We all may have settled into our spring skincare routines, but that trip you’ve been planning for months is actually now, and you’d be wise to prep your mug. Whether you’re doing the ol’ beach and fruity drink fest or hitting a less traditional spring travel destination, there’s one thing you’ve gotta do before you go: Get your skin sun ready. “In winter, the cold, wind and indoor heat make your skin drier than usual,” says Dr. Howard Sobel, a dermatologist at Park Avenue Skin and Spa in New York City. And in this delicate state, you could be susceptible to sunburn, not to mention showing off those flaky, dry spots and pale pallor in a swimsuit. But how can we get the glow we’re after without doing damage to our skin? Relax. We’ve got you covered with this quickie plan that starts five days pre-boarding. Scroll on for what you need to know before you go.
DAY 1: SWAP OUT YOUR ANTI-AGING MOISTURIZER
1. Honest Beauty Even Brighter Everday Moisturizer ($34): Take a quick look at the ingredients label on your go-to moisturizer — does it contain retinol? If so, you’ll need to swap it with another product, since retinol (a derivative of Retin A) makes your skin more sun sensitive, says Sobel. Look for an antioxidant-rich moisturizer like this one, which has soothing chamomile and calendula and green tea extracts to keep skin smooth and hydrated. Apply a layer of sunscreen over it for max protection. You can go back to using the retinols after you return.
DAY 2: EXFOLIATE
2. You Are Amazing Smooth It Out Mango Papaya Exfoliating Scrub ($4): So that dead, flaky skin you’ve been sporting? It needs to go, especially if slipping on a swimsuit is in your plans. But sloughing it off too close to your arrival will put you at risk for a major burn, since you’re losing that protective layer, explains Dr. Sobel. Do it a few days out with this gentle, tropical-scented scrub that will put you in a vacay mood and leave your skin smooth and primed for self-tanning.
DAY 3: GET YOUR FAUX GLOW ON
3. Fake Bake Flawless Coconut Tanning Serum ($31): High on the list of #springbreakgoals: A tawny, bronzed glow (faux, of course!). This serum, infused with coconut oil to plump and hydrate skin, smells like a piña colada and leaves behind a silky, sexy bronze. Do the first application, then another sesh the night before you take off to build up color and prevent fading.
DAY 4: USE A MOISTURIZING MASK
4. Laneige Water Bank Soothing Gel Mask ($24): Your thirsty face needs some love before you depart (especially if you’ve got a long flight on the horizon), and a mask packed with hydrating ingredients is just the ticket to get it looking plump and firm. This sheet mask features a mineral water gel that really gets in deep. The best part? The travel-friendly packets fit perfectly in your carry on. Toss in one or two to take along for a quick boost after a day on the beach.
DAY 5: GET SUN SAVVY
5. Australian Gold X-treme Sport Spray Gel ($9): That sunscreen from 2015? Toss it. Turns out, those UV blockers can weaken over time and won’t be as effective this year. This spray keeps blocking rays for at least 80 minutes after you emerge from the water, hangs in there when you’re sweating on the courts and gives skin a sleek, subtle shine. Just make sure you reapply every two hours to avoid burning. Pack it!
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