Summer is here and that means (hopefully) you have some fun trips in your future. My fiance and I just booked our honeymoon to Greece in September so I decided to compile all the Functional Skincare advice I’ve gotten while working at Brooklyn Herborium into handy, travel-ready tips.
Functional Skincare Tips & Tricks
- Worried about bringing your precious bottle of Nourish & Replenish along with you? Purchase a Sample Kit for your trip so that you’ll have travel-friendly oils and mists to throw in your toiletries bag. As you use these up, you can refill with your full sized bottles for your next trip. Most of the samples, including the Clays and Sow Your Wild Oats have enough for a few uses.
- I have been known to travel with my little wooden bowl that I use for mixing my masks. Less mess in the sink and they’ll be dry by the next day.
- The birdseye cotton washcloths we carry are quick drying and will be ready to pack the next day when it’s time to leave. For extended trips, use your Clean & Green hand soap (see below) to keep them clean.
- Some people think that misting with hydrosols will keep their skin hydrated on a flight, when in fact it can actually lead to trans-epidermal water loss. (Also, don’t spritz yourself in your seat, you’re probably also accidentally spritzing your seatmates.) While some of the water might sink in, most of it evaporates on your skin, taking your own moisture along with it. Instead, in the morning before you leave, moisturize with your Moisture Duo as usual, then use 1-2 drops of NO EVIL to protect delicate areas, like the nose, eyes, and lips, from the dry air on the plane.
- And maybe the most important advice I was given: On the first night of your arrival, oil cleanse thoroughly and then relax for about 10 minutes with the Integrity Biome Mask on your face. Remove with a warm wet washcloth and then go to bed without moisturizing. This will allow your skin to acclimate to the different climate.
- I travel with my silk pillowcase. I have curly hair and the slip of the silk helps keep my hair from frizzing too much and it’s gentle on my face. It’s fairly quick drying, too, so you can wash it in the morning and have it ready to sleep on at night if you hang it to dry.
- We’ve written before why we prefer castile soap over most commercial soaps. We’ve also developed our own naturally-derived hand soap, along with a convenient on-the-go-sized Clean and Green hand soap that fits in your purse, tote, backpack, etc. It has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties and is much gentler on the skin than what you’ll find in the gas station bathroom. If you’re taking a long trip, you could also travel with Clean & Green Concentrate. A little squirt of that mixed with water in your hand will make hand soap.
- If you don’t have access to clean water to wash your hands, you can also “dry wash” your hands with Clean & Green Hand Soap in a pinch. Otherwise, the essential oils and the witch hazel distilled in alcohol in Anti-Yucky Spray, Calming Spray, and even Bug Off! will work as a natural disinfectant for hands and surfaces (like toilet seats, seat-back trays, which is great if you’re traveling with a small child who will inevitably touch every surface with their mouth, etc.).
- If you’re driving, it’s pretty easy to bring along a copper water bottle and activated charcoal water filter. I’ve done this when I was worried about an iffy water supply. Studies have shown that the bacteria in water are obliterated to the point of not being able to be revived after 16 hours in a copper vessel. Depending on the vessel size, activated charcoal will bond with impurities between 1-24 hours.
- Interestingly enough, drinking a small cup of warm water with a 1/4 tsp of Integrity Biome Mask (mentioned above) mixed in 5 minutes before eating will also help acclimate your tummy to new foods and become more resilient to the local bacteria.
- A little motherwort tincture in water used the same way can help as well-especially if your body tends to become suddenly bathroom shy while traveling. If you can’t make your own, we like Urban Moonshine’s Digestive Bitters.
- You can also make herbal gummies to help with digestion, immune support, sleep issues, etc. but there’s a chance they could be confiscated at the airport if they’re mistaken for being a different kind of herbal gummy, if you know what I mean. This is a good ratio to follow. You can buy gelatin in our Windsor Terrace Workshop.
- If you’re driving, it’s pretty easy to bring along a copper water bottle and activated charcoal water filter. I’ve done this when I was worried about an iffy water supply. Studies have shown that the bacteria in water are obliterated to the point of not being able to be revived after 16 hours in a copper vessel.
- Many people are surprised to hear that restaurant meals often fit the guidelines of Diet for Incredibly Good Skin (unless you were on my trip to the UK 10 years ago. Nary a green vegetable spotted except iceberg lettuce). For example, rice and potatoes are often prepared ahead of time, refrigerated, then reheated making them resistant starches. If you’re sensitive to vegetable oils, know that these are used in most restaurants, though.
Combatting Travel Jitters & Jet Lag
- Rest & Digest, or any chamomile tea you see on the plane, in a restaurant or your hotel room will help with relaxation and digestion issues.
- To help adjust to the new time zone, be sure to stick to the guidelines for maintaining metabolic harmony: Stick to 3 meals with 3.5-4 hours in between each meal, no snacking and allowing your body 12 hours between dinner and breakfast.
- A Greek travel blog writer swears by heading from the airport straight to a beach to take a dip in the sea. Can’t hurt to try. I’m sure a shower or a bath would do in a pinch, too.
- Facial Point Stimulation and massage can also help with various maladies while you’re traveling. See the chart below.
And most importantly, have fun, eat delicious food, and don’t beat yourself up if you forget to cleanse your face one night, or eat nothing but gelato and cannoli for every meal in Italy. The body thrives on consistency, but if its needs are well-met, small deviations from your routine can help you become more resilient.
You can purchase silk pillowcases, silk sleep sacks, copper water bottles and other travel accoutrements in our Windsor Terrace Workshop.
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Illustration by Krista Dragomer
Krista Dragomer is an Ohio-born mixed media artist living and working in Red Hook, Brooklyn. Her work can be seen at www.kristadragomer.co