Beauty & Fashion

3 Dry Skin Myths That Could Spoil Your Next Vacation • budget FASHIONISTA


You’re embarking on the trip of a lifetime to explore distant lands, bask in different cultures, and create incredible memories. And, of course, you’ll have a camera at the ready to capture every moment — and earn some social media love along the way.

Sounds glorious, right? Except that the last part of the plan will get spoiled if your skin gets dry and irritated on your trip.

The truth is, traveling takes a toll on your skin, whether you’re backpacking across Europe or road-tripping between the U.S. coasts. Fortunately, you can manage this problem — and stay as photo worthy as ever — if you’re armed with the right information.  

Woman standing on cruise ship deck wrapped in blanket to represent dry skin and travel.
Source: Canva.

That information-gathering process starts now. Let’s debunk three myths about dry skin and travel so all your adventures this year are documented with photos of you looking your best.

Understanding dry skin

Dry skin has several underlying causes. The Mayo Clinic reports these as most common:  

  • Heat, say from wood-burning stoves, central heating, space heaters
  • Cold, windy climates and low-humidity climates
  • Overexposure to water, including chlorinated swimming pools
  • Sun exposure
  • Washing with harsh cleansers
  • Sensitive skin
  • Medical treatments
  • Aging

When you travel, you likely expose your skin to changing climates and altitudes, hours spent in transit with forced air heat or cooling, and possibly even the chlorinated waters of a swimming pool. The takeaway? If you’re not careful, your skin can take a hit.

Skin dryness makes itself known with itchiness, flakiness, roughness, cracks, and red patches. All those symptoms take away from the glowy, fresh look you want in your vacay photos.

Myth 1: Dry skin isn’t an issue in humid places

One common misconception is that dry skin is only a concern in arid and cold climates. While it’s true that dry air can exacerbate skin dryness, travel to any destination probably exposes your skin to potentially damaging environment conditions.

Woman sitting on rock near ocean wearing a wide-brimmed hat.
Source: Canva.

For example, you might see more sunshine if you’re lounging on a Caribbean Island beach or sitting by the (chlorinated) pool in a desert hideaway. You might also spend your evenings in a cool, air-conditioned hotel room. One or both of those circumstances can easily sap moisture from your skin.

Truth 1: Hydration is key, regardless of location

Hydration is essential for maintaining healthy skin, no matter where you’re traveling. Here are two steps to plan for:

  1. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your trip. If you need some extra motivation here, invest in a pretty sport water bottle and keep it handy wherever you are. This is a particularly smart plan if you intend to indulge in cocktails and salty foods on your trip.  
  2. Also make sure you have a good moisturizer on hand, suited for your skin type. Check the label for hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides which help attract and retain skin moisture. Apply your moisturizer regularly, but especially after cleansing or spending time outside.

Myth 2: Dry skin while traveling is a given

If you have a history of skin dryness, you may prescribe to the idea that itchy, sensitive skin is unavoidable — especially when you’re traveling. That’s a reasonable conclusions, since the dry-skin cards do get stacked higher against you when you’re visiting foreign lands.

Still, you aren’t destined to hide beneath hats, big glasses, and gauzy long sleeves in every selfie. You can take several steps proactively to preserve your normal glow.

Truth 2: Prevention starts before you travel

Consider taking some prep steps to help your skin get through the trip at its best. Here are some ideas:

  • Give your skin extra care in the days before your trip, in the form of overnight treatments or moisturizing masks. Stick with proven products and brands. This is not the time to try something new.  
  • Try switching to a micellar cleanser. Cleansers that don’t require the use of water mean less exposure to local water, which may contain harsh minerals.  
  • Make sure you have a high-SPF sunscreen to take with you and the budget to buy more at your destination.
  • Invest in a portable humidifier. Turn it on nightly or whenever you’re in your room.

Myth 3: Dry skin is a cosmetic concern

I joke about dry skin ruining your travel pics, but it’s a bigger problem than that. Dry skin can be uncomfortable, for one. And if it gets dry enough, you can get stuck in a loop of trying to fix it. That is a serious confidence buster. So, chronic dry skin is a condition to avoid whenever possible.

Truth 3: Dry skin has complications

Left unchecked, dry skin can exacerbate or activate eczema. It can also lead to infections, caused when cracked skin provides a place for bacteria to enter the body.

You don’t want any of that, especially when you should be enjoying your vacation. So, before you book a round-trip cruise from Seattle to Alaska, for example, make a plan to keep your skin healthy and hydrated.

Dewy skin on your vacay

Travel does introduce stressors that can dry out your skin, but you can fight back. Prioritize hydration and get yourself a traveling skincare kit that includes products with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and SPF. To go the extra mile, travel with your own humidifier, too.

Because you don’t need dry skin getting in the way of your amazing vacay, or those juicy pics of you having the time of your life.




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