Your skin goes through a lot when you travel. Consider your sun exposure through car windows on long road trips, the dry air on plane rides, and the extreme temperatures in different climates. Add in busy days exploring new places and the effects of jet lag, and your skin care routine could easily fall by the wayside.

If you have winter travel plans, set yourself up for success by making a checklist of your skin care essentials. You can probably leave your 10-step skin care regimen at home (unless you have the space and conviction to follow through with it on your vacay—then by all means go for it!) and stick to these five basic products.

5 Skin Care Products for Winter Travel

1. Cleanser

Washing your face daily is a must. It's important to remove makeup, debris, and oil that clog pores and cause breakouts and other skin concerns. Washing your face is also an important first step to prepping your skin for all the nourishing ingredients your other products contain.

2. Serum

A serum acts like magic—at least for skin care. Packed with concentrated active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, niacinamide, and peptides, serums treat a number of different skin concerns. You can focus on one specific problem or treat multiple, depending on the formula. If you can't pack extra products like a toner or a spot treatment, a serum should have all your bases covered.

3. Eye Cream

Vacation time usually means catching up on some much-needed rest. Eye creams will help get rid of dark circles and puffiness caused by sleep deprivation. Given that the skin around the eye area is thin and delicate, eye creams contain a more gentle dose of active ingredients to smooth out skin and brighten that specific area.

4. Moisturizer

A moisturizer does more than just keep skin hydrated. Moisturizers have ingredients that will help strengthen your skin barrier and stimulate collagen production. Yet, its most important function, other than hydration, is to lock in all the products in your routine so that it works effectively. If you're going somewhere warm and humid, opt for a lightweight moisturizer with a gel-like consistency so that it won't clog your pores and weigh down your skin. If you're going somewhere cold and dry, opt for something with hydrating ingredients, like the EltaMD PM Therapy Facial Moisturizer.

5. Sunscreen

Whether you're vacationing somewhere warm and sunny or cold and snowy, you need sunscreen. Ultraviolet (UV) rays, even when covered by clouds, can cause sunburn, acne, and skin cancer, so be sure to make sunscreen part of your daily ritual and reapply often. The American Cancer Society also warns about the sun's ability to reflect on things like water, snow, pavement, and even grass, which affects the intensity of the UV rays. So, if you're swimming in the ocean or skiing on a mountain, you'll want to apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before you head outside and reapply every two hours anywhere your skin will be exposed to the sun. The EltaMD UV Stick Broad-Spectrum SPF 50+ is a game-changer for travel packing. This pocket-sized, TSA-compliant sunscreen stick makes it easy to reapply your sunscreen on the go, wherever you go.

And there you have it: an easy five-step skin care checklist for your winter travels, regardless of the temperature of your destination. Keep this handy the next time you find yourself packing for another adventure!


  • Audrey Noble

    Audrey Noble is a New York City-based reporter specializing in features, celebrity profiles, and beauty topics. Her work has appeared in Vogue, Harper's BAZAAR, Allure, Vanity Fair, Refinery29, and more. She is a University of Southern California alumna with bachelor's degrees in print journalism and creative writing.

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