How To Avoid Vacation Breakouts

Dr. Hilary Reich
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Photo: © Luca Cannionieri

There are a variety of reasons why we break out when traveling, but the major reason is STRESS. Stress affects our hormone levels, and hormonal imbalances cause acne.

Travel also disrupts our normal skin balance due to sudden changes in the temperature and humidity levels. A change in the mineral content of the water we use to cleanse our skin is another factor. Water with a higher mineral content (“hard water”) means it harder to rinse off soaps and cleansers. This makes the skin more prone to irritation. Lastly, using products that aren’t compatible with our skin, such as soaps and moisturizers provided in hotels and public bathrooms, only exacerbate our skin issues. This is why it’s best to come prepared to manage your own skin issues while on the road.

To help prevent breakouts in transit, the night before your trip you should exfoliate gently to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores. Afterward, condition your skin with a good moisturizer, and if possible, sleep with a humidifier by your bed to optimize your skin’s moisture balance.

Being prepared to handle sudden fluctuations in your skin’s behavior will ensure a clearer, balanced complexion when traveling. Keep your toiletries bag stocked with supplies so you’ll be well-equipped. Here are a few recommended travel essentials (all meet TSA travel requirements, so feel free to carry them on board)!



Board certified dermatologist Dr. Hilary Reich is your go-to guru for achieving clear, glowing, beautiful skin. The renowned doctor has made a name for herself as a skilled skin care expert with a particular talent for treating and preventing acne in teens and adults. She is the consulting dermatologist for Noxzema and through the brand she shares her extensive knowledge and expert tips for keeping skin looking its best.