With all the picturesque shores and pristine waters, traveling to the tropics is always an exciting feat. However, the weather can easily wreck havoc on your skin and cause issues like sunburn—especially when you’re used to colder climates. And if there’s one thing that’s true about islands like the Philippines, it’s that it’s hot and humid all-year round.
Fortunately, it only takes a few products to make sure your skin stays protected and healthy. Here are some skin care must-haves to stock up on before your trip.
Sunscreen is a non-negotiable for anyone who intends to spend time under the sun. Don’t make the mistake of skipping it because you want a sun-kissed glow, otherwise you’ll be making yourself more prone to serious problems like skin cancer. Fortunately, if you don’t like the feeling of stickiness from traditional sunblock, there are plenty of options now available—be it fast-absorbing spray formulas from Neutrogena, or gel types such as Biore UV Aqua.
While sunscreen may protect your skin from harmful UV rays, you’ll still be prone to feeling those hot rays. Aloe vera is well-known for its cooling properties, making it the ideal cure for sun-baked skin. Plus, since the heat naturally sucks the moisture out of your skin, the hydrating powers of aloe vera can keep your skin from feeling dry. According to an article on Good House Keeping, this plant extract also contains generous amounts of vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and amino acids—all of which can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging.
Too much sunlight can make your skin prone to hyper-pigmentation, which is the appearance of dark spots or patches on sun-exposed areas. Though Medical News Today states that they’re mostly harmless, they could become more noticeable over time and get in the way of a clear complexion. While most people may opt for vitamin c-based serums and creams to combat sun spots, kojic acid is another good and gentle option. Pretty Me’s feature on Kojic Acid Soap explains how the product is not only an effective brightener, but it can also even out your skin tone. This way, your skin looks natural, as opposed to the usual whitewashed effect that harsh bleaching agents are known for.
> Tropical climates tend to make your face feel a little oilier than usual. Though you might be into the dewy look, The Zoe Report warns that this combination of sweat and sebum may not be so good for your skin. For this reason, it’s ideal to ditch your heavy creams for gel-based moisturizers, such as Tata Harper’s and Clinique’s. Because even if you’re on an island, your skin still needs to stay hydrated—but without the heavy feeling of thick moisturizers.
Any nature-filled open space is bound to have some insects waiting to pounce, so be prepared with bug spray. The World Health Organization recommends ones that contain at least 30 percent DEET, which is the active ingredient responsible for repelling pests. Note that a higher DEET concentration doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get better protection, but it does mean you’ll be protected for longer. For tropical getaways, anything higher than 50 percent DEET is unnecessary, while anything lower than 10 percent will only shield you for less than two hours at most.
You may be on vacation, but that doesn’t mean your skin care routine has to take a break too. Let yourself enjoy the best of your tropical getaway by ensuring your skin stays protected—whether you’re lounging on the sand, or walking barefoot by the ocean.