The Dude Society

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Traveling Skin Care Tips And Products

My boyfriend travels a lot.  In fact, a lot is an understatement. He is known to do more than three countries in 3 days.  He’s brilliant at packing lightly. And above all:  he never, EVER checks his luggage.

Always “carrying-on” doesn’t allow for bringing certain life-staples along, and if you ask him what he misses most when he goes on long trips, he lists three things (not including me… Duh): his bed, his favorite running shoes, and— most of all— his shaving cream. He’s addicted to a shaving gel made by Aveeno that’s good for sensitive skin. Some of your products from home will fit in nice travel bottles, but an aerosol shaving cream is not one.

Recently, I listened to a rather passionate rant on how after a week without his beloved shave gel and his well-fitting Prada shirts and neck ties will leave him with “red neck.”  Not only is it rather painful, but also, it’s evidently hard to take a businessman seriously if his neck is a brighter color than his tie.  No good.

My point is, while traveling, your skin will likely be subjected to unfamiliar conditions. You may not have a red neck, like my boyfriend. However, you may experience extreme dryness, breakouts, excess oil, or redness.  You may have flaking or merely chapped lips.  Pressure changes, differences in water content, and altitude variances will make even tougher skins, such as male skin, sensitive and angry.

Here is a short list of things to combat this:

  • Bottled water (And lots of it.)
  • Cleanser
  • Pre-shave Oil
  • Shave Cream
  • An Aftershave Balm
  • An Awesome Moisturizer
  • Rest (When you can get it.)

Let’s go through these in more detail:

Bottled Water

Stay hydrated!  The more water you drink, the less your body will be fighting the elements of dehydration, thereby over-producing oil, which could lead to a nasty, surprise break-out right before your big meeting.  The last thing you want is the feeling that everyone is focusing on the monstrous zit on your forehead instead of your charming smile and pie charts. Forgo the second in-flight cocktail and ask for a bottle of water.  It will also keep your skin healthy and strong enough to handle your shave.


Clearly, we have to wash our faces.  If you can manage it, try one that has an exfoliating property.  This will get around the hair follicle and get rid of any excess dead skin. You’ll get a closer shave and it’ll reduce an ingrown hair situation.

Pre-Shave Oil

This is super important.  Especially if your skin is angry from the flight, angry from a different climate, and angry that you’re about to practically attack it with a very sharp object (a razor).  Apply the oil, wait a minute, and let it soak into the hair follicle.  Your razor will do less work, and your skin will irritate less. I think it’s here that I should make a quick point about shaving technique:  Don’t push down on your razor! The blades are sharp.  Let them work for you.  It’s better to make one or two short passes over the area than to push so hard you remove the top layer of skin cells on your face.  This is the #1 cause of shaving irritation, and its effects will magnify if your skin is out of its regular environment.

Shave Cream

Pick your favorite.  My boyfriend’s, unfortunately, is an aerosol.  He can’t take it with him.  We’ll come back to this one. If you have the option to use a badger bristled-brush, apply with this guy.  It’ll lift the follicle off your skin and you’ll have an easier shave.

Aftershave Balm

This has two functions; the main being that it soothes your skin after what you just put it through.  If your skin is pissed at you, this is what will soothe the savage beast.  It also is usually made with one or two anti-bacterial agents that kill bacteria that can enter your newly exfoliated pores.  This is different from ‘after shave’ that Dad and Grandpa used to use.  Those contain alcohol, which—while being a valiant form of antiseptic—sucks your skin dry as a bone of moisture and everything else that it needs to be happy.

An Awesome Moisturizer

You heard me.  Lotion ain’t just for chicks, anymore, fellas!  Be sure to pick something that’s got a nice emollient quality to it.  Too often, guys are using something that isn’t right for their skin.  Now is the time to soothe and reward.  If you’re unsure about what to use, go to a department store, walk straight through the cosmetics floor all the way to the back.  You’ll find the men’s section there.  Start asking some questions.  Be honest about your concerns, and hopefully, you have an informed sales person who will at the very least send you on your way with a few samples to try out.

Rest (when you can get it)

I know it’s a lot to ask, but make some time to put down the Blackberry, the iPhone, and the laptop and really get some sleep.  This is the time where your skin can recover without the rest of your body working hard to get you through your trip.  Drink a big glass of water and give yourself a good bedtime. You’ll wake up looking refreshed, and your skin will be way more willing to let you go through the whole process again in the morning.

A few product suggestions for shaving while on the road

Art of Shaving, 4 Elements of the Perfect Shave: The Carry On – $50

Contains a beautiful shave cream, pre-shave oil, and aftershave balm.  Badger shave brush included.  This comes in different scent variations.  I recommend the Unscented.  It’s good for sensitive skin.

Anthony Logistics, Shave Easy Kit – $30

I met Anthony a few years ago.  He delivers quality products (free of extra things your skin doesn’t need) and has a huge passion for doing so.  This is his kit, for everything you need for a good shave on the go.  Google him.  His own skin proves it.

Baxter of California, The Travel Kit – $50

This is one of the oldest targeted men’s skincare ranges on the market.  It was founded by a guy who moved from NYC to LA, and saw what the climate difference did to his skin.  He decided to be proactive, and developed a moisturizer for his own skin.

There are some options.  Give ‘em a shot. If you do fall in love, all of the products are available in larger sizes to keep at home. Y’all are on your honor system for the bottled water and sleep schedule!

About the author

Steph is a fashion designer and grooming expert. Originally from New Orleans, Steph now calls the Big Apple home. She has spent many years in the fashion industry, including a long stint at menswear boutique, John Varvatos. She knows her stuff.

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