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The Skin Care Products You Need For Your Next Vacation

You’re used to swapping out skin care products when the seasons change. But did you know that it’s just as essential to modify your skin care routine when you travel? This means adding moisture-surging creams in cold climates, anti-pollution products in big cities, and highly-protective sunscreens for beach vacays. Below, the essential beauty buys you need to pack for five different winter getaways, from Cabo San Lucas to Whistler, Canada, and beyond!

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Destination: New York City

In New York City, your skin is not going to be exposed to the elements, per se. But it is going to be exposed to smog, car fumes, smoke, soot and other harmful pollutants, which can cause acne, uneven skin tone, accelerated aging, and inflammation. To mitigate air pollution’s adverse effects, you’ll need targeted skin care products like a deep cleanser. Our pick? Skin Laundry’s Extra Deep Gel Face Wash, which cleared up our beat-up complexion while also soothing redness and inflammation. (Expert tip: For extra cleansing power, invest in a Clarisonic—it’s six times more effective than hands alone). Or, if your skin is really freaking out, try applying an exfoliating mask like REN Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask. Whatever you do, don’t skip the sunscreen. Why? Man-made pollution contributes to the erosion of the ozone layer, which leads to more sun exposure than normal. So be sure to slather your face with a powerful sunscreen—we swear by the luxurious, serum-like Supergoop! City Sunscreen—before heading out for the day.

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Destination: Santa Fe

Combating flaky, reptilian-like skin is the main skincare concern in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where the humidity level is rarely above 50%. So, you'll want to carry around a rich moisturizer like the Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrate—a makeup artist’s favorite, with a shea butter base and nourishing essential fatty acids—at all times. Another desert essential: EltaMD’s UV Clear Broad-Spectrum SPF, which provides lightweight, oil-free sun protection at a budget-friendly price ($22). When it comes to cleansing at the end of the day, shy away from gel formulas that risk stripping your skin of its natural oils. Instead, turn to the deeply comforting, cream-based Pai Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, which is enriched with skin-conditioning vitamins and omegas, and has a beautiful, subtle scent. If you need a mild exfoliant, we’d recommend the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay—a cult-beauty buy that uses bentonite clay from Death Valley, California to beautify and refresh.

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Destination: Whistler, Canada

Planning a ski vacay to Whistler, British Columbia? Be forewarned: it’s damn cold. But don’t let that stop you from getting outside and exploring the wintry wonderland. Just be sure that your dopp kit is filled with all the products you need to combat chapped, cracked, and wind-burned skin. Before heading out on the slopes, wash your skin with the Eve Lom Morning Time Cleanser, which uses aromatic cleansing oils (NOT harsh stripping agents) to exfoliate and brighten. Next up in your routine is the Susanne Kaufmann Sun Cream 25—a 70% organic, dermatologically-tested formula that won’t leave behind a white film or give you that waxy feel. Back at the hotel, slather your face with the Amaki Jasmine & Rose Nourishing Oil, then seal in the moisture using the ultra-rich Weleda Skin Food (we use it year-round).

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Destination: San Diego

The average woman puts 515 synthetic chemicals on her skin every day—but not in California, where clean, all-natural beauty is all the rage. So next time you're on the West Coast, why not use the opportunity to introduce, safe-non-toxic skin care to your routine? We’re obsessed with the 100% natural and planet-friendly brand, Tata Harper—especially, their luxurious Nourishing Oil Cleanser, which left our skin so soft and hydrated that we didn’t need to moisturize after. If you’re planning on heading to the beach, protect against harmful rays with the Drunk Elephant SPF 30 Umbra Sheer Sunscreen, a fragrance-free formula with a comprehensive array of antioxidants and mineral-based protection. At day’s end, remove makeup with S.W. Basics Makeup Remover, which is made from just three all-natural ingredients, and dissolved our stubborn eye makeup in seconds, then give your skin a major treat by covering your skin with the Shiva Rose Glow Face Balm. It’s made with shea butter, coconut oil, and rosehip oil, and gave our skin that dewy look you get after a facial.

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Destination: Cabo San Lucas 

Hitting the tanning salon ahead of your Cabo trip is a terrible—not to mention, unsafe—idea. At the same time, we understand not wanting to arrive on location looking like Casper the Friendly Ghost. The compromise: using the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads to get a radiant, sun kissed glow. They’re the only self-tanning wipes that gave us a streak-free, completely natural-looking glow. On the beach, spray yourself down with Coola’s Citrus Mimosa Sunscreen Spray, which has a delightfully subtle fragrance and contains 70% certified organic ingredients like cucumber, algae, and strawberry extracts. In the case of sunburn, apply Emuaid First Aid Ointment to reduce pain and inflammation and speed up the healing process. The last step in your day’s routine is applying the Root Science Youth Facial Serum, a powerful youth-enhancing oil that stimulates cell regeneration, targets brown spots, increase elasticity, and aids in moisture retention.

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