How To: Keep Your Skin Fit While Travelling

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Travelling is a beautiful thing, including the difficulties that come with it. In my opinion, it’s what makes the adventure, an adventure. Whether you miss a plane, get lost, or lose your luggage, there’s always a little beauty that comes of it. In saying that, if there was one thing I had to say I liked the least about travelling, it’d be the impact on my body - more specifically, my skin.

And so, when I decided to head to China and Mongolia, including visiting Ulaanbaatar, the world’s most polluted capital, sitting at 137 times above the World Health Organisation safe level, I knew I needed something to aid my wee New Zealand body. I mean, I really had only ever breathed one of the purest sources of air, claimed by WHO

I thought to myself, what was something I could selfishly use to protect myself against pollution, that wouldn’t force me to wear a face mask and zinc sunblock 24/7? I needed a bottle of vigour, that would give me the inner strength that I, and all travellers, so desperately needed. Intro my top three tips for keeping you in tip-top shape while travelling to the world’s most polluted countries.

 

1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR SKIN

We all want to maintain good skin, especially when travelling. It’s no doubt the time where you’ll be snapping enough pictures to exceed your iPhone storage. What’s more, is ensuring you’re preventing any damage that could show up later, that can have long-lasting effects. Pigmentation, pollution damage, and scarring are a mere three of the several problems your visage could face post international trip. This is evident when travelling to any country, let alone the world’s most polluted.

Intro a little red bottle that never left my handbag, Shiseido’s Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate. It sounds a lot more reliable than Mongolia’s proclaimed “oxygen tea.” The Ultimune concentrate, engineered by ImuGeneratIon technology, contains potent natural extracts that enable your skin to increase its ability to defend its ideal condition, even under extreme stress. For example, like the time I hiked the Great Wall of China in 36 degrees. Or riding a camel through Mongolia’s Gobi Desert - a brutal but stunning landscape. So, like most, I put this to the test in a four-week escapade across rural China and Mongolia, facing pollution levels in Ulaanbaatar - the worst in the world, and combat against the sweltering humidity in Beijing.

The results? See for yourself below.

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2. ENJOY YOURSELF BUT NOURISH YOUR BODY

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I’ll be the first to admit that I am a big foodie. In fact, a lot of downtime on my trip was spent googling where the best restaurants were in each city! When travelling, it’s important to embrace the food. It’s a part of the culture and good food often makes the trip a lot better. After spending a decent amount of time gorging on noodle soup, dumplings, Mongolian bread, Bintangs, and Mie Goreng, I got to the point where I needed some healthy food! Not just to keep the bloat in check, or make myself feel better - my skin was starting to pay for it! I decided to balance out my eating with the tips below.

CLEAR SKIN TRAVEL TIPS FOR MEALS

  • Avoiding snacks where I could (no more snickers or chips)

  • Replacing bread and heavy breakfast options with smoothie bowls, fruit, or eggs

  • Opting for freshly squeezed juices, sparkling water or low-calorie alcoholic drinks Avoiding alcohol at every meal

After doing this for a week, I was shocked yet pleased with the difference. We know food impacts the skin, but sometimes we forget just how much.

 

3. KEEP THINGS MOVING

It’s easy to forget about exercise when travelling. And fair enough too - a holiday is a holiday. You’ll either be soaking up the coconut Gin & Tonics on an incredible beach, or walking your feet off, discovering hidden alleys and side street gems among the world’s best cities.

As someone who loves running, it wasn’t an option in China or Mongolia. These two countries are so polluted I struggled to breathe properly, even when I was simply walking the streets. But no exercise was not an option either. And so, to keep my skin and body in a good state, I promised to squeeze in a few workouts. 20-30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, saw my skin softer, glowing, and ultimately, I felt a lot better for it. There’s only so many dumplings, Mongolian soup, and Bintangs my stomach can take! To make it easy for you, check out a quick workout that I did along my travels. It’s all body weight, can be done in your room, outside, or in a gym.

Tessa Stockdale