On a recent vacation to KoSamui, Thailand (hands down one of my favorite vacation destinations) I was thinking I should share a list of travel essentials I bring with me on every trip. This is an elaboration on an Instagram post I snapped while on the island itself.
Don’t follow me on Instagram? Click here if you want to start!
I post tips and tricks on keeping a healthy, glowing complexion and insight into the chaotic, fun-filled life as a derm-diva in New Delhi. As for the travel essentials I find most necessary when jet-setting, keep reading for my insider tips:
Chlorine can do a real number on your skin and hair. However, I don’t consider it vacation unless I get to take a dip in a pool. So, to me, dealing with chlorine is a necessary evil. To combat the damage chlorine causes my skin, I switch up my typical mildly-foaming face wash with a cleansing balm. Now, a lot of people say they don’t feel “clean” after using cleansing balms. Many like a foaming cleanser for their skin that leaves it feeling a bit dry… and this is not always good! Many mistake dryness for cleanliness. Cleansing balms and oils can actually help to breakdown unwanted oil on the skin better than foaming washes. They are also better at removing make-up after a long night partying on the beach.
The second thing I always make sure to have on hand is a thick, restorative cream. Not only is this great to relieve dryness caused by chlorine and sun, but also to calm rosacea. Many people suffer from rosacea and don’t even know they have it. Often it starts as a red flush to the nose and cheeks and can stay this way for years… even decades! When my patients come in saying “I blush easily”, the first thing I think is rosacea. More severe forms cause bumps and pustules often mistaken for acne. Triggers for rosacea are everything I love to indulge in on holiday… sun, wine, and spicy food. Since I refuse to give up all of these things, I use Dr. Jart+ Cicapair cream to calm my skin and prevent worsening flares. Can’t find Dr. Jarts+? BiodermaCicabio cream is a nice, repairing moisturizer that is easy to find.
Special insider tip: Add a little bit of Nadoxin anti-bacterial cream to your moisturizer to stop unwanted vacation zits before they happen!
SUNBLOCK! No matter the season, occasion, or destination, you will always find me applying sunblock twice per day at minimum. If you think you can skip this step because you have a BB cream or Foundation with SPF, you are depriving your skin of the full protection it needs! Depending on the time of year, I switch up my sunblock routine to suite the changing weather. When visiting cool, dry places I like to use moisturizing sun lotions such as Cerave SPF. When visiting beach destinations, I prefer fluid sunscreens such as Dr. Jart+UV Fluid. There are two places people frequently neglect when applying sunscreen: lips & hair. That’s right, even your hair suffers from sun damage preventable by sunblock! Fluid sunscreens are great for applying to these two, often forgotten areas because they are fast-absorbing and won’t leave you looking too greasy.
Two Body Lotions
I always travel with two body lotions: one for deep hydration and one that smells nice. For deep hydration, BiodermaAtoderm Baume works wonders. For a quick fix you can find almost anywhere, Cetaphil also carries a great line of moisturizing products. As for a lotion that smells good, I typically slather one on after my evening bath instead of using a perfume. Why? Many ingredients in perfumes flare rosacea, so the application of a nice smelling, natural lotion is a safer choice. My recommendations are The Skin Pantry’s Rose Vanilla Body Butter or Plum’s Vanilla & Fig Feel The Fudge Body Butter.
Shampoo & Conditioner
Hotel products are often manufactured cheaply without keeping the health of your skin and hair in mind. Even hotels who slap fancy names on their travel-sized toiletries are often not promoting the same luxury products you will find in the store. The safest bet is to bring your own. For sulfate-free shampoos, Kiehl’s is always a great choice. As for conditioner, I usually pack two: one regular conditioner and one hydrating hair mask. While I typically apply a hair mask one time per week at home, I often up the usage while on vacation to combat the effects of sun and chlorine. L’Occitane and Ducray both have fabulous hair masks to keep your locks moisturized and healthy.
It is tempting to layer on BB Cream, Foundation, followed by some powder, concealer, etcin order to achieve a photoshopped look before a vacation night out. However, you need to let your skin breathe! With the right make-up, you won’t need to wear so many layers to get a selfie-ready look. Bobby Brown is my personal favorite for their skin-friendly products with amazing coverage. I like to have their concealer on me at all times for a quick touch up anytime, anywhere. Clinique and Dr. Jart also have great, full-coverage products that don’t require so many layers to achieve a picture-perfect look. A little bronzer and illuminator on top is all you need to top off a sexy, tropical glow when you start with the right base. My favorite multi-use make-up tool is the NARS multi-purpose stick which can be used to give color and dimension to your cheeks and lips in a pinch. A brand to stay away from is MAC. MAC make-up, although popular, is known to obstruct your skin and cause acne, which can be especially annoying during holiday.