"Skin-care essentials" means different things to different people depending on age, skin type, and individual complexion concerns, but some things hold true no matter your skin type. For example, every skin-care routine, at home or away, must include the daily basics: cleanser, alcohol-free toner, and a daytime moisturizer with SPF. Always look for a cleanser that is sulfate-free, as sulfates can cause surface dehydration and skin tightness in some skin types. Toner should be alcohol-free, because alcohol strips the skin of water, resulting in dead-cell buildup that can lead to a dull complexion and breakouts.
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If you are away for a few days and skip your weekly mask, scrub, or acid peel, it likely won’t have a major effect on your skin. If you don’t want to take both a cleanser and exfoliating scrub, bring the latter, as it can multitask as your cleanser for a few days since most facial scrubs also contain cleansing agents. However, be sure to rub it very lightly over the skin since you’ll be using it daily.
For those who have acne or hyperpigmentation, packing a product to treat these issues might be worth considering. If breakouts are a major concern, tote a spot treatment to help keep unsightly blemishes at bay. Make sure it’s one with alpha hydroxy acids such as lactic, glycolic, or salicylic acids — these tend to work most effectively.
If hyperpigmentation is an issue, bringing along an antioxidant serum to prevent your spots from getting darker is probably a good idea — especially if you plan to spend a lot of time in the sun. Applying an antioxidant serum (notably one containing vitamin C) under daytime sunscreen can help protect the skin from sun damage and keep pigment cells asleep or keep melanocytes from overproducing melanin, which is what causes dark spots.
Staying on top of your skin and maintaining a good regimen is important for a healthy complexion, but sticking with only the basics for a few days on a short vacation will certainly not be detrimental to your overall skin health. In spite of a brief low-maintenance routine, hopefully your complexion will radiate with that enviable post-vacation glow on your return.
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When it comes to our faces, we don’t rely on just anyone to tell us what our skin needs to get that ever-elusive glow. Instead, we turn to skin-care veteran (and celebrity fave!) Renée Rouleau, who knows it takes more than the right products to get radiant. Each week, she’ll be serving up her expert tips to keep your complexion in tip-top shape.