Ukrainian Travel and Lifestyle: Radical Self-care

Some international travelers get clogged pores and breakouts on their cheeks, even though they still exfoliate as usual. Further analysis reveals that any cleansers that include these ingredients can dry the skin or clog your skin ruthlessly: mineral oils, talc, petrolatum and any products containing petroleum.

  • An international traveler needs an oil-free and non-pore-blocking moisturizer.

Because the European continent can be quite dry when it comes to climate, your skin may feel slightly dry when you are there. Therefore, you would be well-advised to use a safe product such as Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturizer. Having said that, if you worry about zits, then you may zap it with Boots No7’s Calm and Conceal Blemish Treatment. It is a dual-ended pen with one side to banish the spot and the other to hide the zit.

I don’t want to make you panic; however, the regulations that beauty products go through before reaching a store shelf are actually minimal. For instance, there are no universal ingredient restrictions, procedures or guidelines anywhere in the world for determining whether or not a skin-care product qualifies as being hypoallergenic for sensitive skin. Hence, the label is bandied around rather casually and if you actually have seriously sensitive skin, I think you’d better read the label carefully first.

As a matter of fact, a face cream or lotion takes 25 seconds from application until it enters your bloodstream; as a consequence, you really have to pay as much attention to the list of ingredients on the label as you do your food packaging. Common chemicals to avoid include phthalates, parabens, sulfate lauryl sulfate (SLS), propylene glycol and formaldehyde. Maybe you can’t avoid all of them all the time, yet just keep this list on your notepad and next time you go shopping in Ukraine, you can take a glance quickly.

  • Maintain youthful skin while travelling internationally.

No matter you are a man or a woman, your skin is the biggest organ of your body. That’s why it is extremely important to protect your skin well, especially when you travel internationally – when you are on the plane, the air is very dry, so you would be well-advised to nourish your skin in the right way.

After a double cleanse, take 20 seconds to wipe your skin with a toner or splash with cold water (Some celebrities even dip their faces into a bowl of ice). This action will close all the pores you have just cleaned with your cleanser. At the same time, it can reduce redness and tighten the skin. Next, massage a facial serum into your skin carefully. Leave for several minutes until it’s sunk in completely, and then go for your moisturizer. If this is your skin-care routine in the morning, you may need to add a product which contains SPF in it, even if it’s a cloudy day.

Those who are looking for anti-aging products should look for a mix of peptides plus vitamins A, C and E – products that contain these ingredients can keep your skin from wrinkling by protecting it from harmful pollutants and speeding up internal repair.

That being said, those who have sensitive skin need to be careful: if the irritation or redness is caused by skin sensitivity or irritation, you may use products that include anti-inflammatory ingredients, e.g. green tea and resveratrol. Also, remember to wear sunscreen because the sun makes redness worse. I personally prefer an oil-free sunscreen with both SPF and PA in it because I am not a fan of any tan (SPF prevents the skin from getting hurt; PA prevents the skin from getting darker).

Apart from that, I always use an eye gel or eye serum rather than a thick eye cream because I can’t absorb so much in the eye area. According to my experience, eye treatments containing hyaluronic acid can plump and hydrate the eye area. No matter your age, Elizabeth Arden Anti-aging and Intensive Repair Eye Serum is a good option. And it’s available when you travel in Europe.

By the way, never ignore your hands. You can have as many face-lifts as you like, but people can always tell your age from your hands. Hence, you might want to apply a hydrating hand cream in the day and a retinol-based serum on your hands at night. According to beauty experts in Ukraine, retinol is a wonderful ingredient which tackles everything from wrinkles to discoloration. But if your skin is very sensitive, you should look for ferulic acid instead.

Sometimes your skin can get really dry after getting off the plane or when you sleep in air-conditioning. In that case, you probably need to use a face oil before you go to bed at night. Face oils made from natural essential oils are different from other oils. International travelers may benefit from jojoba oil, olive oil and almond oil. As a matter of fact, almond oil was used in ancient India, Greece and China to improve skin tone and treat dry skin. Moreover, high-quality face oils can also regulate the greasiness of oily skin, although this sounds quite counterintuitive. This is how it works: when you use face oil on your skin, pores think they have enough oil, so they stop producing oil. As a result, my favorite face oils are grapeseed oil and peppermint oil when my skin becomes oily. Those who have acne-prone skin should use tea tree oil or evening primrose oil.

  • The most trusted skin-care products / must-haves in Ukraine:

Although these products aren’t necessarily made in Ukraine, most of them are available in Ukrainian stores according to my experience. Whenever I go to Ukraine, I often buy these must-haves for radical self-care.

  1. Vaseline: This can be used everywhere. I use it on lips, eyelids, cheekbones and legs. It is the most versatile skin-care product in the world.
  2. Trader Joe’s Lavender Sea Salt Body Scrub: This is cheap and effective. It smells divine and when I bought a tub last time, the salesperson told me that many celebrities also love this product. My recommendation: make sure you stir it up before using this body scrub.
  3. Carol’s Daughter Lemon Jojoba Cuticle Oil: This cuticle oil is full of natural oils such as soybean, jojoba and almond oils. After the shower, you can use this to the cuticles on your feet and hands every day.
  4. Sheamoisture African Black Soap: This soap is full of shea butter, oats, plantain peel, plant ash, tamarind and aloe. This is the most soothing soap for the tired skin after travelling internationally.
  5. Albolene: This product has stood the test of time. If you have oily skin, you may use this before washing your face.
  6. Caudelie Beauty Elixir: Carry this little bottle in your bag whenever you travel internationally. You will love this fresh spritz to refresh your face and wake you up when it’s necessary.

“On sleepy days, remember to use fizzy water for brushing your teeth – this is extremely refreshing!”