Post-Wedding Recovery: 10 Ways to Get Your Skin into the Honeymoon Stage
Just like that, the wedding of your dreams is over and you’re getting ready to jet off to your long-awaited honeymoon. To help you start off this stage of wedded bliss right, here’s your ready-made honeymoon skincare guide: everything you should do from the first night to the flight back home to help your skin unwind and maintain its beaming bridal glory. (P.S. All these tips work if you’re just vacationing, too!)
As much as your honeymoon is a romantic retreat where you and your spouse can gaze into each other’s eyes and enjoy one another and nobody else, it’s also very much so a rehab: a rehab to recover from the frenzy (and sometimes trauma) that is throwing the biggest party of your life, a wedding.
While romantic strolls on the beach and candlelit dinners are always a good idea to help you take it easy and relax, don’t forget that your skin needs a little R&R, too! The stress of preparing for the big day likely affected your skin in some way — even if it isn’t visible yet — as did wearing a face full of wedding makeup all day (and possibly night), not to mention the actual travel to your destination.
While your honeymoon is the ideal setting to get your skin on the road to recovery (assuming lounging and resting are part of the itinerary), the escapade itself can throw a wrench into your complexion recuperation plans. Think long plane rides, change of weather, different diet, and humidity and extra sun exposure if you’re vacaying on an island.
The good news is your skin is probably in good, resilient condition since you’ve most likely done everything you can to get your skin to look-at-me status for your wedding day. So you’re already ahead of the game. You just need to make sure the stress built up from months before and the aforementioned burden of travel doesn’t suddenly manifest on your skin in the form of acne, wrinkles, dryness, and, well, you get the idea.
How do you do that? Keep reading for tips on how to rebound from a stress-filled and party-packed several months. Because your skin deserves a honeymoon, too, you know.
Tip 1: Don’t skimp on skincare while packing
Packing for a honeymoon can feel like packing to move. So understandably, there’s a temptation to minimize on skincare when it comes to travel. While you’re cramming everything from sleepwear to straw hats into a carry-on (or life-size luggage), you somehow convince yourself that you can fare just fine without your usual multi-step skincare regimen.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Especially when you voyage into different settings your skin isn’t used to, you need to be prepared even more with the right products. That doesn’t mean you should pack your entire vanity, but you should at the very least make sure to take along the basics you rely on at home. If you’re planning on voyaging off to warmer climates, you should pack your warm-weather skincare, and if colder climates, pack your cold-weather skincare. You get the idea.
If you’re scrambling for space, sort through the samples you’ve been faithfully storing up (and if you haven’t, start as soon as you say “yes!”). You can also fill up empty travel-size bottles and even clean contact lens cases with the gels, liquids, or creams you don’t have samples of.
The only things you may want to leave behind are retinols and acids, especially if you plan to spend extended time under the sun, as they can heighten sun sensitivity.
Tip 2: Start your marriage on the right skincare step from the first night
The first night could look different for every newlywed. For some couples, it’s a party till the crack of dawn with loved ones. For others, it’s a romantic night alone with one another. Whatever it is, there are certain skincare steps that shouldn’t be neglected.
After months of stress, a full day of wearing more makeup than usual, a night of drinking and dancing, and a full travel plan ahead, it’s crucial to detox your skin and give it a fresh, clean start. That begins with none other than the trusty double cleanse. Use an oil cleanser to melt off oil-based makeup. Hypoallergenic and made with 99% natural ingredients, the mini SanDaWha Natural Mild Cleansing Oil set is a safe choice for all skin types and the perfect pick for packing light. Then use a gentle but powerful foam cleanser like Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea, another travel-friendly option, to whisk away sweat and other remaining impurities.
If you’re really devoted to recovering your skin and keeping that wedding glow, go the extra step with a charcoal or clay mask. Charcoal and clay both absorb the gunk you don’t want in your skin — pollution, dirt, excess sebum — and there are so many varieties out there to suit just about any skin type.
The double cleanse and a rinse-off mask to vacuum out all the dirties in your pores will transform your skin into a fresh, clean slate. That renders it prime time for a luxe overnight mask to replenish your skin of lost hydration and to boost the natural self-regeneration and repair of your epidermis as you sleep.
Packed with 85% propolis extract and other hydrating agents, COSRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask is a shoe-in if you want all the benefits of an overnighter without the sticky mess.
Tip 3: Take care of your skin in-flight
The flight to your honeymoon destination, as exciting as it is, presents another hurdle your skin must triumph over. Stale, circulated airplane air is notorious for drying out skin and accumulating buildup, both of which lead to increased sebum production, which in turn means bacteria and breakouts. In short, come ready for battle.
If possible, try to board with a fresh face: a true no-makeup look with SPF as your last skincare step. If that’s out of the question (because hey, you never know who you’ll run into), opt for makeup that doubles as skincare, keeping facial makeup as minimal as you can and focusing on the brows, eyes, and lips. Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream makes for a good flight option. It’s a soothing, moisturizing BB cream infused with hyaluronic acid and ceramide to plump up and deliver anti-aging benefits to skin while also offering even coverage and SPF 42/PA+++ sun protection.
Once onboard, it’s time for business. In-flight skincare can vary for everyone depending on how long the flight is and how comfy you are opening up a mini spa at your seat. But to the latter, just consider it less embarrassing to take care of your skin next to strangers you’ll never see again than to spend your honeymoon with a post-flight zit.
First things first, do a pseudo double cleanse. Remove your sunscreen and makeup right at your seat with samples or travel-friendly bottles filled with cleansing oil. Simply pack some cotton pads in a ziploc bag! These will also come in handy for the next couple steps because you’ll want to follow up with micellar water to wipe away the oil cleanser and other remaining impurities.
Next, follow up with toner also using the handy dandy cotton pads. Doing so offers an extra step of cleansing while hydrating and prepping skin to absorb the next steps. Try a toner with cleansing or exfoliating properties like Son&Park Beauty Water or SanDaWha Liposome Skin Softener.
A hassle-free hack is to pre-soak one or two cotton pads each with cleansing oil, cleansing water, and toner and store them in separate ziploc bags on the day you leave for your flight.
Now is prime time for a sheet mask to kick any chance of dry, tight skin to the curb. Etude House 0.2 Therapy Air Mask offers a variety of super fine sheet masks that fight acne, brighten dull complexions, and more. The pomegranate variety is especially drenched with antioxidants and moisturizing agents, which is key in fighting plane air.
Then apply an overnight mask (even if it’s not a red-eye) or facial oil to seal the deal and shield skin from high-altitude foes. If you’re a little bashful about sheet masking, you can skip it and go right to this step. Super luxe and enriched with hanbang ingredients that fortify skin’s natural barrier and softens skin, Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask EX can easily be your in-flight fave.
OK, the next step is a bit of a head-scratcher because it’s not every day you wear sunscreen over a sleep mask. But because you’re much closer to the sun and its harmful rays while flying than while on the ground, you should be applying sunscreen during a daytime flight. Plane windows only block UVB rays, not UVA rays, so keep the blinds down or move to an aisle seat. You can hear more scary details from the experts themselves here.
Tip 4: Check in to your hotel and get your skincare squared away
Once you settle into your room, bungalow, what have you, cleanse and exfoliate your skin. To reveal your soft and glowing skin again, it’s important to slough away buildup and bacteria from the flight. Just make sure the exfoliator is gentle, as harsh ones can irritate your vulnerable skin.
COSRX One Step Moisture Up Pad is a must-pack for exfoliating on vacay because its BHA content (which is not sun sensitizing) is gentle yet powerful and leaves skin feeling baby-bottom soft. It’s also infused with propolis extract, which is just what your honeymoon skin needs to refresh and recover. Plus, you can toss a few into a Ziploc bag if you don’t want to pack away the whole container!
Tip 5: Ante up your SPF game
Just because you’re taking a break from reality doesn’t mean you can ditch your SPF duties. Especially if your itinerary consists mainly of sipping on cocktails by the beach, you need to get super serious and rigid about your sunscreen application.
A good rule of thumb is to reapply sunscreen every two hours and as soon as you step out of the waters. Missha All Around Safe Block Waterproof Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA++++ has been a K-beauty fave for its waterproof protection and oil-control and anti-aging qualities. Laneige Anti-Pollution Two-Tone Sun Stick SPF 50+ PA++++ makes it so easy to reapply since it’s in stick form. It not only offers the most powerful UVA/UVB protection available on the market, but it also protects against fine dust and pollution while brightening the complexion and counteracting redness.
Take it up another notch by wearing hats. Even the Korean-mom type of visors are trending lately, so take advantage and gear up!
Tip 6: Take your antioxidants daily
While you explore the city or lay out on the sand, free radicals caused by pollution and the sun’s rays can be undercover assaulting your skin. To prevent such damage, make sure to apply some form of antioxidants every day.
Antioxidants reduce free radical damage, including redness, discoloration, and the breakdown of collagen and elastin. They also help strengthen the power of your SPF.
Lately, it seem antioxidants are all the rage and can be found in so many products, such as serums with vitamin C, niacinamide, pomegranate extract, and berry extract. You can check out some pollution-fighting antioxidant products here.
Tip 7: Double cleanse after your dip
Washing up after a day in the water is generally a given, but some skip the double cleanse because they didn’t wear makeup while swimming. Grave mistake.
One, you most likely wore sunscreen, so you need to melt all that away with a good cleansing oil. Two, your skin is probably drier than usual since you emerged from the water and either air- or towel-dried your face. Skipping straight to a second-step cleanser can strip your already dry skin even more, leaving you prone to irritation, peeling, and even breakouts.
Word to the wise, toss a facial mist into your beach tote so you can rehydrate your face right then and there after a swim.
Tip 8: Mask & chill every night
Squeeze in some masking time every night of your trip to help your skin recuperate from the fun-filled day.
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A hydrating mask like Keep Cool and Ocean Mask is a smart choice for those who are honeymooning in drier climates or swimming a lot.
A cooling, oil-absorbing, and redness-reducing sheet mask like Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask or So Natural Facial Design Pink Mud Mask is great for those whose schedules are packed with sightseeing and roaming the city streets.
Tip 9: Take a sea salt bath to hydrate body skin
With all this focus on your facial complexion, let’s not forget the skin on your body. Nobody wants bacne or rough skin on their honeymoon, but that’s exactly what can happen if you’re not careful to deep clean your skin and keep it hydrated.
Sea salt is thought to have purifying and moisturizing benefits, and a study at the University of Kiel in Germany found the latter to be true. After 15 minutes of soaking in a sea salt bath, people with chronic dry skin found the moisture barrier of their skin was significantly stronger for six weeks. Sea salt also helps to keep bacne at bay as it helps alleviate skin irritations.
A bonus benefit of sitting in a warm bath is the natural glow-imparting steam facial that comes with it. A steam facial can help release dirt, debris, and other undesirables from pores. It’ll also help your skincare products soak into skin more efficiently.
Tip 10: Go makeup-free
Your honeymoon is the ideal time to treat your skin to a nice break from makeup. As much as makeup these days can also be nourishing for skin, they’re also formulated with colors and ingredients that can clog pores and exhaust skin.
If you’re enjoying newlywed bliss on an island, the heat and humidity most likely doesn’t vibe well with pore-clogging makeup either. So try to find days where you can skip makeup altogether for the maximum recovery of your skin before you head back home.
Whether you’re newly married or just finally going on your annual vacation, use these honeymoon skincare tidbits to give your skin some R&R, too. What are some of your go-to travel tips for keeping skin glowing?