Common Skin Problems While Traveling (and How to Avoid Them)

skin-care concept

Moving from place to place, not getting enough sleep, eating not-so-skin-friendly food, being exposed to pollutants and dry air—these are common experiences while traveling. While traveling is almost always a fun experience, it can often take a toll on our body, particularly our skin. And the next thing you know, you’re breaking out and you don’t know what to do about it.

Breaking out is just one of the skin problems that you can encounter while traveling. There’s also irritation, dry skin, sunburn, and even rashes. To prevent any of these skin issues from happening to you, here are the best things that you can do.

Dry skin

If you’re traveling by plane, the dry air in the cabin can quickly suck up the moisture from your skin and lead to redness and inflammation, among other things. It can get even worse if your destination has cold and dry weather. To avoid dry skin from plaguing your entire trip, start moisturizing even before you leave. Use your favorite natural facial mud mask to strip away dirt and help lock in moisture. Introduce further hydration to your face by using an oil-based serum and a hydrating sheet mask.

Don’t forget to moisturize your body as well, unless you want to end up with ashy skin after getting off the plane. Apply a thin layer of lotion on your body, paying close attention to the parts that will be exposed to dry cabin air. It’s also a good idea to keep a small tube of moisturizer and lotion in your carry-on for easy re-hydration during the flight.


Acne breakouts are the most common skin problem for many travelers and are often the most frustrating. No one wants to take travel pictures with huge zits on their face—so how do you prevent a breakout from ruining your trip?

There are four main causes of breakouts, namely excess oil production, clogged hair follicles, inflammation, and bacteria. There are also certain factors that can trigger or exacerbate acne, including hormonal changes, stress, diet, and medications—all of which can be present while traveling.

With all these considered, here are the best ways to prevent acne breakouts while traveling.

  • Watch what you eat. Food rich in carbohydrates and oils can play its hand in triggering acne. While it may be tempting to eat anything and everything that you see while traveling, try not to overdo it.
  • Get enough sleepLack of sleep is a known cause of breakouts. Try to get enough sleep while in transit or at the hotel. If you have trouble falling asleep in other places (or in general), bring sleep aids like melatonin or a white noise machine.
  • Stress. Your face can show that you’re stressed in more ways than one. Use relaxation techniques to help curb your stress levels while traveling.
  • Remove excess oilToo much oil is a primary cause of acne breakouts. Remove excess oil by using oil film strips or micellar water, which are easy to use while on the go.
  • Bring anti-acne products. In case of a breakout, you can reduce the inflammation with an anti-acne roll-on or pimple patches.

Sunburn and saltwater/chlorine problems

drinking water concept

Every time you’re going out, even if it’s cloudy outside, make sure your skin is protected with sunscreen. This is especially important if you have sensitive skin, as sunburn can easily cause irritation and cracking.

Unfortunately, the sun is not your only enemy. Saltwater and chlorine can also wreak havoc on your skin and cause rashes, dryness, and irritation. To protect your skin while swimming, take these necessary precautions.

  • Drink lots of water. Make it a point to drink plenty of water before, during, and after swimming to make up for the water lost by sweating.
  • Condition your hair. Protect your hair and scalp from drying out by deep conditioning your hair before and after swimming.
  • Rinse before and afterGive your body a good rinse before swimming to create an extra layer of protection from chlorine or saltwater. After swimming, rinse off your body to get rid of irritants as soon as possible.

Rashes and irritation

Hotel sheets, harsh detergent, polluted air—all of these and more can cause rashes and irritation while traveling. The best way to avoid these skin problems is by avoiding the source of irritants altogether, like bringing your own pillowcase, purchasing hypoallergenic detergent (if you’re doing laundry while traveling), and not pressing your skin against dirty furniture, just to name a few.


Don’t let your skin take the brunt of your adventures. Take note of these tips to prevent skin problems from spoiling your trip, most especially if you have sensitive skin or are already going through skin problems in general.

Share this post:
Scroll to Top