Holiday Skincare Tips: How To Look After Your Skin This Summer

So you are counting down the days until you finally get to go on your summer holiday. Whether it’s a lazy week on a beach in Greece, an activity-filled Mediterranean cruise – or a week of partying in Marbella, here at Dermatica we want to make sure your skin is glowing, beautiful and of course well-protected during your time away. The last thing you want to be dealing with on your well-deserved break is irritating skin issues. So here are my top tips for looking after your skin when you jet off this summer…

Plan & Prepare

The week before you go away is a key time to prepare. If you need to do any hair removal, this is the time for waxing and epilation. Exfoliating your body daily with a loofah or gloves as well as daily moisturising will help your skin look smooth and flawless. Book your spray tan in the evening before you jet off and sleep with it on to ensure a beautiful, golden glow when you step off the plane.

For your face, continue your normal regime the week before you go. If you are using a retinoid, self-tanner on your face probably won’t last so you might consider stopping your retinoid right before and during your holiday if you plan on using self-tan on your face. I suggest using a gradual tan product on your face for five to seven days before your holiday. If you suffer from acne, this should not make you break out.

Pack Light…but Right!

No one wants to travel with a suitcase full of lotions and potions. You need to streamline your skincare so you can fit more shoes in your bag, of course! This is the time to only pack absolute essentials and for me, that’s only four products:

1. Cleanser: I love an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and clean skin in one step. DHC makes a 30 ml size bottle which is very travel-friendly. I am not a fan of skin wipes because they can be drying and irritating, but they are good for removing heavy makeup after a night out as well as cleaning your face quickly during the day if you get sweaty. Just remember to reapply sunscreen!

2. Tinted SPF 50 for daytime: instead of makeup or foundation, get a tinted SPF 50 that can do it all. I always brush on my bronzer on top of this to give me a golden glow to match my (self) tanned body.

3. Your Dermatica skincare product for before bed!

4. A lightweight moisturiser if your skin is feeling dry – right now, in this hot weather in England, I really like using Cerave facial lotion.

Leave the toners and serums and the rest of your stash at home – you don’t need them and as long as you can cleanse, protect and moisturise your skin, as well as continue using your targeted prescription treatment, your skin won’t know the difference.

Consider buying your sunscreen at the airport. This way, you save on luggage weight at check-in. The last thing I want you to do is to pack the right amount of sunscreen and then, at the last minute, leave it at home because your suitcase is overweight!

Other holiday essentials

-Insect repellent.

-Plenty of sunscreen – including an SPF 50 lip balm and SPF stick for hard to reach areas like ears and eyelids – at least four x 200 ml bottles if you are going to be away for seven days!

-A wide-brimmed hat.

-Steroid ointment – in case you get lots of mosquito bites or an itchy rash. You can buy one percent hydrocortisone over-the-counter.

-Exfoliating gloves – to keep your skin smooth and help your self-tan fade naturally.

-Shot glass and a teaspoon – to measure out the correct volume of sunscreen for your body. That’s 36 grams from head to toe. You need about one teaspoon for your entire face and ears.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy your holiday! You can rest in the knowledge that you are taking good care of your skin – now go and soak up some rays and take a much-needed dip in the ocean (just don’t forget the SPF 50!)

Dr Natalia Spierings
Dr Natalia Spierings
Dr Spierings is a leading consultant dermatologist in the UK with a medical degree from St George's University of London. She has a decade's worth of experience treating acne and anti-ageing, and is dedicated to providing safe, efficient and patient-centred care at every opportunity.
Originally published July 09 2018, updated June 27 2019

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