Travel skincare tips: How to ready your face for long-haul flights, cold-weather vacations, tropical getaways, and more

Travel skincare tips: How to ready your face for long-haul flights, cold-weather vacations, tropical getaways, and more

Bon voyage

Text: Emily Heng


We may have a long list of grievances regarding Singapore's climate, but we'll admit that we do appreciate its predictability. Translation: no seasonal shifts that call for a complete overhaul of clothes (tank tops for sweaters), cuisine (ice cream for soups), or, more importantly, skincare. As any beauty veteran can attest, your complexion tends to change as the weather does — i.e. drier, tighter skin in cold environments; oilier, greasier complexion in tropical ones — resulting in a "new" and, uh, often less than improved visage. And while we may be exempt from this occurrence on the regular, it doesn't mean we're entirely spared either. See: work trips, holidays, and all the other occasions that require us to fly out.

But it doesn't mean you have to be a sitting duck and submit yourself to the whims of the weather. Instead, we suggest adapting your skincare routine for every possible scenario, from long-haul flights to vacations in the Arctic. Below, a handy guide from us, with love... and lotsa luck.

If you're going on a long-haul flight...

Hydration is key for long flights in terms of both consumption and complexion. According to the Aerospace Medical Association, you should be drinking up to 236ml of water for every hour in the air to prevent dehydration. As for skin, opt for hydrating serums, masks, and lotions as well as an oil or cream to 'seal' it all in after. Reapply whenever your skin feels dry or tight, and repeat.

If you're going to a cold country...

Temperatures aren't the only thing that's dropping in winter. As humidity levels plunge, so does your skin's hydration levels. This results in dry, flaky skin in need of serious TLC. It doesn't help that central heating and space heaters in indoor spaces are known to reduce humidity levels too, thus dehydrating skin further. Opt for richer, thicker and more emollient formulations to maintain skin moisture. Skin experts also recommend gentle cleansers that won't dry out your complexion. Exfoliating with light acids can help get rid of dead skin cells and flakiness, too.

If you're going to a hot country...

High humidity levels often result in increased sebum production and sweat, which leads to clogged pores and breakouts galore. Joy. Add a toner to the mix to balance out your skin PH and switch out thick, creamy moisturisers for more lightweight offerings. Think gel types that sink into skin instantaneously — and come with SPF, for good measure. Slather on some sunscreen, and you're pretty much good to go.

If you're going to a city...

It's not just the weather you have to adapt to in a bustlin' city, but the air, too. Cigarette smoke, exhaust fumes, and heavy metal emissions generate free radicals which can lead to skin sensitivity and a whole host of other issues such as pigmentation, premature ageing, skin redness, and more. Thankfully, the industry has stepped up and provided in the form of anti-pollution skincare packed chockful of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to neutralise the effects of these complexion nasties. Think radical-fighting serums, deep-cleansing washes, and skin-shielding creams.