TOUR of beauty

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am


Whether you are travelling to sun-drenched beaches, snow-covered mountains or cities that never sleep for Christmas, good skincare will be topping your wish list. FACES consulted the experts for tips to keep your skin radiant while you are on the road and in the air.

Plane travel causes the facial skin to lose moisture easily due to low humidity in the cabin. Chan Yee-yee, training manager for Japanese cosmetics brand ?psa, says it is important for passengers to not only increase their face's hydration level but to also lock moisture in the skin. She suggests using a moisturising mask before embarking on any journey.

According to Chan, the skin will automatically secrete oil for protection during the flight, which increases the sebum level over time. 'Using a moisturising mist once per hour to replenish the skin can create an additional protective layer,' she advises. 'It eliminates excess sebum in order to restore balance to the skin.' ?psa's The Time Reset Micro Mist with chamomile and green tea extracts is available in a 50ml size for carry-on.

Chan also suggests applying a serum to promote circulation. First, spread it over the face using the fingers of both hands. Then blend it into the face by gently stroking the skin. Repeat three times in the jaw area, three times on the cheeks and three times from the area below the eyes towards the forehead. Lastly, lightly stroke the skin from the centre of the face outwards.

'Passengers can apply moisturiser on their face by massaging in a circular motion [avoiding the eye area],' adds Priscilla Pun, education manager for Clinique. 'It helps the skin maintain hydration throughout the trip.'

Sunny Side Up

Travelling to sunny locations can be good for the body because a healthy dose of sunshine helps it produce sufficient Vitamin D. But too much sun can easily burn sensitive facial skin and cause irritation. Dr Steven Loo, specialist of dermatology at Hong Kong Adventist Hospital, advises travellers to apply a water-resistant sunscreen liberally on the face and reapply every two hours to ensure adequate protection.

'Avoid direct sunshine at the peak of the day. Sunlight before 10am or after 4pm is better,' says Loo. If skin feels hot or turns red, he suggests avoiding the sun and immediately applying ice and a moisturising lotion.

Removing sunscreen from your face is just as important as applying it in the first place. 'Try to cleanse the face by applying a gentle cleanser twice to remove the excess sunscreen. Pat dry and don't rub with a towel,' says Loo.

Clinique's Pun advises travellers to apply sunscreen with at least SPF 40. 'Remember to reapply again during the day or after swimming. I suggest wearing a hat and a pair of sunglasses to protect the entire facial area. Don't forget to apply sunscreen on fragile areas such as the eyes, lips and ears,' she says.

To repair the skin from harmful rays, Kyoko Deguchi, training manager at Cle de Peau Beaute, suggests using a lotion with balancing effects as a treatment mask. 'Put the lotion on two pieces of cotton and put them on the cheeks [under the eyes] for three to five minutes,' she says.

Snowed In

Skiing is one of the pleasures of the holiday season but the downside is cold weather can make the facial skin dry and easily irritated. 'It's important to maintain the skin's moisture level in order to keep it in optimal condition,' says Ipsa's Chan. 'I suggest using a moisturising cream that is both mild and rich in texture. The ingredients can be absorbed by the skin easily and the cream keeps it soft and supple throughout the day.'

Maye Shiao, product manager for Lanc?me Hong Kong, also recommends using a sunscreen with SPF 50. 'UV protection is very important as there will be great UV reflections from the snow's surface,' she says. Remember to reapply after several hours or sweating.

'Wear good UV protection sunglasses and put extra moisturiser with sunscreen over the exposed areas on your face. The reflection of sunlight from the snow is always underestimated and it would double the usual level of UV radiation,' emphasises Loo, who suggests using lip balm frequently to prevent the lips from cracking.

Exposure to cold air also draws water from the skin and makes it dry and irritated, says Loo. He advises using a gentle non-foaming cleanser that doesn't strip vital fats and bathing in warm water since hot baths draw moisture and oils from the skin. 'Apply a hydrating night cream to replenish the skin's moisture loss,' he adds.

Bright Lights, Big City

Thanks to architectural wonders, museums and vintage haunts, travelling to city destinations can be an eye-opening experience. Yet the environmental pollutants that plague many cities may irritate the skin, blocking pores and resulting in pimples. To avoid this undesirable situation, thorough cleansing of the face is important to remove dirt and excess oil.

Loo advises travellers to city destinations to apply a liberal dose of moisturiser with sunscreen in the morning. If skin feels dry and dull because of environmental pollutants, he suggests a light exfoliating cleanser once or twice a week to remove dead skin.

Lancome's Shiao recommends whitening products to protect the skin and reverse damage from pollutants and UV rays. 'The full regimen includes cleanser, toner, essence, moisturiser and UV protection,' she says.

After a long day of sightseeing, it's important to pamper the skin and minimise added irritation. 'At night, rinse the face with plenty of water and gently massage the cleanser over the face to remove the surface dirt without any rubbing with the towel,' says Loo. 'After rinsing, apply the cleanser again and rub gently over the face. Pat dry and follow with your usual skincare routine.'