5 Pimple Remedies When Traveling

If you follow me on Snapchat, you saw the red pimple that was trying to wriggle it's way onto my face one day before my trip (and if you didn't, you are in luck because you can see them all on the AES Youtube Channel. I wasn't surprised, pimples have a way of coming right when you want them least. Lucky for me and you, there are a few steps you can take to calm those unwanted pimples so you can get on and enjoy your trip:

1. Ice: What do you do when you sprain your ankle and it gets all big and swollen?  You ice it to help bring the inflammation down.  Well the same inflammatory process is happening when you get those big inflamed pimples and applying direct ice for 2-5 minutes after cleansing morning and night will do the same.  I always bring my silicone popsicle molds with me because apparently, people aren't as obsessed with ice as we are in the U.S.  If you don't have one, you can find them for cheap on Amazon. As soon as I get to the hotel, I fill that thing up, put a towel bib under my chin, and put the ice part directly on my face if I even think I feel a pimple coming.

2. Spot treat: The BP Cream is usually a part of the evening regimen but when you have an inflamed zit, an extra application in the morning can help calm symptoms of inflammation like redness and swelling.  Apply a thin layer after your serum in the morning and let it sit for as long as possible before applying your moisturizer to avoid decreasing the effectiveness of the benzoyl peroxide. You can see the red bump that was forming on my upper lip in the first video snap the day before my trip.  It hadn't quite formed a pimple yet but I just knew it was coming (as us people with acne always do!) because it started feeling itchy and sore, classic signs of inflammation.  I iced it multiple times that day, did an extra application of BP Cream in the morning, and you can in the video on the way to the airport that the redness and swelling had already gone down by the next day.

3. Be consistent with your regimen: Sticking to your regimen after you've spent all day sightseeing or drinking or partying or whatever it is that you fancy doing when you travel is rough.  The cleansing, then the icing, then the Aqua Gel, then the drying before the BP Cream, I know I know. BUT just because you have taken a vacation doesn't mean your retention hyperkeratosis has and the serum keep those dead skin cells from accumulating in the follicle and causing future pimples.  So if you really really really can't deal with doing your entire regimen one night, at least slap on the serum before bed to keep those comedones from forming.  If it's too late and you can already feel something forming but still can't find the motivation to do your whole regimen, apply the serum to help move that seed up and the BP cream too to keep it from blowing up and becoming inflamed.

4. Don't touch it: If this post was called, "How to make a zit bigger and more noticeable", picking/touching/helping/whatever other terms you may use to excuse yourself would be at the top of the list.  Please believe me when I say that a few days of pimple is better than a few days of picked nastiness so leave it alone and let the products do their thing.  If you are a compulsive picker and your hands can't help but roam onto your face, follow the three foot rule (or the 1 meter rule if you are not American) and stay at least three feet away from the mirror at all times. Don't worry, it's still close enough that you will see if your lipstick is on your forehead.

5. Practice acceptance: After you have taken what steps you can to help the pimple heal, accept it, remind yourself that that nobody notices your acne as much as you do (literally, repeat it to yourself throughout the day like a mantra), and try to enjoy yourself.  Seriously, this is the most important step on this list and also the hardest but we can't heal the physical effects of acne without healing the psychological ones too.  And if it feels impossible to stop obsessing about your acne today, that is okay too. Focusing on the good things is a practice so don't beat yourself up if you can't help but well, beat yourself up. As I tell my clients, just do your best and be as kind to yourself as you would be to your favorite person :)

Coach Kimmy's Clear Skin Travel Essentials

Traveling is the second most common time for my clients to fall off of the clear skin wagon.  Even my graduates who have been clear for years tend to come back with a few more zits post-vacay than they left with.  Regardless of what stage you are at in the clearing process, here is a list of travel essentials that I prepared for this trip to prevent breaking out:

Pillowcases and face towel (a body towel too if you are prone to body-acne): When hotels use dryer sheets, fabric softener, and detergents containing fragrance or other cloggy ingredients, just sleeping on their pillows and using their towels can lead to new breakouts.  I actually forgot to put my face towel in my luggage so if life happens (as it will sometimes), improvise!  (You can see how I improvised in the picture above that I Snapchatted from earlier today). And if you haven't yet cut out the dryer sheets and switched over to a non-cloggy detergent, choose an AES approved product from our Acne Safe Household Products Pinterest board, do a load of laundry before you leave, and try not to forget like I did ;)

Popsicle molds: If icing is still a part of your regimen, pack a silicone popsicle mold because you will be doing your regimen twice a day even on vacation, right?!  Heck, it's not a bad idea to pack that sucker even if you are clear or you don't usually get inflamed pimples like me because you never know when an inflamed pimple will emerge and they tend to pop up when you least expect it (more on that situation in the next post).

Coffee creamer: If you don't have a full blown coffee addiction like I do, feel free to skip this one.  If you are a fellow Coffeeholics Anonymous member and you don't like your coffee black, do like I do and pack a bottle (or two or three...) of dairy/soy free creamer because most places do not offer dairy and soy free milk options. If you are going to Italy, they definitely don't have acne-safe options, TRUST.

Acne-Safe Snacks: Bring your own AES approved snack (free of dairy, peanuts, and soy).  I like nuts and granola bars but make sure to check that the bars you are getting don't contain soy protein because a lot of them do.

Toiletries: Unless you want to risk breaking out around your hairline and mouth while vacationing, bring your own hair products and toothpaste. If pimples around the mouth and forehead is the look you are going for then by all means, use the random toothpaste that your travel partner brought with them. And no, if doesn't matter that you are only traveling for a few days, it only takes ONE usage to breakout from a cloggy product.  If you forget any of your toiletries, take a screenshot of our list of comedogenic ingredients and scout a non-cloggy ingredient at a nearby store (a lot of countries have ingredient lists in English).

Update from our sponsor sisters for Women for Women International!

Thanks to all of the AES tribe, Humilje, the mother of four from Kosovo whom we have been sponsoring together has recently just graduated from the Women for Women program! Throughout the year long training program, she has gained skills and education that will allow her to support her family and create sustainable change in her community. We are so proud of her and thankful for the support from you all that allowed us to give back-THANK YOU!

Next, we will be sponsoring Tabu from The Democratic Republic of the Congo!  She is a mother of six children who has joined a network of support through Women for Women. At the completion of her training program, she too will have the skills to support her family and create change in her community. We look forward to encouraging her throughout her journey as well! 

Learn more about Women for Women International in The Democratic Republic of the Congo