The 8 Products That Keep My Skin From Freaking Out While I'm Traveling

Photo:

@victoriadawsonhoff

I am a firm believer that there are two types of people in this world: Those who pack well in advance (and in very systematic fashion) for a trip and those who open their empty suitcase for the first time three hours before their plane is scheduled to take off. I am most definitely the latter—which is why it's not exactly surprising that until very recently, my travel skincare routine was haphazard at best. I'd grab whatever bottles were currently on top of my vanity, shove them in my bag, and run out the door to hop in my Lyft. If I forgot anything, I told myself, I could always purchase it whenever I arrived at my destination.

This ultimately didn't bode well for my wallet or my skin—something that became abundantly clear in February during a trip to Paris. While traveling has always dried out my skin and left me more prone to breakouts, my face was a downright mess by the time I arrived in my favorite city. The long-haul flight had dehydrated my complexion to the point that it was flaking off; the drastic change in climate from "wintry" L.A. to wintry France kicked up some redness and inflammation. To top it all off, some hormonal acne decided to make an appearance on my jawline. So I did what any beauty fan in Paris would do: I made a beeline for the French pharmacy and spent an obscene amount of money to get my skin back in order.

After that fateful journey, I made it my mission to establish a relatively minimalist but highly effective lineup of products that would keep my complexion on lock no matter where I was headed. And thanks to a very travel-heavy year that has brought me to six cities, four countries, and climates ranging from desert to rainforest-adjacent, I've had a lot of opportunities to get it down to a science.

Nailing down a great lineup of versatile products has been incredibly helpful—they now stay packed away in a pouch in my suitcase, which is admittedly a very uncharacteristic move for this hurricane packer. But the takeaway I hadn't anticipated was realizing this: The way I take care of my skin on the plane dictates how well it will behave for the rest of my trip.

My complexion is prone to dehydration as it is, and the moisture-zapping qualities of cabin air simultaneously dull my skin and make my oil production go into overdrive to compensate. The result: breakouts and flaking for the following days. But if I'm proactive and diligently moisturize throughout the flight, I arrive at my destination with much brighter (and much more cooperative) skin.

As for the products that make it all happen? Find them below.