According to a recent study, nearly half of us suffer with sensitive skin. That’s a huge amount of people! It’s not something I really talk about, but I suffer quite badly from sensitive skin. I have had eczema for most of my life and sometimes it really flairs up. It is something that really affects me, particularly when I travel. It is painful and it also affects my self confidence. So I wanted to share some tips on how I deal with travelling with sensitive skin in case it can help anyone else!
I think it basically falls into two categories when I travel. How I handle flights and how I deal when I am away. Two main take aways- be prepared and take precautions!
Travelling with sensitive skin on flights
This is absolutely key for me. I can really tell if I haven’t had enough water even in every day life. *just rushing out to get a glass*. But of course when you fly, it sucks the life out of your skin even more!
I always travel with my own water bottle. My favourite is this S’well one, which is perfect travel size. I fill it up before I board (after security of course) and then I can drink when I want on the plane. On a short haul flight this size bottle is enough. On long haul I do have to ask to have it filled up. But I think it’s definitely better than having to ask the flight attendants for water the entire time.
I always try and sit on the aisle seat on long haul as well. Nothing worse than being trapped in when you need to get out!
Taking mini’s on the flight
I have very specific products I can use on my skin, some of them can only be bought online and definitely do not come in bottles under 100ml. Which make things tricky with regards to the mini’s on board. However, there is no way I could get through a flight (even a short haul one) without having these to hand.
The air on a plane is seriously drying and my skin needs some extra help. So I have these little pots which I can decant my moisturiser into. Take a peek here! Honestly, I could not live without them. I carry one around in my handbag always even for regular day to day life.
For reference the current moisturiser I am using, and the only one working for me at the moment, is Oilatum. It is an emollient that comes in 500ml massive pump bottles which is not handy for travel. Therefore I always have to be creative with how I pack!
I never ever fly with make up on. For me it is one of the big no no’s when travelling with sensitive skin. Vanity out the window, my skin just cannot take it. And it’s much easier to apply layer after layer of emollient without having make up on underneath. Side note, I actually very rarely wear foundation, but even so. Eye make up is very drying.
Side note to this, I have to be extremely careful with the make up I can put on, a consideration when travelling with sensitive skin. Some brands are an absolute no go.
Dealing with sensitive skin when abroad
I know that I cannot simply pick up a lot of the items I need when I am travelling with sensitive skin. So, I have to make sure I have everything I need. This included taking two full tubes of my moisturiser de jour around SE Asia for 9 weeks!
I absolutely have to enough products to get me through the time I am away. A constant balancing act between not wanting to pack super huge and heavy bottles and not running out. This is particularly tricky when flying hand luggage only for two weeks. Enter a lot of the small tubs as per above.
My skin ‘kit’ currently involves:
Genuinely have to use these every day and at the moment my skin is not good. When all else fails, I use hydrocortisone. Which I was prescribed and would definitely not recommend using unless you absolutely have to. As you can see, these are not things I can find when I am on trips to places such as Uganda or Mongolia.
A lot of companies do ‘tester’ size versions which I try and stock up when I can. I have reached out to Ren a couple of times to ask them, sometimes with success and sometimes not. But, to prepare for any trip I make sure I have enough, decanted to as small as possible to get through the time I am away.
This is a big one for me, as I am often allergic to a lot of suncream brands. My current fav is Piz Buin, which my skin can cope with. They also do an allergy verison which is what I put on my face. For short haul flights I buy in the airport after security for the liquid reason. Although, they do do smaller verisons as well.
I can be a bit more relaxed about what I put on my body, some brands are a complete no no for me. But some of the more common ones are fine, so I feel confident I can pick up suncream travelling to put on most of me! However, yet again, I always make sure I have enough Piz Buin for my face. I also never put suncream on my neck!
I also have a tinted moisturiser which I know works for my skin. It has SPF, so if I am having a flair up I can put this on, and it covers up the worst which helps my confidence. I can use this on a city break or a day trip. But I am sunbathing, I definitely have to wear sun cream.
I know there are a few things that set my skin off. When I am at home I am usually fairly relaxed about eating them, as I know I can manage and flair ups. However when I am travelling with sensitive skin I do take precautions. I try to avoid citrus and I definitely avoid bananas ( I hate them anyway, so not too hard). But be aware of what causes issues and make sure to be extra careful.
I also try to do my own laundry, as I am allergic to a lot of laundry detergents. By taking some travel detergent I can manage this situation.
Side note, I am aware alcohol is sometimes I trigger but I just deal with this! Although if I am having a really bad day, I will cut it out for a couple of days.
Having said all of the above, I find my skin actually often calms down a lot when I am travelling.
Some of the best things for my skin are less stress, cleaner air, Vitamin D and less make up. At least two or three of those occur on every trip I go on, so my skin tends to improve. Mongolia – I think my skin was perfect!
Basically the long and short of this, is that I need to travel more. For my health. See ya!
Do you have any skin issues? How do you deal with these when you are travelling with sensitive skin? I’d love to hear, I am always looking for solutions!
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