Skincare Essentials | The Travel Edition

I love pretty much everything about travelling. Even the airport and the build-up is all fun for me. But the one part I had always found challenging, is how to keep up my skincare routine both en route and mid-trip.

Having been lucky enough to escape to various different places over the past twelve months, I’ve finally collated my list of go-to products to get my blemish-prone, forever challenging skin through any kind of trip.

Supergoop, Everyday Sunscreen
The importance of protecting your skin against the effects of the sun year-round has definitely been communicated more widely online of late, and having dabbled in the world of acids and peels which make the skin even more sensitive the sun, my need is that much greater.

After trawling through numerous brands and formulations and experiencing countless breakouts, I finally came across the Supergoop brand, along with their brilliant reputation and penchant for making killer sunscreens.

‘Everyday Sunscreen’ sounded like where I needed to be, and it was definitely the right option for my skin. There’s no heavy fragrance, the texture is robust enough to reassure you that it’s there but not overly thick and cakey, it doesn’t mess with your moisturiser and makeup goes over it like a dream.

It’s here to stay and possibly my favourite product to date.

Origins, GinZing Eye Cream
My eyes are notoriously puffy when I’m tired, and flying increases that tenfold.

I’m pretty new to the world of eye creams, but after being a religious user of the scrub in the same GinZing range from Origins, it seemed to be a good place to start when buying my first product.

The texture is thick and creamy but blends well into the under-eye skin with a soft dabbing motion. I use it day and night as it too sits very well under makeup, and it’s brightening formula takes away the need to apply concealer in that area.

But most importantly, I noticed a huge improvement in my puffy eye bag situation in just a few uses, so this one is definitely a keeper.

Glossier, Super Pure Serum
If you’re looking for a serum that plays well with blemish prone skin, I’d recommend this one for sure. It’s almost watery texture sinks into skin in seconds and doesn’t leave the tacky layer on my skin which can usually be associated with serums.

Because of this, it’s a great product for keeping moisture balanced throughout the day, without leaving a sticky base for your makeup.

Nip + Fab, Dragon’s Blood Fix Plumping Mask Extreme
I love a good sheet mask. They’re my pre-flight holy grail for keeping skin hydrated and preventing those horrendous breakouts.

This is one of my favourites, firstly because of it’s incredible after effects, but also because the scent and general experience of using the thing is so great. It’s not overly gloopy like some sheet masks can be, and it sticks to your skin really easily without slipping around.

Pop one of these on for 15 minutes before you head to the airport and it might just change your whole trip…

Glossier, Balm dotcom
I went for the coconut option and this universal balm is quite simply the best thing I have found for mid-flight or climate affected lips. It smells UNREAL and can consistently be found loitering in my handbag.

The Ordinary, AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
After a course of high-intensity salicylic peels, I wanted something to keep my breakouts at bay on a weekly basis, which led me to this product from one of my favourite skincare brands, The Ordinary.

It looks a bit like you’ve smeared blood all over your face during the 10 minute treatment time, but the effects (and the ability to fuck with your loved ones) are worth it. Using this once or twice a week while away helps to keep the nasties away and keep skin soft and clean in any climate.


The great thing about all of these products is they’re all suitable for travelling light, so you won’t need to worry about sacrificing your skincare routine on your weekend away. Just make sure you remind your drunk self to actually use them…

A salicylic experience

This skincare business can be fucking ridiculous sometimes.

If someone sat you down and told you they were going to pour fire on your face for the next five minutes, you would tell them exactly where they could shove it.

You definitely wouldn’t lie there, hair tied back in waiting (having just let them remove all of your makeup), and let them do it. No sane person does that shit. And yet, here we are…

So, I got a salicylic skin peel, and boy does it sting like a bitch…but why would anyone put themselves through this madness, and better still, pay for the privilege of getting their face burned? Here’s what I found:

The pain is temporary

Despite the melodrama, the severe stinging and ‘burning’ sensation that is caused by the peel is actually very short lived and only lasts for a few minutes. So grand scheme of things, it’s definitely manageable.

The peeling is temporary

This is something I had to keep reminding myself in the days following the first peel (yes first, I actually went back…) when my skin was quite literally falling off my face. It wasn’t a pretty sight or a pretty feeling, but you do eventually get into the ‘greater good’ mindset and look forward to the more long-term results it can bring.

You need to keep at it

The results were really strong in my case, and I definitely became a lot less prone to breakouts when combining the peels with a solid skincare routine and a healthy diet. It was definitely a process for me though, and following my course of 5 peels all 2-3 weeks apart, I’m strongly considering continuing on with monthly top-ups to keep on top of my skin.

It’s definitely not cheap

With a new customer discount included, my 5 session package cost just over £400, which works out as more than £80 per peel. When you add that to the cost of the accompanying skincare regime, the cost really starts to rack up…

You have to pay attention to your skin

I found that the cleanser provided as part of the skincare regime wasn’t enough to remove all of my makeup in the evenings, so I incorporated a two-step cleanse into my nightly routine. Not all products work for everyone, so you need to find what works for you and give it a good two week run before you decide whether it’s for you.

Overall, the peels have given me the kickstart my skin needed to get back on track, and while they can cause short-term stress if your skin flakes excessively, the effect that they can have on the skin’s texture and complexion is pretty impressive. Definitely recommended.

I booked my salicylic peels through SK:N Clinics who have branches all over the UK, however, there are a growing number of clinic chains whose prices will vary – always do your research and book in a consultation before receiving any treatment.

I have ‘bad’ skin

Since age 11, I’ve had a pretty turbulent relationship with my skin. My dermatological history is littered with various doctors, opinions, experts and disappointments. I’ve been on the pill, antibiotics, cream/gel treatments and even the demonic Roaccutane. Twice. (If you’ve had any experience with it, you’ll know – that shit sucks).

And, unfortunately for me, the love/hate situation is ongoing…

It’s really hard to describe the effect acne has on your wellbeing. For me, it’s a constant distraction and I’m always thinking about whether my skin issues are noticeable, whether light is hitting me in an unflattering way (fuck you downlighting, no one likes you) or whether I have any concealer on me at the time in case of a code red. Honestly, even typing the word acne makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth. I hate it.

The feeling of having to put a whole new face on every day just to feel like yourself, is what I can only describe as exhausting. It changes who I am as a person unmeasurably; I just can’t be ME with my full, aggravated, red face showing. And that is a really hard truth to deal with sometimes.

What I wouldn’t give to wake up without the overwhelming urge to hide in a hole, dive for my makeup bag and avoid all human contact until the end of time. The effort and energy that it takes to stay positive and not stress out (and make everything a million times worse) is huge, and I’d be lying if I said that my biggest battle hasn’t always been internal. I’m actually writing this on a particularly ‘bad’ skin day and have nearly gone full meltdown on more than one occasion already. It’s 7.30…

The worst thing about it all, is the impact it has and how often it manages to ruin your state of mind. Thinking you’re a strong person and then catching sight of your reflection and having the personality sapped out of you in literally seconds is not fun.

Also, telling someone that they ‘look fine’ can actually just make things worse because you can really feel like you’re being lied to by family and friends – it’s irrational, but it’s there, and it can put a huge strain on relationships.

All this being said, I want to end on a positive here, because acne should never win.

To anyone suffering even a little of what I’ve described: You’re beautiful. And it will never define you. Don’t let any bitch dull your shine.

To the lucky ones: Be kind – whether it’s to those with acne or any other skin related issue. You never know the effect your words may have.