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World Traveler Skincare: Top 9 Travel Skincare TipsFeatured

Ever gotten off a plane thinking, I wonder if my epidermis is in baggage claim? Or put mentholated vaginal wash on a rash after desperately trying (and failing) to navigate a pharmacy in a foreign country? What about an epic breakout the night before a big meeting or your best friend’s beach wedding? Skincare can’t be suspended just because you’re not at home. We asked the most peripatetic people we knew…how do you keep skin happy when traveling? Holly Byerly, Senior Esthetician and Brand Educator for VMV Hypoallegenics put together these 9 top skincare and beauty tips to help keep your skin in ship shape throughout your journey.

1. Passport. Phone. Regimen.

Pack your essentials. “It’s important to maintain your routine. Travel with the products that work well for you instead of making do with hotel amenities or nothing at all. Even a week away from your regular skin care can make you regret it.” This means keeping up your daily sunscreen, too!
Holly packs SuperSkin Care Hydra Balance Smart Cleanser, Hydra Balance Cleansing Scrub and Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer, plus Know-It-Oil, The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm and Armada Face Cover 30 sunscreen.

2. Pre-Flight: Go Lightly.

Head to your flight with a clean and freshly hydrated face, free of foundation and powder.
If you feel too naked, opt for a few dabs of Skin-The-Buff Concealer, a Sheer Lip Tint and Ooh-La-Lash! Mascara.

3. Dress Code: Flexible-Smart-Comfortable.

Dress so you can relax but not be disheveled. Being put together upon arrival helps you look peppier than you might actually feel. Light, wrinkle-free fabrics can help you sleep better and prevent lines in skin, which can get particularly deep as our extremities swell mid flight. Leggings are a great option — besides being super comfortable and easy to dress up or down, they prevent the edges of your pants from coming into contact with bathroom floors. Keep a sweater handy for temperature fluctuations. A dressier jacket in your hand carried luggage instantly makes you look more structured (and gives you more pockets!).

4. The Only 8 Makeup Items You’ll Ever Need For Travel

I like to travel with as little as possible. With these mega-multitaskers, I can do just that!
#1 & 2: Skin-The-Bluff Concealers in No More Blues (the yellow is fundamental to camouflage tired undereyes!) and N1 (my shade).
#2: Antioxidant Powder Foundation. I like the flexibility: one product for light, medium or heavy coverage.
#3: (H)Eyebrow Eye + Brow Liner. Again, one product for brows and liner…even shadowing!
#4: Skin Bloom Blush in Bellini. I use this always-flattering-all-year shade not only as my cheek color, but also as an eyeshadow. It really wakes up tired skin and eyes!
#5: Two True Hues Eyeshadow Duo. This earthy duo works well with (H)Eyebrow & Bellini for, you guessed, it, multiple options (see a trend here?)
#6 & 7: Sheer Lip Tint in Bubblegum and Velvet Matte Lipstick in Light My Fire (because who can travel with just one lipstick??). I mix a bit of Boo-Boo Balm with Light My Fire for a less intense color in the daytime, and use it by itself for a more dramatic nighttime look.
#8: Ooh-La-Lash! Volumizing Mascara. This buildable, smear-proof formula is the traveler’s dream.

5. Soar! Not, SORE…

Especially on flights longer than 6 hours, make sure your carry-on has a couple of basic hydration boosters. Mid-way through, take a moment to cleanse and rehydrate your skin. I suggest mini sizes of your SuperSkin Care Cleanser, Know-It-Oil, and Boo-Boo Balm for an in-flight skin quench.

6. Healthy Hydration

Travel with an empty water bottle and refill frequently to make sure you drink plenty of water during your flight. This is especially true for kids who need even more hydration than we do.
Avoid sugary juices or sodas, coffee and alcohol — stick to water or soda water to keep your body and skin as hydrated as possible. This is important for the flight as well as post-flight recovery.

7. Bye-Bye, Boo-Boo’s!

Nicks, cracking skin, dry insides of nostrils…if you have to pack ONE thing, it’s The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm.
KID TIP: Make kids “captains” of specific tasks (“you’re the water captain” or “you’re the Boo-Boo Balm captain”). This builds their self esteem, makes them feel like part of the adventure (instead of like extra luggage), keeps them focused and can be surprisingly helpful!

8. Post-Flight Skincare:

When you have a moment to yourself, cleanse your skin and apply an easy-to-mix hydrating mask:
Pour equal parts Know-It-Oil and the SuperSkin Care Moisturizer for your skin type into a glass or bowl. Apply onto skin. Leave on for 20 minutes or overnight for a more intense skin treatment.

9. Jump start recovery:

You’d be amazed at what 60 minutes can “dew.”
One facial or spa treatment can mean instant refreshment and recovery. Traveling to San Francisco? Call (415) 255 9510 to book a facial or spa treatment with Holly at Hayes Valley Medical & Esthetics. Or call (212) 217 2762 to get your “dew” at our VMV Skin-Specialist Boutique in Soho if the big apple’s on your itinerary!
While we may not be able to control the weather, the lines or baggage handling, we can take command of our own smooth sailing!

Featured, Skin, Tip of the Week

How To "Dew" Dry Skin Right

Dry skin — anything from generally being acne-free to visible peeling or hypersensitivity — can be something you’re born with or develop over time. Like our muscles or heart, our skins change over time, depending on what we’re eating, where we’re living, how we’re taking care of it, and regular ol’ aging. Being so “out there,” the skin can react to things it’s exposed to, what’s applied to it, the weather and our overall health faster than any other body part. But if the skin is so flexible and strong (it’s our first line of defines against the world), why is it so…vulnerable? We asked a published dermatologist and dermatopathologist (specialists at diagnosing skin at the cellular level) to help us understand what makes dry skin, and how can we better take care of it, so it can take better care of us.

What Causes Dry Skin?

Prunes with plums in small sack

Water and lipids (oils and fats) keep skin plump, firm and healthy. Barrier integrity is key.

On why dry skin happens: Dry skin occurs primarily from the loss of two very important things: lipids (oils) and water.
The outermost layer of skin is the barrier layer and it is largely made up of oil (lipids: free fatty acids, ceramides) and water. In this oil and water mixture, the lipids regulate the skin’s water content. Healthy skin retains water well, keeping it hydrated, smooth, pliable and soft. When the skin loses the protective oils, transepidermal water loss (the loss of water through the skin) increases to many times more than normal. This begins a “snowballing” effect that eventually not only causes dry skin but continues to maintain dryness.
On how dry skin creates more dryness and other problems: The outer keratin layers need a concentration of water of 10-20% in order for them to maintain their integrity (healthy structure and function). When water loss occurs, skin cells curl upwards, shrink, scales develop, and cell volume decreases (imagine a grape shrinking and shriveling into a raisin from water loss). The decrease in cell volume leads to cells becoming inelastic. And when this happens fissures or cracks in the skin can occur, leading to inflammation and the inflow of cellular factors that disrupt skin integrity further.

Why Can Dry Skin Be More Prone to Irritations, Allergies and Skin Reactions?

When your skin is in this compromised condition, it allows the easier entry of ingredients that can produce an allergic or irritant reaction, and microorganisms that can cause infection — all of which also contribute to the state of dry skin being maintained. In this state, be extra careful about what you apply. A product you think will give you relief could instead, if it contains irritants, cause further damage and lead to increased dryness.
To counteract the conditions that predispose people to get dry skin, remember: it is crucial to maintain adequate oil and water in the barrier layer of your skin.

What To “Dew” To Prevent Dry Skin?

1. Don’t Find Yourself in Hot Water

Hot water encourages the evaporation of water from the skin barrier. Keep water temperature tepid and take shorter showers.

2. Play Misty For Me

Cold air outside and warm air inside produces low humidity, made worse by central and forced-air heating. Air conditioning in the summer is drying,too. Some things you can do to help counteract this environment:

  • Use a humidifier at home. In your bedroom, try to position it as near you as possible without compromising safety.
  • In the summer, or if you live where it’s warmer, lower the strength of the AC.
  • In offices with air conditioning year round, be extra conscientious about your skin care regimen.
  • If you spend lots of time outdoors, remember that wind can be a formidable drying factor. Moisturize frequently.

3. Watch the pH


The skin’s pH is naturally more acidic, with a pH of 4-6.5. A skincare product with a high pH level tends to denature (destroys the characteristic or natural properties of) the skin’s proteins. Due to the way they’re made, solid bar soaps have higher pH levels (some going as high as 8 or 9) Use creamier cleansers instead of soaps. For hydration, use oils, moisturizers, and other products with a pH level adjusted to the skin’s normal pH of 4-6.5.

4. Think “Softly” — Not Squeaky — Clean

In cleaning products, it is the oil molecules that actually do the, um, dirty work, grabbing and trapping the dirt for rinsing away. But — arguably because of the association of a dry feel with cleanliness — many products made for bathing, facial cleansing, hand washing, shaving, etc. use stronger de-greasing agents which remove both the dirt-laden oil molecules as well as clean, barrier-protective oils and the skin’s natural lipids.  Avoid anything that promises to get you extra-clean or remove oil, as well as rough scrubs that further deplete sebum. Instead, use hair care, liquid or cream cleansers for the face and body, and other products made to enhance oil-retention. Try Essence Skin-Saving Clark Wash (the mild-mannered alter ego to our classic SuperWash).

5. “Moist” Is Your New Favorite Word

Daily and as needed throughout the day, use oils or moisturizers without allergens, irritants, additives or preservatives, such as virgin coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil has the added benefit of its fatty acids being native to skin — so instead of merely preventing water loss, it helps replace lost lipids.

A great tip: after bathing or showering, don’t towel dry completely. Instead, while your skin is still damp, immediately apply an oil or moisturizer on your skin to replace the oils lost in bathing and to trap in water. For very dry areas, you can add on petroleum jelly (again, one with no additives)…which, due to its barrier capabilities, is still a reliable favorite among many dermatologists. Massage well into moist skin. If you have exceptionally dry skin, apply the petroleum jelly before bathing to protect the problem areas (reapply after as well, if needed). Try The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm, which doubles as an anti-inflammatory for reactive skin and an anti-microbial to help control those pesky microorganisms that can worsen dry or atopic skin.

Take note that the most commonly affected areas are the lower legs, arms, thighs, sides of the abdomen, hands, and face.

6. Your Daily Skin Regimen is a Healthy Habit

As with your daily workouts and good nutrition, healthy habits are for your fitness and wellbeing…with looking great as an upside. The same goes for your daily skincare regimen. Proper maintenance (gentle cleansing, rich hydration and protection) keeps dry skin at bay which, as we know now, tends to become a self-sustaining vicious cycle.
Use a hydrating (as opposed to a de-greasing) cream cleanser for the face, a non-drying toner (perhaps one with active anti-aging ingredients) or if your skin is already very dry, skip the toner altogether, and an intensive moisturizer. Look for products with no allergens (fragrances, preservatives, dyes, etc.) and other irritants.
Shown here: Moisture Rich Creammmy Cleansing Milk, Superskin 1 Monolaurin + Mandelic Acid Toner, Creammmy Rich Intensive Moisture Milk, Know-It-Oil virgin coconut oil, The Big, Brave Boo-Boo Balm and Armada Baby 50+ mineral sunscreen.

Skin Conditions Needing Extra Care

Certain conditions make some people more prone to having really dry skin year-round.

  • Medical problems that may affect metabolic states (such as thyroid diseases or diabetes), or medications such as diuretics that dehydrate the skin.
  • Malnourishment from bad diets, drastic weight loss, or erratic or poor nutrition — this leads to a loss of vitamins, minerals, and sulphur needed for the proper production and regeneration of the skin’s barrier layer.
  • Elderly people who increasingly have lowered sebaceous gland activity (the skin produces less and less oil).
  • Beach worshippers or winter sports athletes can get lots of exposure to the sun during winter: it is very important to use a broad spectrum sunscreen (on skin and lips) to prevent burning which further increases water loss.

Those with highly sensitive skins must be very alert as the skin’s increased dryness and compromised state can make it more prone to irritations, inflammations, and infections. Avoid allergens and irritants (remember, many natural ingredients are allergens) in your hair care, makeup, skin care, and even clothing: dark colors (dyes), formaldehyde resins in the processing of clothing, chemicals used in dry-cleaning, stretch materials, and other materials that are potential irritants or allergens.
If you develop inflammations, infections, or lesions from cracks in the skin, use a gentle broad-spectrum antibiotic with your doctor’s guidance.
If you think any of these apply to you, particularly in the wintertime, you need to pay greater attention to your skin care, be conscientious about following these winter guidelines, and consider getting a patch test from your dermatologist.

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