This post looks at holiday essentials that I like to pack in my suitcase when traveling abroad. As someone with chronic digestive problems, celiac disease and PCOS, it is really important to me that I am always well prepared when it comes to eating out.
Tonight I’m catching a flight with my mother and sister to Sri Lanka and I’m sooooo excited! We have had this girly adventure vacation booked since Christmas and we have all been counting the months, weeks and days – it’s going to be an amazing experience! This is my first appropriate vacation in almost three years (the downside of being self-employed and just being able to take “long weekends” here and there!) So to say that I’m in need of some well deserved R & R is a bit of a euphemism
Going on vacation when you have food intolerances, hormonal imbalances and acne can make traveling abroad look really daunting and stressful … but it really does not have to be! Stress plays an important role in the acne cycle, so I hope to share my essentials for the party, I can take some of the stress out of you so you can fully enjoy your trip!
Most conventional insect repellents contain a ton of nasty neuro-toxins and skin irritants that I prefer not to subject my body to the inclusion of DEET, butane, propane and synthetic fragrance. DEET is the most common active ingredient found in insect repellents, but it is a neurotoxin that blocks an enzyme in the nerve cells of your central nervous system, which breaks down toxins, allowing them to accumulate and kill nerve cells . The best natural insect repellant in the world, incognito® does not work in the same way as DEET-based insect repellents and is not deeply absorbed in the skin, which means that it does not interact with its internal chemistry. In the same way, it also has no detrimental effect on our sensitive ecosystems, especially those involving aquatic wildlife – which I believe is as important as being safe for us! #earthchild
Buy here: UK / US
Finding an acne-friendly sun lotion that suits your skin type can be a gigantic task. Fortunately now there are plenty of non-toxic, acne safe sun cream for the face and body to choose from. Personally, I do not think you can beat people green SPF15 / SPF30 for the body as it uses organic ingredients, it is lightweight, give the best tan that lasts and uses titanium dioxide as the primary sunscreen instead of zinc oxide. Zinc oxide has been shown to be very harmful to aquatic life, so while it is usually an ingredient in my FPS facial, I prefer not to use it on large areas of the body.
Read more about acne-friendly sun lotions here and buy my favorite face and body lotions here.
If you have ever been on a long-haul flight, you will know how dehydrated and tight your skin can be. Dehydrated skin means there is a lack of water on the skin and when our skin becomes dehydrated, it produces more oil to compensate. More oil means there is the potential for more sebum oxidation when it can result in outbreaks – everything we want to avoid during our vacation! To prevent your skin from dehydrating in your flight, pack a moisturizing mist in your carry-on luggage (just make sure it is less than 100 ml!) Every couple of hours during your flight, fog your skin with a slight facial fog and touch your face. Not only does this trick feel awesome and maximize hydration on the skin, it also increases circulation so you will get your flight rosy, bright and ready for serious tourism! One of my favorite mists is the Moisture Hydrating Moisture Nourishing Moisturizer but I will be taking the OSEA Marine Mineral Fog with me to Sri Lanka. If your skin is particularly dry, you may also want to pack a moisturizer or facial oil in your hand luggage to layer over the top of your fog.
Shop for my favorite moisturizing mists here.
When traveling and eating and drinking different foods that you normally do not eat on a regular basis, it can be quite common to experience some digestive discomfort, whether stomach upset or constipation. This is believed to be caused by a disruption of our natural intestinal flora so it is important to take a high quality probiotic to protect it from any harmful bacteria. Two of my favorite probiotics to travel are Prescript Assist and OptiBac ‘For Traveling Abroad’ as they do not require refrigeration so you can take them with you wherever you go and contain well-researched sturdy cultures of living cultures that have been proven to withstand major temperatures and humidity.
Buy Now: US / United Kingdom
Working on blood sugar levels is one of the most important steps that most people need to clean their skin and one of the best ways to do this (apart from cutting junk food) is to eat enough fat and protein each day, especially at breakfast! Being away from home can make it really difficult to stick to your usual hormonal balancing diet and with cocktails and goodies in abundance, getting enough fat and protein every day is even more important! The easiest way to do this is to package a vortex mixer or mini mixer in your suitcase along with some key basics. I personally use a vortex mixer as it is convenient, with batteries and mixing liquid fats and protein powders very easily. When I am traveling abroad I do not always need a shake every morning and I have just learned to trust my instinct and go with the flow. Many hotels I have stayed in make a great continental breakfast which almost always include eggs and bacon which serves as an excellent breakfast to keep blood sugar levels balanced but I can find I need a smoothie at lunchtime if there is not a variety of gluten-free foods. However when I am staying with friends in Europe or in the accommodation where there is no breakfast on offer then I would really trust my first thing in the morning. European breakfasts are usually cakes, pastries and more cakes – not ideal if you are struggling with hormonal imbalances and totally off the menu if you are a celiac!
Buy a vortex mixer here: UK / US
Move on to Sun Warrior! There is a new favorite powder in the city. As I mentioned in my previous point, an herbal protein powder is one of my essential elements to keep the hormones balanced. In addition to keeping blood sugar levels under control, protein is the most important macro nutrient to keep us satisfied until our next meal. I know I’ve had a good hormonal balance breakfast when I do not even think about eating for a whole 4 hours later! Vivo Life is the British brand of supplements (also available in the United States) that has undoubtedly created the most delicious protein powder in the world! I have been using Sun Warrior for years, but Vivo Life totally surpasses it – in addition to offering a greater amount of raw protein based on plants per serving, it also contains maca, lucuma, turmeric and added digestive enzymes that all have their own unique benefits healing on the skin, digestive system and hormones PLUS, tastes so good! The good thing about a high quality and tasty protein powder is that when you’re away you can literally add water, protein and some optional fats and you’re good to go. Obviously, it tastes better with almond or coconut milk, but luxuries are not always available so it’s good to know that you can still enjoy your shaking and not feel like you’re drinking ground – some raw protein flavor powders! For dosage, you usually only need a 1/2 tablespoon per day, but for those who follow a vegetarian or vegetarian diet you would probably recommend the full scoop.
We have talked about the importance of protein, but what is even more important, is healthy fat. Our bodies need a lot of healthy fat to thrive and most of us are not getting enough. Like proteins, fats also help to stay fuller for longer, but more importantly, they reduce inflammation in our digestive tract. Reducing inflammation in the gut means that you can get rid of toxins and excess hormones more efficiently, absorb the nutrients better and also give your system a break so you can heal quickly and efficiently. Coconut oil is a staple of the beauty of the mine as a body oil and shaving oil so it is always with me and can double as the perfect fat booster for my shakes. However, unless you are traveling in a warm country or have access to a microwave, its solid consistency can mean problems for your vortex mixer. Avocado oil is an oil that is always liquid so ideal for shakes and doubles as a great moisturizer for body and shaving. Another oil I like to use in my shakes at home is MCT oil, often used in ‘Bullet Proof Coffee’. It is another liquid oil that is easy to mix in smoothies, teas and coffee and has a wide range of health benefits. If you are interested in using MCT oil, I would start with just 1 teaspoon a day in your shake for the first week then increase to 2 for another week and finally 3 teaspoons (or 1 tablespoon) as you may have some strong detoxifying effects.
Buy MCT here: United Kingdom / USA
Whether it’s a festival, camping trip or beach vacation you’ve planned this summer, a non-toxic hand sanitizer is an essential bag for almost any trip away! Conventional antibacterial hand sanitizers contain chemical ingredients, such as triclosan and triclocarban, which can produce severe allergic reactions and also contribute to bacterial resistance to antibiotics. There are also studies (here and here) that show that triclosan can cause thyroid complications and alter other hormonal processes – definitely a no-go!
I bought this one from my local health food store but there are also these brands here and here that do them or you can have a go and make your own.
Do you have an essential vacation element that you can not live without? Let me know your best tips for traveling abroad with acne, hormonal and digestive issues in the comments below and do not forget to check out the next month of weeks where I will share my travel beauty essential for acne!
Peace, love and fair skin,