With the summer holiday almost upon us, it’s time to plan and pack a self-care routine that can travel. A sudden change in weather can wreak havoc on skin and hair, and then there’s the actual journey to think about. Here are our Hyoumankind founder Steph’s must-pack travel beauty essentials.
In your travel beauty kit
Steph likes to stick as close to her usual routine as possible, and if travelling carry on only, she chooses to focus on the essentials. But there’s no need to go without the products that work best. Simply decant your routine skin and haircare into travel size containers (for carry on, these need to be smaller than 100ml).
Air travel can be extremely dehydrating, even when you travel short distances, so hydrate from the inside out by drinking plenty of water and herbal teas, and going easy on the alcohol, well a little easy that is, there is room for some joy too! Steph recommends going without make up on long haul flights and instead nourishing skin by layering up highly moisturising creams all over. A silk sleep mask, earplugs, chilled music, and a compact, multi-use dream travel pillow help her catch some sleep on the flight so she arrives refreshed.
Coupled with thicker sunscreen, travelling to hot weather can make your skin perspire more. For those with acne-prone skin, this can trigger breakouts, when sweat stays on the skin. To combat this, it’s good to double cleanse with a gentle cleanser and a silk makeup mitt to completely remove not just perspiration but sunscreen, make up and pollution. And this goes for the whole body, particularly the neck, back and chest, which can be prone to acne like the face.
A facial mist is not only hydrating, it feels incredibly refreshing on a hot day. Steph recommends one without too much fragrance, and uses hers to add moisture to her skin when out and about in different climate extremes, inflight, and in air conditioned hotel rooms. She also applies a moisturising face mask regularly – look for one with hyaluronic acid for its moisture attracting properties. This is also a great way to take time out for self-care during a busy trip.
You may prefer to use a richer weight sunscreen for the body, yet keep it lightweight on the face. But whatever the format, if you’re swimming in the ocean this summer, ensure your sun protection is not destroying coral. Look for a mineral SPF with physical UVA and UVB filters zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, rather than chemical actives like oxybenzone, octinoxate, benzophenones, methylbenzylidene/benzylidene camphor, PABA, and octocrylene, which wreak havoc on corals and other marine life at an endocrine level. “They increase coral sensitivity to bleaching, meaning these corals will suffer more from temperature stress,” says marine biologist Louise Laing.
According to research, UV rays can damage hair and scalp too, potentially even damaging the hair follicle, while altering the colour in treated hair. So if you’re spending a lot of time in sun, it’s a good idea to apply a sunscreen especially made for hair, and wear a hat wherever possible. Steph also looks for products that also protect hair when swimming in the sea and chlorinated pool water.
Sun, salt and the low humidity of plane cabins and air-conditioned cars will conspire to dry out your lips. Before boarding, apply a thick layer of plant-based emollient balm (avoid petrochemical/mineral oil balms) to lips, which are especially vulnerable to dehydration. And as space and weight are at a premium, it pays to pack products that do double duty: like a balm that also works on cuticles, elbow and heels.
There’s a good reason it’s called ‘beauty sleep’ – a chance for your body to heal, repair and reset. But when you’re travelling, your regular sleep cycle becomes erratic. Along with nutrition and hydration, restorative sleep is a beauty essential that doesn’t come in a bottle. Steph designed the small and supportive Go Pillow to help her get better comfort and more consistent sleep while travelling.
She packs a couple of lightly spritzed silk pillowcases for sleeping in any hotel room. The silk pillowcase reduces friction on delicate skin and hair, reducing the potential for sleep wrinkles and keeping hair smooth.