8 essential skin tips for traveling to colder climates | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

8 essential tips for traveling to colder climates
Cover art by Mikiyo Ricamora

Embrace the cold weather while traveling and safeguard your skin with these essential skincare tips



Traveling to colder climates can be magical, with the allure of snow-covered landscapes and the refreshing yet crisp winter air. Unfortunately, this can also take a toll on your skin and compromise its barrier, leading to dryness, itchiness, or flakiness. 

Simultaneously, microcirculation is affected as blood vessels constrict in colder temperatures, potentially causing slower skin turnover, dullness, prolonged recovery time, and facial redness. 

To ensure your skin stays hydrated and radiant during your winter travels, here are some essential tips to incorporate into your skincare routine.

1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize

In cold climates, the skin struggles to retain moisture due to dryness. To combat this, opt for skincare that strengthens the skin barrier, reduces moisture loss, and protects against environmental stressors.

The key to combating dry skin in colder climates is a rich and hydrating moisturizer. Look for products that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and shea butter. These ingredients help to lock in moisture and provide a protective barrier against harsh weather conditions. Skincare products with natural moisturizing factors, such as amino acids and electrolytes, further contribute to maintaining a healthy skin barrier and optimal skin hydration. 

Note: It is a misconception that oily skin can forgo moisturizers in cold weather. In reality, all skin types, including oily skin, need hydration. Insufficient moisture can result in dull, dry, or dehydrated skin. Establishing a consistent skincare regimen that incorporates a hydrating serum and moisturizer can alleviate dryness and preserve moisture in your skin. 

Hyaluronic acid, a potent humectant, attracts and retains water in the skin, providing deep hydration. Consistent use replenishes moisture levels, ensuring the skin remains plump and supple, even in dry, cold climates.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel

Try the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hyaluronic Acid Water Gel and Neutrogena Hyaluronic Acid Serum. When used together, this combination assists in fortifying the skin’s moisture barrier and promoting a healthy skin microbiome, resulting in a vibrant and healthy-looking complexion.

2. Prep Your Skin Before You Go

Begin your skincare routine well before your trip. Prioritizing gentle skin exfoliators, such as toners, in your skincare routine is a great way to prime your skin for effective moisturization. Exfoliation aids in the removal of dead skin cells, unclogs pores, and improves the absorption of moisturizers, maximizing the hydrating benefits for your skin. By eliminating dead skin cells, exfoliating toners prevent dullness and enhance the skin’s responsiveness to moisturizing ingredients, promoting a radiant complexion.

Caudalie Vinoclean Moisturizing Toner
Caudalie Vinoclean Moisturizing Toner

Caudalie Vinoclean Moisturizing Toner, crafted by the renowned skincare brand Caudalie, is celebrated for its hydrating and soothing properties. This alcohol-free toner, featuring Caudalie’s signature organic grape water, replenishes and balances the skin’s moisture levels. Suitable for various skin types, including sensitive skin, this toner prepares the skin for subsequent skincare steps, contributing to a refreshed and radiant complexion. For specific instructions, refer to the product packaging or seek guidance from skincare professionals.

3. Hydrating your skin starts from the inside

Achieving well-hydrated skin involves a holistic approach that extends beyond external moisturizers.

Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water, aiming for at least eight glasses per day and adjusting based on factors like climate and activity level. Integrate water-rich foods into your diet, such as cucumbers, watermelon, and strawberries, which not only hydrate but also provide essential vitamins and antioxidants for skin health. Incorporate healthy fats like omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and seeds to maintain the skin’s lipid barrier and prevent water loss. And also, limit consumption of dehydrating beverages like caffeine and alcohol, favoring hydrating herbal teas like chamomile.

4. Use sunscreen even in the cold

Ensure continuous sun protection throughout the year, even in colder climates. UV rays are present year-round, even on cloudy days. Not to mention, snow also reflects sunlight, further intensifying its effects on your skin. Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 to protect your skin from harmful rays.

Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+
Ultra Violette Supreme Screen Hydrating Facial Skinscreen SPF 50+

In tropical climates, lightweight and non-greasy formulations are preferred, as heavy or greasy sunscreens may feel uncomfortable in the heat. In winter, when the air is dry, you might opt for a slightly more moisturizing sunscreen to combat cold and dry conditions.

5. Layer your skincare

Addressing dry skin involves more than just opting for a heavier moisturizer. Just as you layer your clothing to stay warm, layering your skincare can help lock in moisture.

The key lies in selecting the appropriate formulation and ingredients rather than simply relying on a thicker product. Layering lighter products with components that reinforce the skin’s moisture barrier can often yield more effective results.

In cold weather, prioritize hydrating skincare before makeup. Begin with a hydrating cleanser and toner, followed by a rich moisturizer and, if needed, a facial oil. Allow products to absorb before applying a hydrating primer. Opt for a dewy foundation, creamy blush, and highlighter for a radiant finish. Set your makeup with a hydrating mist containing aloe vera or glycerin. Keep lips hydrated with a nourishing lip balm. This layering approach ensures your skin stays moisturized and your makeup looks flawless despite the cold conditions.

6. Don’t forget about body care

Overlooking your skin in cold weather, or any weather for that matter, can result in dry, uncomfortable, and unappealing skin. In more severe cases, compromised skin can lead to infections. Hence, it is essential to prevent excessive dryness and subsequent damage to the skin proactively.

In cold weather, the inclination is often to indulge in lengthy hot baths, but this isn’t advisable. Instead, opt for shorter showers lasting around 10 minutes or less, using tepid to warm water, not excessively hot. Ensure to use hydrating skincare for all body parts and generously apply moisturizing products throughout the day if necessary. 

It’s crucial to uphold the skin’s hydration and moisture levels with appropriate skincare that contains hydrators, humectants, and emollients, even for those with sensitive, severely dry, or impaired skin.

7. Post-travel skincare routine

After a day of exploring in the cold, treat your skin with some extra care. Consider using a hydrating mask or overnight moisturizing treatment to replenish lost moisture and revitalize your skin.

Your hands and lips are particularly susceptible to dryness in cold weather. Use a rich hand cream and a hydrating lip balm to prevent chapping. Reapply as needed, especially after exposure to wind and cold air.

L’occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream (₱1,800.00)
L’occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Special thanks to Skin health experts; Vanessa Chong and Dr. Coreen Copuyoc-Sampedro, MD, FPDS of Neutrogena.

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