Beauty On Board

The summer season summons the jet-set lifestyle. Melissa Nazareth assembles a list of beauty dos and don’ts to keep your hair and skin in check during and after travel.

After two years of being homebound, you must be busy planning your first vacation post lockdowns. In fact, you might even be planning your second. While you deserve to go all out and indulge, don’t forget your hair and skin care routines while you’re at it. The best results are achieved when you’re consistent all year round. However, there are some things that you must be mindful of and do specifically while you’re travelling and soon after you’re back to ensure your hair and skin are protected and nourished.

Dehydration is a common travel peeve and can damage your hair and skin, in addition to making you feel sluggish and irritable – not really the feelings you want to have on a holiday. Cabin pressure, long transits and, as a practice, drinking less water are some of the major causes. In addition to the most obvious solution – drinking water – there are other simple tips you can follow to ensure you stay hydrated throughout.

Rachna Bhatia, an account manager and avid traveller, says: “I usually wear a light layer of hydrating face mask or my regular moisturiser mixed with a drop of face oil and a lip balm.” She never boards a flight without her sunscreen, day and night moisturiser, hair mask and leave-in conditioner.

An events manager by profession, Faheeda Fahdad travels extensively for work. Passionate about literature and culture, she loves exploring new countries on her own, too. “Although I am a coffee addict, I don’t drink it or sugary liquids when I am flying,” she says. She replaces it with water and has a fruit salad if craving something sweet, adding: “Always carry a bottle of water and refill on the go. Set alarms to hydrate yourself if you have a busy schedule, and don’t forget to splash some water on your face when you get the chance.” Faheeda’s travel kit essentials include, for her skin: snail solution serum and cleanser, apricot scrub, rose oil and saffron youth dew moisturiser; and for her hair: rose-argan-coconut milk leave-in conditioner, gooseberry serum and Japanese blossom mask.


Dr Mariam Baqi, a dermatologist, believes hair and skin care depends on the duration of the travel and destination. However, she offers some general tips. “Don’t forget your cleanser and SPF,” she says, adding that they’re more important than night creams. Why? Travel usually includes going out and about a lot, this causes perspiration, especially during summer, which must be properly cleaned at the end of the day. She also recommends avoiding make-up and encourages keeping your skin clean and fresh.

Dermatologist, Dr Ranya Kayed, insists on not skipping sunscreen. “Don’t forget to renew every two to three hours,” she adds. “My secret tip is to use a multifunction cream to reduce the number of steps — for example, a moisturising sunblock.”

Most of us complain of frizzy, dull and dry hair after a vacation. There could be many reasons for this, and Dr Mariam warns against a major one. “I really recommend avoiding hotel shampoos as they dry your scalp and hair,” she says. She also advises using argan hair oil spray, which is widely available, easy to apply and penetrates the hair shaft, the visible part of the hair that sticks out of the skin. So, even if you must use the hotel shampoos, it compensates.


Dr Mariam believes that most hair care happens once you’re back from your trip rather than during it. “Use oil masks on the tips and nourishing masks on the scalp,” she says, adding that those with an oily scalp could stick to aloe vera masks while those with combination scalp could go for avocado and coffee masks. Dr Mariam advises practising these hair care routines every week along with a balanced diet and lifestyle.

Dr Ranya recommends face masks as an excellent option to revive your skin, especially when you want to glow without make-up. She advises hydrating your skin and massaging your scalp as part of your beauty routine.


Faheeda has combination skin, and she uses a scrub on her face every other day. “I always carry chickpea powder in a little sachet,” she says. “It works wonders on the skin when used with water, especially if you have clogged pores. She also wears minimal make-up while on the go.

“My hair always bears the brunt of my constant travelling and irregular sleep patterns,” she says, adding that she uses a hair mask every other day to maintain the volume and texture. “I air dry my hair and don’t use excessive heat. My hair does tend to get frizzy at times, and there are two products I swear by – my gooseberry serum and a milk-based conditioning spray. They smell divine, and I buy them in travel sizes, so they’re easy to carry in my backpack.”

Rachna usually carries a travel-sized, salon recommended treatment shampoo, mask and conditioner, as well as a leave-in conditioner or a hair serum and for her skin, a dermatologist recommended face wash, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 50. She suggests using a sheet mask or a retinol-based night cream before bed.

Connect with Dr Mariam Al Baqi @drmariamb, Dr Ranya Kayed @dr_ranya_bh, Faheeda Fahad @thetravellingreader and Rachna Bhatia @racz_b

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