After months of waiting, you’ve finally reached your vacation destination. You have no school or work for the foreseeable future. The only thing on your agenda is relaxation and entertainment. Nothing could be better.
That is until you look in the mirror. There it is, staring back at you — a big, red, angry zit. It wasn’t there yesterday. What happened? Pimples often pop up when you least expect them. Frequently, it’s when you’re finally stepping away for some R&R.
Before you get too stressed, breathe deeply. There are several things you can do to keep your skin clear for all your videos and photos. Give these tips a try and your vacation memories will be close to flawless.
1. Keep Your Prescription on Hand
If you’re already using an acne treatment, take it with you. If you’re close to running out, restock before you leave. Having your meds on hand can make the difference between clear skin all trip and having a mid-vacay breakout. Do what you can to set yourself up for success.
When it comes to acne prescriptions, you have lots of options. You can choose between creams, antibiotics, or hormonal medications. Research your options to find the product that’s right for you. Then, make a commitment to taking it correctly to keep pesky pimples at bay.
2. Be Savvy About SPF
Whether you’re headed to the tropics or a northern mountain range, you’ll need to take sunscreen. Just be sure you’re smart about using it. If you’re taking acne medication, it can increase your risk of sunburn. You’ll need to be choosy about sunblock to reduce your chances of UV damage.
Always pick a sunscreen that’s fragrance-free, oil-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores. Opt for a product that contains the minerals titanium or zinc to up your UV-blocking power. To combat any zits that do appear, choose a sunscreen that includes niacinamide — an anti-inflammatory that reduces redness.
3. Deep Clean On-the-Go
If you’re active on your vacation, pay extra attention to your skin at night. Oil, sweat, and dirt will build up on your skin and can work into your pores, which creates a stew pot of bacteria that can spawn acne.
Consider carrying a travel-size silicone face wash brush with you. Whether yours is electronic or manual, pair it with a mild cream cleanser. Gently scrub your face to remove all the debris that’s caked on during the day. Leaving your face clean at night can limit the morning marks you see in the mirror.
4. Go Travel-Size
If you’re flying, getting your acne-fighting arsenal through airport security can be a challenge. Thanks to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) restrictions, you can’t carry full-size bottles of most products in a carry-on. Sure, you could pack them in a checked bag. However, that’s a lot of extra weight, and you’re left with nothing if the airline loses your luggage.
What’s the answer? Put travel-size bottles in your carry-on. Decide how much moisturizer, topical cream, or toners you’ll need while you’re away. Fill up the bottles, slip them all into a larger resealable bag, and keep them with you. They can come in handy during a blemish breakout. Sometimes you can even find travel-size versions of your go-to products.
5. Ice, Ice Baby
So what do you do if an acne apocalypse shows up while you’re enjoying your beach days or museum tours? Put it all on ice. Just like you apply ice to sore, inflamed muscles, ice can calm your red skin. It also shrinks your pores to reduce the extent of your breakout.
These cold cubes can offer another benefit if you’re using any acne-fighting products. Chilling your skin makes it easier for topical medications to get into your pores. That means your breakouts clear up faster. Be careful how you use ice, though. Never apply it directly to your skin. Wrap it in a paper towel, instead, and hold it against your zit for a few minutes a few times a day.
6. Take an Aspirin
OK, so swallowing an aspirin won’t help clear up your acne. But, crushing one up and using it as a mask can be useful. Mixing aspirin powder with a little bit of honey (usually available at hotels by the coffee and tea or at breakfast) can bring down redness and inflammation. If you can’t find the sticky stuff, creating a paste with a little bit of water will do the trick.
Break up 4-5 uncoated aspirin and mix them with a few drops of water to form a gritty paste. If you have the honey, add it in. Apply the paste to your zit and leave it for about 15 minutes. Once you wash it off, finish the rest of your normal skin care regimen. You should see a difference in the morning.
7. Drink Up
Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do to ward off any zits. Traveling, though, makes it difficult. It has the unique ability to dry you out. It could be recirculated air in the plane or maybe you’re too busy playing to slow down for water.
Do your best to drink at least eight glasses a day. Consider carrying a refillable water bottle with you and sip it frequently. Dry skin increases the production of the oil that closes your pores and creates pimples. The more water you drink, the less oil you’ll see. That can equal a clearer vacation complexion.
If you’ve waited and waited for some time away with no responsibilities, zits are the last worry you need once you escape. Take the time before you leave for your adventure to pack everything you’ll need for acne avoidance and zit zapping. Following these tips can help give you pimple-free pictures you’ll love to share for years to come.