Savvy travellers stay gorgeous, no matter what the time zone. Shonagh Walker tracks down holiday beauty advice that's worth taking on board.
Frequent flyers know that travel can wreak havoc on looks. Pressurised aircraft cabins, different time zones and extreme climates can cause skin and hair untold stress. Dry skin, blemishes and fragile hair are the bane of a traveller's life. Finding ways to prevent them is your best beauty bet.
The assault begins the second you board the plane. The pressurised, air-conditioned cabin zaps moisture from the skin and it doesn't stop once you land. "The body's biorhythms are confused by different time zones," says Dee Davies, beauty therapist at the Clear Skin Clinic in Double Bay, Sydney. "It will take a few days to settle and restore natural hydration processes. "Then come the problems of swimming and sun during a tropical sojourn, or high-altitude exposure on a snow holiday ..."
Prevention: "Cleanse as soon as you board the plane to remove any bacteria and debris," advises Davies, "and apply moisturiser regularly (very dry skin may benefit from a moisture-boosting serum underneath). Also use a nourishing, soothing eye cream to assist in preventing puffiness and dark circles." During the flight, misting your face with a facial spray will help hydrate skin, too.
- Neo Neem Facial Moisturising Cream, $24.95. Australian-made herbal dry-skin remedy.
- Estée Lauder Hydra Complete Multi-Level Moisture Gel Creme, $82. Helps rebalance skin's moisture levels.
- A'kin Instant Revival Summer Mist, $19.95. Calms and refreshes heated skin.
- Living Nature New Zealand Harakeke Nature's Hydrating Mist, $29. Incorporates hydrating and nourishing plant extracts.
- Tali by Tali Shine Jet-Set Skin Rejuvenating Facial Spray, $49.95. Infused with oxygen to refresh.
Congested, blemished skin
Aside from edgy hormones due to unsettled biorhythms, skin is susceptible to congestion and blemishes due to a slump in the lymphatic and circulatory systems caused by long-haul flights. This can cause breakouts, generally around the chin or the T-zone. "Even if you've only sat still for three hours, it can still take effect because of altitude, cabin pressure and lack of moisture in the skin," says Davies. "Toxins beneath the skin may not be flushed through as efficiently as usual, so blemishes may appear fast."
Prevention: ensure skin is perfectly cleansed before boarding and hydrate well (see dry skin prevention above). Once you land, apply a pore-cleansing mask to improve micro-circulation and draw toxins out through the skin. Keep blemish-control products on hand to manage breakouts while you're away.
- Clinique Anti-Blemish Solutions Cleansing Foam, $36, and Spot Treatment Gel, $32. Targets blemishes and unclogs pores.
- Garnier Skin Naturals Pure Self-heating Mask, $9.99. Deep cleansing for clogged pores.
It's an obvious peril of summer holidays, but you're at just as much jeopardy from snow-reflected UV rays during a ski holiday.
Prevention: apply a high SPF sunscreen before heading out. Reapply every two hours, more often if swimming or exercising.
- Shiseido 30+ Extra Smooth Sun Protection Lotion, $41. High protection choose from either a translucent formula or two foundation shades.
- Clarins Sun Control Stick SPF30, $30. Easy-to-apply skin protection.
Dry hands and torn cuticles
Another casualty of the dry aircraft cabin environment. Skin quickly becomes sensitive, and torn cuticles and hangnails may result.
Prevention: keep hands clean and well moisturised with a rich hand cream, concentrating around the nail bed.
- Bloom Hand Care Pamper Pack, $10. Complete care on the move.
- Arnaud Vanilla Bean & Tangerine Hand & Nail Cream, $19.95. Deeply hydrating, a refreshing scent.
Hair suffers as much as skin. Hydrate and protect hair before you fly with a leave-in conditioner.
Prevention: pack a leave-in hair treatment it will work wonders in the sun's warmth when poolside. It's also useful for dealing with the dryness caused by cool, high altitudes and that of changing temperatures, says Brad Ngata, of Brad Ngata Hair Direction. "Hair easily becomes dry due to going from an indoor, heated environment to an outdoor, chilly one," he says.
- GHD Indulgence Treatment Weekly Conditioning Mask, $45 for seven. Intensive conditioning mask to replenish hair.
Best beauty travel packs
- Korres Natural Products, Holiday in Greece, $39.95. Head-to-toe beauty in handy sizes.
- Crabtree and Evelyn Summer Hill Weekender Pack from Opus Design, $22.95. Luxe travel items with a delicate scent.
- Jo Malone London In-Flight Bag, $125. A set of deliciously scented and effective skincare miniatures a great gift.
- Dermalogica Skin Kit: Sensitized Skin Conditions, $56.50. Stressed-skin essentials.
- L'Occitane En Provence, $29.95. French natural-based products.
- Thalgo Soothe Travel Kit, $65. Ideal for sensitive, reactive skin.
- ModelCo Liquid Buds, Nail Polish Remover, $12.50. Gentle remover in easy-to-pack cotton buds.