post vacation skin
Skin Care Tips

Post-Vacation Skin Recovery Guide – 10 Tips

Vacations are meant to relax and rejuvenate us, and they usually do. What’s more relaxing than sipping Mai Thai’s on a beach basking in the sun?  After all, you’re on vacation and it’s time to live it up!

However, between all the extra sugar and food indulgences, long flights, and continuous hours in the sun, your skin may tell a different story by the time you make it home.

I just got back from a trip to Hawaii so I wanted to write this post while everything was fresh in my mind. Basically I missed an entire night of sleep on the way out, and on my way home. Jet lag is no joke!

post vacation skin tips

By the time I got home, I had blemishes on my chin, chest and shoulders, and bags under my eyes and I was super dehydrated from all the flying. Basically I looked and felt like hell!

Here are the 10 things I did immediately to rebound from my post-vacation skin.

10 Tips to Revitalize your Skin After Vacation

1. Hydrate

post vacation skin tips
Drink half your body weight in ounces per day

Hydrate – drink tons of water! Drink half of your body weight in ounces of water per day to counteract the dehydrating effects of vacation and traveling.

For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces of water per day.

For your morning water, drink 8 ounces of warm water with half of a fresh squeezed lemon in it, and even some ginger.

This will aid in flushing out toxins from your body as it works like an antiseptic for every organ, including your skin. The ginger will also settle your tummy if you have any upset from traveling.

It seems like a lot of water, but this formula is what you should drink even on normal days, but it’s hard to do. Keep this up if you can!

You can read more about the benefits of lemon water here.

2. Exfoliate

Exfoliate from head to toe

I could not wait to exfoliate all the crud off of my face when I got home (don’t ask me how I forgot to pack it!).

Cleanse your face using a gentle cleanser, and then use your favorite exfoliator to really give your skin a deep cleaning.

Your goal is to remove the layer of dirt and debris from the skin’s surface to reveal those healthy cells underneath just dying to breath! Skin is happy and healthy when it can breath.

It’s a good idea to also exfoliate your entire body either with an exfoliator or a loofah brush. Scrub away!

3. Take a Warm Bath

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Soak in a warm bath for 30 minutes

Soaking in a tub for 30 minutes after long flights will help counteract jet lag. It helps to re-balance the electrolytes in your body to normalize things.

If you have an ocean or a swimming pool nearby, supposedly that’s even better. I had both nearby, but I was too tired for any more adventures!

To aid even further in detoxification, you can also add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your bath water. This helps to draw out the impurities and will also alleviate sore muscles. You can’t go wrong with just a nice bubble bath either.

4. Use a Face Mask

Beautycounter Balancing mask results

Even after I exfoliated, I had clogged pores on my nose and chin and my chest had a few breakouts. I did a deep pore cleansing charcoal mask, but clay is also a good choice.

These types of masks harden when they become dry and you can’t move your face! Your goal is to draw out any leftover impurities and unclog those pores.

One of my favorites is Beautycounter’s Charcoal Mask and it’s got nothing toxic in it (remember your goal is to detox from vacation!)

After I rinsed my mask, my skin was already starting to look and feel better. My face could breath again, and my blemishes shrunk and were at least on their way to healing.

You can also try my home recipe Cinnamon & Honey Exfoliating Face Mask! 

5. Moisturize

Beautycounter No 2 facial oil review

One of the most noticeable side effects of too much sun and alcohol is dehydration, so make sure to replenish your skin with hydrating products, especially if you use a mask that detoxifies.

I love the Beautycounter Balancing Oil, it works beautifully after the charcoal mask and is great for all skin types. Using an oil is easy since it’s one step, and it really does a good job of hydrating the skin to bring it back to life.

If you love Vitamin C products (which I do as well), another great choice is to use a hydrating Vitamin C serum or moisturizer. Read about the skin benefits of Vitamin C here. 

6. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

post vacation skin recovery
Get some zzz’s

Ahhhh….after being up 36 hours, I could not wait to get to sleep. And there’s nothing like sleeping in your own bed when you’ve been away.

I actually did some research on jet lag and getting 10 hours of sleep after crossing several time zones is a good thing (especially if traveling from West to East).

I had no problem sleeping the first night back because of sheer exhaustion, but the second night I was wide awake until 4 am.

If you have trouble getting to sleep, I suggest taking 1-3 mg of melatonin about an hour before you want to fall asleep. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body, and it helps to adjust your internal clock. You can find this at any drug store.

If you don’t have jet lag, just get some good zzzz’s!

7. Cut out Alcohol

post vacation skin
Give alcohol a break

Vaca’s over, so it’s a good time to dry out! Alcohol causes dehydration, bloating, and all the extra sugar can cause breakouts that you may not normally get.

You’ll notice your bloating will go down immediately, especially if you continue to drink a lot of water.

Your face will begin to calm down, you’ll have less redness and the bags underneath your eyes will subside.

8. Eat Healthy

post vacation skinFruit is a natural detoxifier, and all of the antioxidants will help bring your skin back to normal and help flush your system.

After you drink your lemon water, have a nice large bowl of fruit for breakfast.

Berries such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and cherries are all high in antioxidants. Also eating melons such as cantaloupe or honeydew melon are very hydrating.

I try to avoid starchy fruits such as bananas when I’m detoxing.

Go lighter on the carbs for the rest of your meals to help reduce bloating. Eat lean proteins and lots of greens!

For more tips on skin superfoods, check out 10 Foods for Clear Skin.

9. Exercise

post vacation skin
Exercise to get your blood flowing

Once you’re rested that is! I took three full days to feel some semblance of normalcy before I was ready to work out. Take your time, let your body rest, but do get back to your normal exercise routine as soon as possible.

Increasing blood flow is good for your skin, and who doesn’t love that fresh-faced flushed look after they work out? Call me crazy, but I always feel like I look younger after a good workout.

Wash your face as soon as you get home from the gym. You don’t want to let the sweat and bacteria from the gym settle into your pores when you’re trying to get your skin back to normal.

10. Get Back to Your Skin Care Routine

post vacation skin
Get back to your skin care routine

Now that you’re back from vacation, get back to your normal skin care routine.

This should include washing your face each morning and applying your serums, moisturizers and eye creams. You should also do the same thing each night.

Never go to bed with makeup on your face, and make sure you wash your pillow case a couple times per week. Pillow cases are a breeding ground for bacteria.

I normally exfoliate 2-3x per week and also do a face mask every Sunday. That’s my ritual and it works well for me!

What’s your Post-Vacation Skin Care Routine?

If you have any additional tips, please leave them in the comment section below.  I’d love to hear about your post-vacation skin care routine!

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Rachel Vrabel

Rachel is Chief Editor of Women’s Blog Talk and writes reviews across the spectrum of anti-aging, health and beauty. She has an English degree from USF and worked in finance for 15 years before establishing this website in 2011. She loves having a place she can share her inspiration for health and beauty and continue to help others! She lives in South Florida with her husband and her hobbies include beach volleyball, HIIT training and combing the beach for sea glass and shells.


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