Rosacea Travel Tips: The Ultimate Guide To Happy Skin

A few days ago I wrote a post about the products I took on holiday to Japan: what I used on the plane, what skincare I took with me, what make up I chose, and a few bits I bought to use straight away. This post is a follow on from that post and covers the ultimate rosacea travel tips – going beyond beauty and delving into trigger management, how to prepare, and how your mindset can help.

Similarly to my previous blog post, I’m going to split this post out into three sections: pre-flight, flight, and the actual holiday. Even if you’re not flying on this holiday, I’d recommend reading these tips anyway as something might resonate.


    • Last time we went to Japan, the jetlag ruined me for about 3 days and I was determined to do what I could to mitigate that. I found an app called ‘timeshifter’ where you enter your flight details and it gives you a personalised schedule to follow, starting a few days before the flight and ends a few days after. It suggests your bed time, wake up time, when to have coffee, when to get out in bright sunlight etc. It’s so clever and it genuinely really helped – plus there’s a free trial for your first trip, so you can give it a go for free if you’re dubious as I was!
    • I stock up on melatonin whenever we go anywhere that sells it over the counter (usually Amsterdam) because it’s prescription-only in the UK. These help to nudge your sleep schedule which further helps with jetlag. Poor sleep is a big rosacea trigger for me, so anything I can do to improve my sleep is great for my skin.
    • Dehydration is another trigger for my rosacea so I prepare for my flight by upping my water intake in the days leading up to travel. Dehydrated skin can contribute to an impaired skin barrier, something we’re more susceptible to as rosaceans already so we don’t want to worsen it. There is more information about the skin barrier, as well as tips and recommendations, in this blog post.
    • While we’re on the topic of triggers, it’s a good idea to avoid or reduce your exposure to your triggers in the week running up to travel. Your skin is going to have enough to deal with, so you’re trying to go into that situation with your skin in a happy and calm state (or as close as you can get to it). This all relates to the ‘bucket theory’ for rosacea management, which you can learn about here.
    • Make sure your carry-on bag has everything you might need to hand. I cover the skincare products I took on the flight in this post, but try to think of anything that will make you feel more comfortable, less stressed, and (if you’re travelling long-haul) things that will help trick your brain into thinking it’s a regular bedtime. I made sure I had a cosy jumper, a handheld fan, my headphones, my Kindle, snacks, an eye mask, my water bottle… your list might look different but just think about anything that will help.


    • As mentioned above, the flight itself is already going to be stressing you/your skin out, so we don’t want to cause more by adding in unnecessary triggers. Alcohol is a diuretic which means it will dehydrate you and, as we know, that’s bad for skin in general but rosacea in particular. I stick to water, or ginger ale if my stomach needs settling, and I also packed some electrolyte powder (read more about those in this post).
    • I cover my skincare specifics in more detail in this post, but my absolute non-negotiables are: a cleanser (to remove everything when I get on the plane), a moisturiser (which I apply whenever my skin feels tight), eye drops, lip balm, hand cream, and sunscreen (for applying before getting off the plane or during the flight if you’re sat in the window – I would much rather just close my blind but sometimes you can’t do that!) I add in a sheet mask because I know I don’t sleep well on planes and anything that passes the time (and makes me feel like I’m doing something to help my skin) helps me to relax.
    • As I touched on earlier, the best way to get to sleep on a plane is to try to trick your brain into thinking it’s a normal day. That means following your routine as best you can. I wore baggy clothes (because I’d never sleep in tight, restrictive clothes), I did my skincare routine, and read on my Kindle. Do whatever you need to – you will never seen anyone on this plane again.


    • Taking your full skincare routine away with you can be difficult and annoying, and I know it can be tempting to just go and get any random travel-size products you can find to save space, but routine is key when you have rosacea. Changing your skincare routine on top of all the other changes is asking for trouble. Either find mini versions of your existing routine, or decant products into travel pots if possible. And don’t just think about your facial skincare, I also took my tried and true shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body moisturiser decanted into smaller bottles. The products in hotels are usually packed full of fragrance and are guaranteed to set my skin off.
    • Regardless of what kind of holiday you’re having, you need to stay hydrated. As I mentioned in the ‘flight’ section, rosacea skin is more likely to struggle with an impaired skin barrier, so whatever we can do to help that is great.
    • When I’m on holiday, I know certain triggers are unavoidable for me: I will probably be eating differently, drinking more alcohol, and not sleeping as well. This means that I will need to balance out those triggers and be more careful with my other triggers (this is the bucket theory in action again!) Please remember that trigger management is complicated enough when you’re at home and (mostly) in control of things around you, so please try to show yourself compassion if things are a little wobbly on holiday.
    • I’ve covered sunscreen in my previous post, so I won’t dwell on that. But two products I was so thankful for on this holiday were my UPF hat (I got mine from Uniqlo, apparently it’s not available in the UK although I’ve been seeing these ones from Solbari all over the internet and they are lovely) and my UPF umbrella. Umbrellas in particular are so popular in Japan, so I didn’t stand out at all. Last summer, we went to Turkey and I got some weird looks and smirks from other British people, but I genuinely didn’t care because my comfort, happiness, and health is far more important to me than what some sunburned stranger thinks of me!
    • I take my own pillowcases with me on holiday because – again – hotels tend to use quite harsh and strongly-scented washing detergents which I know my skin will hate. This may seem high-maintenance, but we are trying to keep as many things the same as we can so that our skin is in a better position to deal with the things we can’t control. Two pillowcases take up no space in your suitcase so it’s an easy addition. In case you’re looking for a new detergent recommendation, I love the Fairy non-bio range, which is approved by the Skin Health Alliance.
    • My hair is long and there’s a lot of it, so washing and drying takes ages. I speed up the process with a jersey cotton hair towel from Good Wash Day, a fantastic independent UK brand. This towel dries the hair quicker, reducing the need for a hairdryer which a huge trigger for my rosacea, plus it reduces frizz. I bought the leopard print one because, as we all know, leopard print is a neutral. Like the pillowcases, a hair towel may seem like a needless inclusion in a suitcase already full to the brim, but my skin and my hair were very happy I brought it.
    • This might be one of the most important points in this whole post, but one I think people will skip because it isn’t quite as simple as remembering to pack something in your suitcase. You must remember that holidays are supposed to be fun, they’re meant to be relaxing and exciting and memorable. Your skin might flare up, it might react to things it wouldn’t usually, it might take longer to calm down and you might feel stressed and frustrated and sad. That is understandable, but please don’t let it ruin your holiday. Focus on what’s important: who you are with, where you are, what you’re doing. My skin flared up at least once a day while we were in Japan, which is really unusual for me these days. The heat, the food, the alcohol, the travelling, the change in routine… it was a lot. But I refused to let it spoil what was a fantastic and special holiday. Don’t let yourself spiral, because stressing is only going to make your skin worse. Try to remember that you are doing the best you can and controlling what you can control – anything else is not your fault and therefore not worth focusing on. If you need some tips for managing stress, this post may help.

I really hope that you found this blog post useful. Let me know your rosacea travel tips in the comments!



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