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Whether it’s a business trip, a family visit or a romantic getaway, most of us spend a few weeks a year engaged in some type of travel.  While a change of scenery can be fun and rejuvenating, the stresses related to travel take a toll on your skin. Because your skin is closely connected to the environment, it is extremely sensitive to changes in climate and altitude. Travel often involves time zone changes, which disrupt your body’s rhythms and make it harder to get the sleep you need to look and feel refreshed.

The following tips can help minimize travel’s impact on your skin:

Pack your products: Your skin is going to be experiencing enough changes, so pack the products you normally use. Dermatologists report an uptick in skin irritations among travelers who use hotel-issued soaps or lotions or who opt for travel-size facial products for convenience. Buy some small plastic bottles and fill them with your own organic cleansers, toners and moisturizers. Make sure you take your shampoo, conditioner and body lotion.

Pamper your peepers:  Traveling is hard on your eyes, especially if you fly. The dry air in the cabin, coupled with reading or watching in-flight movies, can result in red, watery, itchy eyes. Avoid wearing mascara or other heavy eye makeup when you travel.  Take along some eye drops to use during and after your flight. Once you arrive at your destination, put some crushed ice in a washcloth and leave on your eyes for a few minutes to soothe them.

Love your lips: Be sure to carry along some organic lip balm in your purse and use it liberally throughout the trip.  The high heat and air conditioning in hotel rooms dehydrates lips, leaving them vulnerable to cracks.

Minimize your makeup: It’s best to avoid wearing a heavy foundation while traveling. Opt for a sheer tinted moisturizer that allows your skin to breathe. Reapply just before you reach your destination so your skin will be soft and radiant when you arrive.

Stay hydrated: Water is important for your complexion and overall health. Make sure you drink several glasses a day, especially when you travel. It’s also a good idea to put some water in a spray bottle and mist your skin while in flight.

Chill out: No matter how carefully you plan, travel inevitably involves changes, delays and inconvenience. Flight delays, long security lines and hotel mix-ups are common occurrences.  Researchers agree that stress affects skin by making it more sensitive and more reactive. If you start to feel stressed, relax and take a few deep breaths. Take along some headphones and listen to soothing music. Try to find some humor in the situation.

Nourish your body: Good nutrition is essential for healthy skin. Avoid the temptation to eat sweet, salty snacks on long flights. Take along some healthy alternatives such as granola bars, nuts or dried fruit. Go easy on the caffeine and alcohol.

Southwest Airlines  http://southwestairlines.com

National Institute on Aging  http://www.nia.nih.gov/skin

Chemical Safe Skincare (www.chemicalsafeskincare.com)