me and not what my skin needed at that point in time. For all I know, it could be perfect in tropical weather.

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