Whether you’re on a beach break or mountain escape, skin protection starts before you leave your home
Words by KELLY ATTERTON
Southern California is known for its temperate climate. But when you take a trip somewhere hot and humid, you should switch up your skincare routine and maybe even get pre- and post-vacation treatments to keep skin clear of breakouts, sun damage, and hyperpigmentation.
The sun is going to be your skin’s biggest stressor, and your choice of sunscreen matters. “Humidity can lead to sweat trapping oil in the pores leading to breakouts,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Nancy Samolitis, a co-founder of Facile Dermatology + Boutique. She recommends looking for sunscreen with ingredients like niacinamide.
Increased sun exposure can also cause “the development of excess pigmentation that can lead to uneven skin tone,” says Dr. Samolitis. Help keep those sun spots at bay with brightening and anti-inflammatory ingredients in your skincare, such as azelaic acid, used in conjunction with sunscreen. Start using these products during your trip, but increase usage when you get home to lift away any melasma and dark spots.
Prevention is also important. Days before you hit the sun and sand, get your skin ready for the pore-clogging sweat and increased SPF use. Try an exfoliating mask with alpha and beta hydroxy acids to target all skin layers, like Facile’s The Buzz. Use it at home to remove buildup and prevent blemishes pre- and post-trip, or head to a facialist to get an exfoliating in-office treatment. Skip the peels, though — they might be too harsh before you travel.
Focus on strengthening your moisture barrier before you leave
KNESKO Amethyst Hydrate face mask, $42.
When you abandon 70-degree SoCal weather for a vacation in a chilly, snow-covered locale, your skin is going to go through an entirely different journey. Wearing daily sunscreen is important no matter where you are, but the sun isn’t going to be your biggest issue. Instead, you’re going to want to focus on hydrating and strengthening your moisture barrier before you leave, while you’re there, and especially when you get back.
“When you go on vacation, in addition to the cold temperature, you can usually also expect the effects of wind and lower humidity on the skin,” says Dr. Samolitis. “This type of environment can disrupt the skin barrier leading to dryness, redness, and sensitivity.” Start using your most hydrating products ASAP, especially those with moisture-binding hyaluronic acid like in Facile’s Dew You.
Those with especially sensitive skin, who are prone to redness and irritation, should look out for barrier-restoring ingredients like niacinamide, aloe, phytosphingosine, and ceramides, says Dr. Samolitis. A serum like Facile’s Destress can be used at home with your regular routine to help nourish and soothe skin while preventing it from environmental damage. All skin types would also benefit from a facial with a hydrating mask.
FACILE The Buzz Exfoliating Mask, $38.
LEFT: PAULA’S CHOICE Azelaic Acid Booster, $39. RIGHT: ELTA MD UV Clear SPF 46, $41.
Feature image: ELTA MD UV Clear SPF 46, $41. KNESKO Amethyst Hydrate face mask, $42. PAULA’S CHOICE Azelaic Acid Booster, $39.
This story originally appeared in the Fashionable Living 2023 issue of C Magazine.
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