The Dermatologist’s Summer Vacation Skincare Protocol

Whether you’re sunning or sightseeing, your skin needs protection. That said, finding a skincare routine that works well for one’s complexion on vacation can be tricky, so crafting the perfect skincare ritual often feels like a daunting task. What skincare steps are musts, and which ones can you skip while you’re out of town? What products do you really need to pack? And, most importantly, what will keep your skin looking and feeling all sorts of glowy for those vacation photos? Keep scrolling to learn the top six summer travel skincare rituals recommended by cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Michele Green, M.D.

“During the summer, our sebum production increases as the temperatures increase, which can give the face an oily and dull appearance.”

Only wear non-comedogenic makeup

Although you’ll likely be taking tons of pictures while on vacation, Dr. Green recommends embracing minimal makeup or going barefaced as heavy makeup can clog pores, especially when wearing face masks for long periods. 

If you do plan on wearing makeup, Dr. Green says opting for sheer, water-based, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free products as much as possible is ideal. Swap in multipurpose formulas, such as tinted serums or moisturizers. in place of foundation.

Exfoliate

Don’t skip exfoliation while on vacation. “During the summer, our sebum production increases as the temperatures increase, which can give the face an oily and dull appearance,” Dr. Green says. “[Exfoliation] evens out the skin complexion and texture by allowing new cells to reach the surface of the skin while simultaneously fading dark spots and allowing moisturizers to penetrate deeper.”

In particular, she recommends exfoliating with alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHA) such as glycolic acid and salicylic acid once or twice a week to help slough off dead skin cells and increase turnover. 

“Adequate hydration is even more important in the summer months as our bodies tend to get dehydrated due to excess water loss from sweating.”

STAY CONSISTENT

Dr. Green says the stress and lack of sleep that comes with traveling can cause acne breakouts. Make sure you also pack any other skincare products that are part of your everyday routine to give your skin its regular TLC even while on vacation. Dr. Green also advises staying away from skincare products that many hotels provide as they often contain ingredients and fragrances that can clog pores and cause irritation. 

HYDRATE

“Adequate hydration is even more important in the summer months as our bodies tend to get dehydrated due to excess water loss from sweating,” Dr. Green says. “Drinking two to three liters of water daily helps to remove toxins from the body, increases blood circulation which brings oxygen to the skin, and keeps our skin clear and smooth.” And, remember that eating foods high in water — think salads, cucumbers, and watermelons — also counts towards your daily water requirement. 

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