When we travel, we take pleasure in looking at ourselves—and the world we inhabit—in a new light. Our skin, however, must negotiate fluctuating humidity, climates, and routines. When considering travel skin care, it is important to appreciate that skin is a responsive organism that reflects and reacts to the environments we pass through. It is resilient, yet delicate; to ensure it is maintained at its best, we recommend a tailored approach to skin care, with thought to both the journey and the destination.
To prepare skin for travel, consider the varying conditions along the journey, including exposure to air-conditioning and low humidity onboard an aircraft, and the potential for a sudden shift in environment upon arrival. In addition to your regular skin care routine, some preemptive measures can assist ahead of a flight.
Increase hydration with the consumption of (non-alcoholic or decaffeinated) fluids, and avoid or minimise the use of makeup so as not to congest pores. Ample rest is also beneficial prior to a flight.
In the days before flying, we recommend thoroughly cleansing the skin to remove dead skin cells and impurities. A deep cleansing and exfoliating treatment such as Purifying Facial Exfoliant Paste gently polishes the skin, allowing it to more effectively absorb hydrating products. This preparation can lessen the drying effects of time spent in air-controlled cabins.
Formulations containing Vitamin C are recommended to replenish skin prior to a flight. With anti-oxidant properties, Vitamin C helps support skin exposed to free radicals. A potent form of Vitamin C is present in B Triple C Facial Balancing Gel, an embracing gel designed to hydrate, balance, and boost normal, combination, or dull and patchy skin. Application can be strengthened in layers in the lead-up to, during, or after a flight.
Travel in an aircraft exposes your skin to the dehydrating and drying effects of time spent in pressurised, air-conditioned environments. As skin loses moisture, its protective hydrolipidic layer can be compromised, leaving the surface more vulnerable to bacteria and prone to sensitivity. For all skin types, maintaining hydration is essential to supporting the skin’s inherent barrier functions.
For those who wish to refresh skin in-flight, a simple alternative to traditional cleansing (which requires water to rinse off) is applying a toner to a cotton pad or cloth, and swiping gently across the face to remove residual grime and balance the skin, before applying a hydrator. We recommend the use of Parsley Seed Anti-Oxidant Facial Toner, as it is anti-oxidant-rich and lightly hydrating.
It is important to distinguish the difference between dry skin and dehydrated skin, even though many of us use the terms interchangeably. Dry skin indicates a lack of oil (or sebum), whereas dehydrated skin refers to a lack of water or moisture. Dry skin can be experienced as a sensation of ‘tightness’, with scaliness or flaking also present in some cases. During a flight, dryness and sensitivity may be heightened. Dehydrated skin, on the other hand, may present as a complexion that appears dull, or with more apparent wrinkles, to which we recommend both a topical and internal approach during the flight: in addition to hydrating skin care, increase the consumption of water.
To replenish dry or parched skin, Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream combines potent doses of Vitamins C and E with intensely hydrating botanical butters and oils. Those with extremely dry skin distressed by travel should consider blending a few drops of a concentrated treatment oil such as Damascan Rose Facial Treatment into your preferred hydrator, to leave skin feeling supple and nourished.
Some may find that their skin attempts to counteract the drying effects of air travel by producing more oil (sebum). This can disrupt the balance of skin prone to oiliness and congestion, particularly when coupled with any stress from a flight.
Balancing cleansing formulations, combined with light though frequent hydration throughout a flight are recommended for this skin type, as they will maintain the skin’s equilibrium. Those with oily skin should look to citrus-infused Bitter Orange Astringent Toner, which can be applied with a cotton pad to cleanse the skin of excess sebum and surface impurities without needing to rinse off with water. Follow with lightly hydrating Aloe-based Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum.
For skin prone to congestion, it is important to avoid or minimise the use of makeup, and keep a product such as Control on hand—a transparent gel to apply directly to blemishes.
To care for all skin during short- or long-haul flights, additional Aesop products can ensure face, hands, and body are equally attended to: Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash ensures perpetually clean hands when access to water is limited. Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm can be kept nearby to regularly massage into dry hands, cuticles, and tired feet. immediate Moisture Facial Hydrosol is a carry-on essential for light, spray-on hydration to refresh skin throughout the flight. In times of stress, nausea, or weariness, we recommend Ginger Flight Therapy to apply to pulse points for aromatic calm.
Upon arrival at your destination, it is likely that your skin will face a sudden shift in temperature and weather conditions, and will require assistance to recalibrate. It is recommended to cleanse, tone, and hydrate the skin after spending hours in a confined space, to lift grime and impurities, and to adjust your regular routine to a new climate and season.
For those visiting warmer climates, we recommend the use of gel-based cleansers, such as In Two Minds Facial Cleanser, which can provide a more thorough, invigorating cleanse at times when there is a tendency toward increased sebum production and perspiration.
Those with combination skin may seek a mildly astringent toner to rid the skin of residual grime, and to refresh while balancing excess sebum. An ideal preface to hydration, In Two Minds Facial Toner contains Salicylic Acid and astringent Witch Hazel, and gently addresses an oily T-zone without drying or aggravating the skin.
A hydrating lotion or serum provides a lighter alternative to rich creams, while delivering adequate hydration and nourishment. In Two Minds Facial Hydrator is a rapidly absorbing, non-greasy formula designed to leave skin feeling soft, smooth, and supple, with a matte finish. It offers hydration without overburdening skin.
An ideal travel-sized skin care routine for hot, humid climates, and normal to combination skin can be found in our Nashville Travel Kit, alongside other formulations to care for hair and body.
For those travelling to cooler destinations or during winter months, care should be taken when cleansing to avoid stripping the skin of much-needed moisture. Gentle Facial Cleansing Milk is an ideal option for those whose skin is affected by cold conditions. Its exceptionally mild formulation is particularly suitable for dry and sensitive skin.
For drier skin types, cleansing is best followed by a mild, Aloe-based toner to balance and refresh the skin. We recommend the soft-astringent B & Tea Balancing Toner, which gently soothes while preparing skin for hydration.
Finish your routine with a nourishing hydrator to seal in moisture and soften the skin. For those with dry to very dry skin, we recommend Perfect Facial Hydrating Cream, to deliver potent doses of Vitamins C and E with nourishing botanical oils.
To ensure pleasurable travels and convenience at your destination, our Vienna Travel Kit contains a selection of travel-sized staples for skin, hair, and body, to suit cooler climates.
If spending time outdoors, regular application of a sunscreen product is required to ensure the skin is protected from the sun’s damaging rays—a broad-spectrum SPF formulation will protect against both UVA and UVB.
Protective Facial Lotion SPF25 shields the face from UV in a lightweight formulation with broad-spectrum coverage. It absorbs rapidly and delivers hydration with ingredients known for their anti-oxidant properties, especially benefitting skin in urban environments.
Free radicals occur in greater numbers after skin is exposed to UV rays and pollution. Anti-oxidant-rich formulations are especially beneficial when travelling to urban destinations and on summer holidays. Our São Paulo Travel Kit contains a selection of skin care featuring anti-oxidant-rich Parsley Seed, alongside other staples.
Our travels to varying environments can provide us with new discoveries, despite the potential for stress and fatigue. With this in mind, Aesop Travel Kits are curated with a rounded routine of travel-sized formulations for the skin, hair, and body, intended to ease the toil of travel and provide all that is needed for a pleasurable journey.
‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’