I know many of you travel, and cooler climes are always a favourite destination, to escape from our infernal tropical heat and humidity. But how often do you travel somewhere cool, and then find that your skincare isn’t holding up, or that your skin starts to flake and dry out and break out? Worst of all, this happens even after you return home!
Not only is it uncomfortable, your makeup doesn’t look good whether in person or in holiday snaps.
Well, I most recently went on such a holiday.
It was cold and windy, and the humidity was laughably in single digits. I knew my skin would suffer. So I made the necessary preparations, and I can happily report that after a week, the skin on my body was dry and itchy as heck! But the skin on my face was not only comfortable and near perfect, my makeup went on well and looked so natural and amazing too! Yes, I’m preening LOL! 😀
So here’s some tips you should keep in mind when you travel from the hot and humid tropics to a cool, low humidity destination, and the products that helped me.
You will need heavier skincare products
Well, like it or not, this is a fact. When the weather is colder and drier, it takes a toll on our skin. Couple that with windy conditions, and your skin will feel stripped, raw and uncomfortable.
The first thing I did when packing was to pull out some heavier skincare products. Do note that I already use these products even while living here in Malaysia, because they suit my drier skin type. But I knew that the heavier textures will suit the conditions I was going into, and packed accordingly.
Pick Richer moisturizers
My moisturizer of choice for the day was the Bobbi Brown Vitamin Enriched Face Base. Bobbi Brown calls this a primer with moisturizing effects, and targets this for oily skin.
To be honest, I found it slightly odd. It is rich. Oil-free, but rich with shea butter, Vitamins B, C and E and has a thick, lush feeling. I don’t know many oily skinned folk who’d use it.
But in the day for me, it is LUSH! I absolutely love it. It gives my drier skin sufficient moisture, protects my skin like a blanket, and, they’re not kidding about this one, makes an absolutely wonderful primer for foundation, that does not feel like you slapped clingfilm on your skin. I love it! 😀
I did use a substantial amount, employing the 13-dot technique, which ensured that my skin was well protected, well moisturised and well covered with product. It’s no wonder I didn’t suffer LOL
RELATED READING: The 13-dot technique for applying skincare products and moisturizer that was a game-changer for me – READ HERE
I actually mis-read the use of this product, and also used it at night for some of the days that I was there. Oops! 😛 But it felt comfortable, kept my skin calm and soft when layered over the BB Extra Facial Oil, and left my skin looking and feeling supple the next morning.
Pack a facial oil
If your skin can tolerate it, be sure to pack a facial oil. I brought a travel sized Bobbi Brown Extra Face Oil. Did you know that Bobbi Brown has a range of travel-sized skincare? They’re sold under the Bobbi Brown 2 Go range, and are so handy!
The Extra Face Oil is light in texture and absorbs quickly, yet delivers on the moisture and keeps my skin feeling supple and comfortable. Very important especially at night, if you have heating on, or even in the day, if you feel your creams need an extra oomph!
Bring a good hydrating serum
Most of my hydrating serums tend to be hyaluronic acid, liquid based products. But here is a hidden gem that I wish more people talked about – the Bobbi Brown Extra Repair Nourishing Milk.
Bobbi Brown says that this offers the benefits of a facial oil, but in a lightweight milky formula. They are not kidding. The milky serum is very light, sinks into skin beautifully, and despite the deceptively light texture, makes skin feel hydrated and moisturized and so comfortable.
I use this in Malaysia too, and it just seems to sink in and cushion up everything nicely, so my skin feels soft and plumped and smooth. One of the most underrated products ever!
Bring a good sleeping mask
I brought one by The Herb Farm, which I used inflight and also on one or two nights. Times like this, skip your gel-based sleeping masks. They won’t do much for you. What you need is a good, creamy, moisturizing mask.
The reason I say sleeping mask is this – You will be too tired after your long days out, that you won’t have the energy to do a wash-off mask. So, a sleeping mask is ideal to slap on and fall into bed 😀
Layer products and cushion your skin
Bringing the right products is only the first step. The next step is how you use those products.
I had a good mist in my skincare pouch – one that was more than just mere water. While you can use just pure thermal water mists, my preference lies with something that has a little more – Tatcha, for all its crazy price tag filled this need.
And what you need to do, is to layer your products and your moisture. Yes my friends, we are talking about the ‘Moisture Sandwich’! 😀
RELATED READING: The Moisture Sandwich is a very easy layering technique that truly transforms dry and dehydrated skin – READ HERE
Then, seal it all in with the 13-dot technique for applying moisturizer, to ensure that you have applied sufficient product. The problem, I feel, is that people tend to not use enough product for their skin.
The mist layers help the product to absorb better, and also helps you ‘sandwich’ that layers of hydration in your skin, keeping it more calm and more hydrated.
Drop the foaming cleansers
With the weather already so dry, skip the foaming cleansers that can dry your skin out even more.
Instead, opt for a milk, lotion or cream cleanser if possible. In low humidity, you don’t want your skin to be even more stripped. If you feel that you need your skin to feel cleaner, use an acid toner to refresh and gently exfoliate your skin of the day’s pollution instead.
I picked up a tub of the Pixi Glow Tonic To-Go pads, which is perfect for travel, because I don’t have to faff about with liquids. Just wipe and toss.
Pick the right Makeup
When the air is dry and humidity is low and it’s cold, I hate to say this, but thick, long-wearing, matte makeup rarely looks very flattering.
They may look nice in photos, taken from afar, but in person and up close, if you haven’t already prepped your skin very well, you risk it drying your skin out further, settling into lines and enhancing flaky skin. And really, travelling should be about being in the moment, feeling comfortable and looking good in person, not just on camera.
I don’t wear a lot of makeup on holiday, but I wanted something quick to just touch-up and add some colour.
A moisturizing foundation or base makeup
I was so surprised to find out therefore, that the Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation, which I wasn’t not a big fan of when I first tried it, turned out to work so impressively well in cooler climates!
The coverage was light-medium and just right for me, the texture was more emollient, so felt more comfortable and sat better on my skin overall. I did not set it with powder, and I did not need to.
It looked natural, it did not oil up, and my skin just looked and felt comfortable. I guess I do like it after all! But in cooler weather LOL! It might explain why I was told that it is doing well in Korea and Japan – its perfect for their climate!
RELATED READING: Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation Cushion Foundation – READ HERE
Moisturizing and non-drying lip products
I had bought the Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip Color recently, but before I blogged about it, I wanted to put it to the test. Could it protect my lips in low humidity and cooler weather, if I skip the lip balm?
And because I was so confident it could, I did not bring any lip balm!
The answer, if you’re wondering, is yes it can! And let me tell you right now, that I am ABSOLUTELY IN LOVE with the Crushed Liquid Lip Colors! 😀
The texture is that of a thickish balm, and it feels like a balm on lips. But, it has all the pigment and longevity of a lipstick! For me, it lasts so long without slipping off, so it is far better than a tinted lip balm.
The colour is so opaque and they have such a beautiful selection of colours, that I absolutely cannot pick a favourite.
OK I lie, I can LOL! It is Give A Fig – a lipstick I bought purely because of the name, and love because it looks so damn good! 😀
C’est moi! Up on the Great Wall of China, the freezing cold wind blowing in my face and the chilly air. I’m wearing the Bobbi Brown Cushion Foundation and the Crushed Liquid Lip Color in Give A Fig. Not a flaky bit of skin in sight! 😀
My legs and arms however, were a scaly, itchy mess because I’d forgotten to moisturize them. Sigh. 😛
I’m happy to report that since my return, my skin has been normal. It has not become flaky, and I did not break out. I believe that sometimes, post-holiday breakouts can be caused by lack of hydration and moisture to the skin while on holiday. So, keeping your skin well moisturized at all times, is the first step to healthy, happy skin! 🙂
Do you make the same preparations when travelling to cooler climates for holiday?
I hope these tips will help you the next time you travel to somewhere cold and with low humidity, especially in Spring or Autumn (Fall). Your skin will feel more comfortable, it will look better, and your makeup will look correspondingly better too! 😀
This post is brought to you in part by Bobbi Brown Malaysia. All opinions are my own.
14 comments ... Read or JOIN THE DISCUSSION
I do pretty much the same but since I’m often overly excited to scoot out of the room to explore, my skincare is really, really pared down. Hyaluronic serum is essential and I use double the amount of moisturiser I’d normally use back home. It literally disappears into my skin. I also use what is meant to be a rich, overnight mask as my nightly moisturiser. I cut out the vitamin A and C serums as those dry me out easily. Only the Pixi Glow Tonic comes along with me. That way I minimise the number of lotions and potions to pack too.
I use the the Shiseido Hydrofresh UV protector as that has a more moisturising texture than the reformulated original.
Makeup is BB cream, concealer, lip balm and lippie. If I feel a bit less lazy, I use an eyelash curler in an attempt to open up the eyes a little. That’s it. That’s why I also dislike taking photos of myself on travels because I look…well, not very put together lol!
Oh and the only thing that works for the body in colder, drier climates is Palmer’s cocoa butter -something I would never use back home.
Paris B says
Thanks for sharing your tips Isabel 🙂 I’m 100% with you about hyaluronic acid, and while I cut out acids and Vit A, I don’t cut my Vit C. The rationale for me, is that I am out a lot more in the open, and therefore more susceptible to environmental aggressions, so I need my antioxidants more than ever LOL! 😀 Just me and my warped way of thinking 😀 Oh and I totally feel you about taking photos of myself! I prefer the far away shots. That way, I’m still in the photo, but not close up so I don’t have to look erm… put together LOL!
I would love to add two things:
First of all, it’s super important to use plenty of SPF 50 during the flight. UV exposure is way worse high above the clouds.
As a body milk for dry skin and cold weather*, you should absolutely try LRP Iso-Urea body lotion or body milk (one is richer than the other, I forgot which one). It’s brilliant, makes my skin silky smooth and doesn’t smell half as bad as Ameliorate.
*after all, I am Swiss, I know a thing or two about cold, nasty weather. 😉
Paris B says
Hurrah, thanks for chipping in with your Swiss based tips Maja! Totally appreciate hearing from someone who actually lives there. As a traveller, sometimes, it is so hard, not knowing what to expect. I am with you about using sunscreen in flight. I do use a sleeping mask (and I never sit by the window seat for this reason 😛 ) but when I clean it off, on goes the skincare and the sunscreen! But that is a good reminder, thank you! Oh I do so wish we had LRP here! They make such amazing products. I think a trip to Europe is in order LOL! I just read about Notre Dame cathedral burning down and I’m so upset 🙁
Oh, I wasn’t aware that LRP is not available in Malaysia. That is really too bad, you’re missing out on some great products. On the other hand, you have some really cool stuff that we don’t get in Switzerland.
I am very emotional about the fire. My boyfriend is a conductor and gave a concert at Notre-Dame in March, with the choir from his former school. I was able to take unique pictures, without any other visitors, during the last rehearsal. I had been there several times, but to see it in such a special setting, and with my boyfriend conducting, that was very emotional.
Paris B says
I have tried LRP in the past, and I totally understand. It is a great brand, and affordable to boot! We used to have Vichy once, then they pulled out too 🙁 I’m very sad because my skin takes to French/European products well, and I can’t get hold of many. By contrast, I’m inundated with Asian brands, that my skin isn’t too happy with LOL! I guess the grass is always greener on the other side 😛
Oh and how wonderful that you had the opportunity to see the inside of the Notre Dame so recently, and with such beautiful memories! It will make for a beautiful way to remember it as it was 🙂
Noted two things from this post – add facial oil and skip foaming cleanser. Okay, I’ll be a good girl and bring a full range of moisturizing makeup and skincare to my next “low humidity” holiday. It’s coming up soon. So your post is pretty timely. 🙂 Thanks!
Paris B says
Hurrah for cool holidays! 😀 Yes, definitely up the moisturiser and cut the foaming cleansers. I do find that foaming cleansers are really bad for the skin – I only wish I knew it when I was younger!
Your tips are really helpful but when you look into the ingredients on the skincare, it’s not a good choice given of its price. There’s so much more choices out there with affordable price.
Paris B says
Not doubting it for one moment, Charlotte 🙂 We should use whatever we feel most comfortable with. I am open to trying many different products, some of which are perceived to be “good”, some of which are perceived to be “bad”. But ultimately, these work for me, which isn’t to say of course, that they will work or suit everyone. Ultimately, we make our own choices – I don’t purport to make that choice for anyone. Which ones are you not liking? The Inkey List and Pixi is actually very affordable and very good, so it would be helpful if you could share which you feel uncomfortable with.
Hi Padis! I came across your blog a few years ago, when looking for a review on a Nars tinted day cream (I think it was that..). I found your review, liked your writing and tried out the product. I found that I totally agreed with your review and have been a happy follower of your blog ever since ? I live in Denmark which is often cool and dry (actually it always is ?) but I still learned something from this guide, so thank you for also giving some advise for us in the cooler places ? anyway, I just wanted you to know that you have readers from the cold north also and that I always look forward to your posts both here on the blog and on IG ?
Paris B says
Hello Julie! Thank you so much for saying hello all the way from Denmark! <3 It is so wonderful to know that there are people visiting and reading from all over the world, places I've never even been to yet (but hope to some day!) 🙂 I am actually heartened that you find these tips useful, because I haven't lived for long periods in cool/cold and dry climates for many years, and at this moment, I cannot begin to imagine what that must be like. Even visiting for just a week or two at max, makes me tired just pulling on and taking off jackets! Haha 😀 But thank you so much for letting me know that my little information, gleaned from travelling to colder climates from my comfortable warmth and humidity, has been helpful. It really makes me happy 😀 Thank you so much for your support both here and on IG. I truly truly appreciate it! <3
We also get very tired of jackets and hats and gloves for at least six month of the year – spring is slowly starting here and you can happy Danes in t-shirts everywhere even though it’s only 14 degrees Celsius 🙂 we just grab every opportunity to use our summer clothing! Haha 🙂 I’ve been using the 13-dot-method the past week, and I actually feel like I already see results (maybe I’m just imagining, haha). I first thought it was way too much product for my skin, but my skin soaks it all up! So thank you for that tip 😀
Paris B says
Hurrah for the 13-dot technique! I too thought it was too much as first, but wow! My skin has never been happier 😀 And I’m sure it’s much much warmer now! Enjoy the sun while it lasts!