There are those epic backpacking adventures when you get by on a handful of hours of sleep and proudly, gladly wear the same pair of jeans for a weekend. But then there are the other type of traveling experiences, where you want to completely zone out, get plenty of R&R and well, treat yourself. From the Caribbean and every corner of the United States to Iceland, you can find world-renowned spas in some of the classiest, most iconic hotels in the country. If you get the chance to visit (and have the extra cash to indulge), you’ll walk away (even if it’s just to your bed) feeling refreshed, hydrated and radiant.
Though you can’t have that feeling everywhere you go, the top spa experts from around the globe offer their best travel beauty tips for staying fresh and keeping your skin, hair and body healthy while you’re traveling. From the dry, stale air miles high in the sky to adjusting to different climates depending on where your passport takes you, here are some idea you’ll want to try next time you’re booking and boarding a flight.
Especially when you’re catching a 5 a.m. flight to save a few hundred, coffee may be the only thing getting you through the trek to the airport (and ahem, that 3 a.m. wake-up call). But Melissa Fielding, the vice president of spa and wellness at The Spa at Carillon Miami Wellness Resort says water is a better idea for your skin. “Coffee, alcohol and soda are diuretics that will deplete skin’s moisture levels leaving you looking tired and worn,” she says. Instead, chug H20 as much as you can (just opt for an exit seat in case your bladder can’t keep up).
Bring Your Own Pillow Case
If you plan on resting while on your flight and you’re borrowing one of the freebie blankets and pillows, you should think twice before making cheek contact. Kathy Van Ness, the general manager and chief operating officer of Golden Door Spa in San Marcos, California warns breakouts can happen in a flash because the pillows aren’t sanitized nearly as often as they should be. Another perk, she says is that bringing your own pillowcase – that maybe smells like your home – could make it easier for you to fall asleep on an uncomfortable plane because you’ll be more at ease and comfortable.
Put Oils on Your Feet
Regardless if you’re collecting those travel reward points to meet a friend overseas for a fun, laid-back adventure, or impress your boss at a conference in another town, chances are good that you’ll be walking…. A lot. That’s why Megan Linney, the spa director at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa in Las Vegas says to invest in essential oils to keep your feet from aching or drying up. “After a long day of walking and sightseeing, apply essential oils on the soles of the feet at bedtime to absorb overnight for maximize benefits,” she says. The same logic can be applied when you’re on a flight, too.
Put Oils on Your Face
“Pressured heat while we sleep, whether in a hotel room, on a plane or in a car, can increase moisture loss at night”, Zaharenia Victoros, lead esthetician at The Sisley Spa in The Carlyle Hotel in New York City says. To combat that, Victoros suggests applying some facial oil before you nod off. But be careful about application: to stimulate the sebaceous glands, where natural moisture is produced, you want to gently massage the treatment in with upward and outward motions. An easy travel beauty tip to remember and a good one!
Develop a Skin Routine
Though you might be running from one excursion to a unique restaurant when you’re traveling, you don’t want to forget about what your skin is used to and needs. If you visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, you can try their recommended routine (or order some products to try at home). As Ása Brynjólfsdóttir, the Director of Research and Development suggests, “The Silica Mud gently cleanses and exfoliates the skin and brings out the skin’s inner glow. Studies also show that it strengthens the skin barrier. Following the use of the Silica mud mask, we recommend use of Blue Lagoon algae mask. It contains Blue Lagoon algae – studies show that the algae encourages the skin‘s own collagen production. It leaves skin with a youthful glow.”
Use White Eyeliner Instead of Black
Want to put a little less effort into your makeup application, considering you’re going on three hours of not-so-deep sleep traveling to Europe? We feel ya. For a hack that works wonders, try the advice of Michelle Stewart, the spa director at Spa Eden Roc at Nobu Eden Roc Hotel Miami Beach: “Opt for a white eyeliner instead of your normal liner. Using a white liner on the inner corner of your eyes and inner bottom line helps brighten your eyes, allowing you to look refreshed even after being on a plane for several hours.”
Put Coconut Oil in Your Hair
Have you ever completely passed out when you’re on a long flight, only to wake up and wonder what happened to your locks? Yikes – we’ve all been there. But Angela Ballesteros, the spa manager at AWAY Spa at the W Retreat & Spa – Vieques Island, eight miles off the coast of Puerto Rico says the trick is to put your hair up until you land, with a touch of coconut oil. If you don’t happen to have long locks, you can still use the oil trick to keep your hair from frizzing, and instead, stay nutrient-rich and hydrated.
Take Off your Makeup Before Bed
It might feel like an unnecessary step when you’re taking a red-eye over the Atlantic, but Terry suggests removing any eye shadow, mascara or liner before you try and catch some Zzzs on your flight. Why? Not only does it protect against infection but it gives your skin a breather before you arrive at your destination and have to be (somewhat) presentable. “Just before landing, refresh your eyes with an application of eye cream and light eye makeup, followed by a touch of color for the lips. Plump cheeks with finger compressions to increase circulation for a rosy glow.”
Keep your Lips Moisturized
No matter what other part of your body – from your kneecaps to your hands – is dry, the worse one to deal with are your lips. Not only can it be painful to smile, talk and laugh with cracking, peeling puckers, but if you’re traveling for a business meeting, it doesn’t put the best impression forward. Packing some lip balm is an easy and luggage free travel beauty tip.
Lindsay is an experienced, established wellness, lifestyle, travel and love writer, editor and content strategist in New York City. Her work has appeared on SELF, Prevention, AskMen, Refinery29 and dozens of other sites. When she's not writing, she's busy traveling when the mood strikes and always searching for the best steak and glass of red wine.