After vacation skincare isn’t (only) about flicking through Instagram snaps of your vacation and slathering on products to retain that tan. Those may be elements of post-holiday life, but the wellness of your vacation can live on beyond memories and a golden glow.
Travel itself can be stressful and the antithesis of what a long-awaited holiday should be. When flying back home to Malta earlier this week, my plane was held in a stack circling the islands because 11 – yes 11 – planes were ahead of us in our slot in the early hours of the morning. The airports both ends were stressful with queues in departures and arrivals. Taking a holiday can seem an event that requires a slow, relaxing staycation afterwards in order to recharge. Certainly, air travel has proved very unpleasant post pandemic.
But, whether you are holidaying near home or traveling far, there is always a return to routine involved. To overcome the doldrums that it inevitably entails, let’s usher in concept of mindful beauty. This isn’t only about preserving a tan nor about rehydrating and nourishing skin after your summer vacation; it’s about incorporating the wellness that you felt on your vacation into daily, easy to implement routines and steps. We need to keep sane as we return to work-a-day lives, and our bodies ‘sana’ (healthy).
There are some quick-hit ways to retain holiday wellness. For starters, just think of three simple, small ways you enjoyed living life differently on vacation or on staycation. For instance, walking more, eating more raw foods, like salads and fresh fruit, or grabbing an hour’s siesta without feeling guilty.
These three are incredibly easy to take on board after your vacation especially if you are homeworking. The siesta may be something to factor in at weekends only, or before bedtime (try a screen-free hour with no blue light before bed and you’ll sleep better), but you can get the drift of how you can make your holiday life part of your daily life.
Here, we’ve outlined some more after vacation skincare and wellness tips to help keep your mind calm and your skin glowing, no beach – or mountain retreat – required.
After Vacation Skincare & Wellness Tips
Keep up with the SPF
As the leaves transition into colors reminiscent of a beautiful, fiery sunset and the temperatures start to dip, it’s easy to forget the SPF, but the sun’s rays are still damaging to your skin in cooler months. We tend to think only of SPF as summer vacation skin care, but we forget the cumulative and skin-damaging effect of daily UV exposure all year round. To ensure you protect your skin against the signs of UV damage – visible premature ageing of the skin such as fine lines and hyperpigmentation – be sure to apply an SPF moisturizer of at least factor 30 every time you head outdoors.
Many of us get so absorbed in our work, we forget that we are human and need to take breaks. When you carve out small breaks throughout your day, you’ll actually work more productively and lower your risk of burnout. You’ll feel happier and more motivated to start work whether in an office or home office each day. This is the daily equivalent of that summer vacation siesta; you don’t need heat as the excuse to lie low for a cat nap. Just switch off notifications for a while and set your status to ‘away’.
Breathe and Visualise
Just because you can’t physically transport yourself to a sun-drenched destination, doesn’t mean you can’t imagine you are there. A daily meditation practice, involving visualisation and deep breathing, is a great tool to help you stay calm and grounded in your daily life.
Over time the benefits will really start to manifest and you’ll notice you’re happier, have more energy and sleep better. A great tip is to keep a large beautiful picture in the space you spend most of your time each day. Choose a landscape that boosts your spirits and spend a few minutes gazing at it in quiet contemplation each day. It’s the little things you do each day that result in you finding that inner peace we all want.
Hydrate your Skin
Just because the cooler temps have arrived, doesn’t mean you should slack on your water intake. Drinking enough water everyday is absolutely essential for not only ensuring you body stays healthy and functioning as it should, it’s vital also for keeping your skin looking radiant and youthful. Water hydrates and plumps the cells to maintain and uphold structural proteins that ensure your skin stays taut and plump. If you’re too chilly to sip cold water all day, then sip on some warm water with a lemon wedge instead. Herbal and green teas also count so choose some of your favourites so you never get bored.
Treat Your Skin to some TLC
To truly indulge in luxury, amp up the moisture in your skincare. A moisturiser or night face oil with beta-carotene and Vitamins A, C and E will help revitalise dry skin that appears after vacation. They are the most common actives in mature skincare but are excellent emollients and antioxidants in your after vacation skincare, irrespective of your age.
If you return home to find you’ve red, sensitive patches or some lingering after effects of sunburn, or even mosquito bites, use aloe gel ideally enriched with chamomile to help sooth and also provide gentle anti-bacterial first aid to the irritated area.
Although it might sound counter-intuitive, a face mask is a good way to promote renewed skin health and enliven your glow. A gentle and enriched one containing ingredients such as avocado, honey, yoghurt and aloe will help sooth and cleanse. Look out also for masks with antioxidant and stimulating properties, such as caffeine extracts from green tea. Stimulating the skin’s blood flow with gentle massage while applying the mask will help revive it once those dead skin cells are sloughed off. The best way to keep a holiday glow is in fact to exfoliate rather than try to hang on to those parched epidermal skin cells.
Journaling is an excellent way to relieve pent up tensions and any bitter feelings you may be harbouring. Many of us “live in our heads” and don’t find a way to release stored emotions. This takes a toll on both our health and our mental state, so be sure to put pen to paper when life gets overwhelming and make it a daily habit. You may be surprised at the beneficial effects and positive changes that will occur in your life.
Many of us find excuses to avoid this next one, but exercise really will change your life. Too often we fall out of an exercise routine due to boredom or unrealistic expectations. It all comes down to finding something you truly enjoy so that instead of working out feeling like a chore, it becomes an essential part of your daily life. There really are so many options, from dancing to yoga – all of which can be done easily at home with a good mat. I follow Sarah Beth Yoga online and there are many others to choose from to suit your level and style.
Exercise will get your blood flowing so that toxins are easily transported out of your system. It will boost your metabolism as well as your spirits and it will leave your after vaction skin glowing. So get your sneakers and plug in to a favourite podcast and get ready for a fun sweat session.
You’re probably tired of hearing the old saying, “you are what you eat,” but it’s stuck around for a reason. Your physical health, as well as your mental health, is a pure reflection of what goes into your body everyday. After vacation skincare should in fact start with what you eat, rather than what you apply to your skin topically. Sugar has been proven to negatively affect the brain and can increase disorders such as anxiety and depression. The same goes for all processed, deep fried and fatty foods. Instead, choose to fill your body with wellness and skin beauty foods such as those found in a traditional Mediterranean diet; whole grains, leafy greens, healthy fats and severely limit your sugar intake. You won’t believe the difference in how you look and feel and this will simply be the fuel you need to continue on a healthy path.
Say Yes to Me Time
When is the last time you were just a little selfish and told the family you’d be taking some time out for yourself? If you can’t remember then it’s high time for some you time! We know you have responsibilities and may feel a little guilty for taking some time for yourself, but how are you supposed to function at your best when you’re taking care of everyone around you, but neglecting yourself? You will need to set some ground rules and be firm in taking time for youself but it is perfectly possible to treating yourself to that much longed for, even indulgent home spa hour or two. Afterwards, you will feel calmer and more relaxed, and better equipped to deal with life’s everyday challenges.
Get Creative and Do Something You Love Each Day
Another wonderful way to keep the mind bright and the heart alive, is by doing something you love each and every single day. Even if you just have five minutes, don’t ever neglect your passions. Mine is clearly perfume making, but simply taking a half hour to read can make a difference from staring at a screen or doing chores. No matter your passion, be sure to keep it alive in order to live your best life. In my case, my hobby-passion became a day job so don’t feel guilty taking time to be creative as you never know where it might lead you in life.
I hope these simple, yet effective tips make it a little easier to ease back into your daily ritual as well as keep that after vacation skincare, wellness and overall vitality routine going all year round.