‘Tis the season for summer city breaks, beach holidays, or escaping to cooler climes. A few months ago I put some of my rosacea-friendly travel tips on instagram stories and had SO many questions afterwards, so I thought I would put all of my tips in one post.[The links in this post are affiliate links. That means I get a small amount of money from any sales, at no extra cost to you. If for some reason you don’t want to use my affiliate link, just google the items!]
Before we get into the details, I wanted to include an important disclaimer. All of the information I share on my blog is based on my own experiences and from talking to hundreds – perhaps thousands – of others with rosacea over the past 6 years. I offer up information and advice with the assumption that you are an intelligent person with common sense who has already taken the time to get to know your skin as best you can. I have to speak generally to ensure that my posts help the majority, but that means that some sections might not be right for you, or might not be aimed at you. Perhaps you don’t have any issues with diet, or your skin might love the sun… just take what you need from the below and ignore what you don’t!
But the most important thing to bear in mind is that a holiday (and life in general!) is meant to be enjoyable. To some, the advice below will seem like a restriction that you do not want on your holiday – that’s fine! I wanted to share these tips for those who find that their skin can have a negative impact on their holiday and want help with that. For me, ‘cheating’ on my routine results in a flare up that makes me feel self-conscious, uncomfortable, and upset and this has ruined entire days of my holiday in the past. Only you can find the balance between ‘restrictions’ and enjoyment, and only you can weigh up those choices.
Enough preamble! Let’s crack on with the tips.
- STICK TO WHAT YOU KNOW
- Now is not the time to try new products! I know it can be tempting when you see all the cute mini bottles everywhere in the summer months, but your skin will already be stressed by a change in your routine so a change in skincare is asking for trouble. If you’re short on space and can’t take your full size skincare with you, pick up some miniatures to decant your products into.
- AEROPLANE PREP
- Obviously this depends on how long you’re flying for, but if you are going to be on-board for longer than 3 hours then I would recommend reading THIS POST which contains my tips for long-haul flight skincare. The basics? Keep your skin hydrated, skip the free booze and salty snacks, drink tons of water, keep the blind closed. Your skin will thank you.
- BE MINDFUL OF YOUR DIET
- If you’re anything like me, holidays will almost entirely revolve around food: foreign delicacies, meals out, cocktails… it’s sometimes hard to rein myself in when I’m away. Try to remember that your skin thrives on routine, so anything out of the ordinary will impact it. That goes for food too, so don’t go too overboard.
- SLEEP TIGHT
- On my past few holidays I have taken my own pillowcase with me and it has made a huge difference to my skin. As I spoke about in THIS POST, my rosacea is always worst on my right side and I am convinced that it’s because it’s the side I sleep on. The detergents that we use on bedding can easily aggravate the skin – people really love heavily-fragranced detergents and fabric softeners because they associate the smell with cleanliness. But for those of us with atypical skin it can be very irritating. I’ve found that packing a pillowcase washed in my usual detergent (Neutral 0% Sensitive Washing Liquid and Fabric Conditioner*) saves me from irritation.
- CHECK THE WEATHER
- My rosacea is triggered by any extremes of weather: heat, cold, wind, rain… you name it, my skin hates it. So it’s important to look at the typical weather for your destination and plan accordingly. If it’s going to be cold or windy you might need some kind of barrier cream to protect the skin (this post has my holy grail recommendation); think about clothing that can protect you (a sun hat, a scarf/snood to cover your face if it’s windy or cold); or look at handheld fans to keep you cool… Preparation is key.
- SUN PROTECTION
- Everyone should be using sun protection, regardless of whether you’re going on a beach holiday or city break: if you are going to be outside, you should be wearing protection (and reapplying regularly!). It doesn’t matter if it’s mid-winter and cloudy, if the sun is in the sky it’s emitting damaging rays so slap on your cream. I have a post on my favourite SPFs coming soon, but regulars around here will know that my favourite is the La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light.
- BE HONEST
- Skin conditions (or atypical skin) can be a mystery to those who don’t suffer, so you need to learn to be open and honest with the people around you. For years I would keep my mouth shut because I didn’t want to be a killjoy: “Of course I don’t mind sitting in a beer garden in direct sunlight!” … “The menu looks pretty gluten/dairy/spice heavy but I’m sure I’ll find something!” … “Hand luggage only? Only allowed 2 skincare items? No problem!” I thought I was being easy-going and accommodating, but the resulting flare ups made me awful to be around and actually ended up being more disruptive than me just saying “Sorry to be awkward but can we find somewhere with shade?” or “I’ve done some research and I’ve found a restaurant that looks great for everyone” or “Hand-luggage only? AAHAHHAHAHAHA no.” Your friends and family want you to enjoy your holiday and won’t be angry if you tell them how they can help make that happen.
- BE KIND TO YOURSELF
- As I mentioned before we got into the travel tips, remember that this is a holiday. If you spend the entire break worrying about your diet, your skincare, the weather, the bedding, you’re going to be miserable and come home feeling more stressed than you were before. Try to take these tips on board and adopt them if they are useful, but don’t restrict yourself so much that you ruin your holiday. Sometimes the joy of eating an enormous cheese plate after spending a day walking around a new city can outweigh the misery of a flare up. Only you can know where the tipping point is, so trust yourself.
I hope you found these travel tips useful – if there are any tips that you swear by, please leave them below so others can learn from you!
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