Welcome to our series, Travel Beauty Hacks, where each week we dish on the latest trends, the best advice and the most travel friendly products in beauty and wellness right now. Whether you’re island hopping in Southeast Asia, backpacking through Europe or preparing for a long haul flight, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need to ensure you look (and feel) your best.
What you put inside your body is just as important as what goes on the outside—this is a known fact. Look at any model or celebrity’s Instagram account, and you’ll likely find a picture laden with green juice, “wellness teas,” and exotic looking supplements, complete with a caption touting their life-changing abilities. That being said, beauty and wellness digestibles are having a serious moment.
There are supplements, tonics, potions, and elixirs of every kind: some to keep your spirits uplifted, some to boost digestion, and others that claim to give users healthy, glowing skin. Since health and skincare routines are often impacted (or altogether ignored) while traveling, the rise of supplements makes a great alternative for your favorite beauty products, which run the risk of being taken away by security, or left behind at the hotel. But do any of them really work? At T+L, a firsthand road test found that, yes—some really do. When one T+L editor caught a cold before flying halfway around the world, sucking on 2-3 Juice Press Ginger Fireball Suckers daily alleviated symptoms within a day. After two days, the cold was gone. (For anybody who tends to get sick while traveling, these Suckers are a must-pack.) But it’s much easier to notice the disappearance of a sore throat than it is to see “glowing skin.” We caught up with HUM nutritionist and expert Alex Caspero to get the low down on which supplements really work, why to take them, and what ingredients to avoid.
What supplements or vitamins should every traveler pack with them?
"The biggest thing I recommend are probiotics to help with digestion—with any change in diet, and foreign microbes (found in local tap water/foods, germs in the plane) probiotics are your best bet for defense. Ideally, start them at least one week before your trip and continue to take them at least one week after. As a frequent flyer, I rely on rhodiola and ashwagandha to help deal with travel stress. Rhodiola, an adaptogen, helps to increase focus and reduce fatigue. Ashwagandha, an adaptogenic herb popular in Ayurvedic medicine, helps lower cortisol, the stress hormone. And if travel upsets your stomach, take ginger chews before getting on the plane or car to help with motion sickness."
What are the best supplements or tips to beat jet lag?
"For jet-lag—especially after a red-eye–I recommend melatonin to help regulate the sleep/wake cycle. Melatonin, a hormone, can promote sleep, especially helpful when traveling through numerous time zones. I swear by HUM's Beauty Zzzz, which contains calcium and Vitamin B6 in addition to melatonin. Once you arrive to your location, take one pill 30 minutes before bedtime. Do this again for the duration of your trip to prevent you from waking in the middle of the night! Since Melatonin is non-habit forming, feel free to keep a stock on hand for nights that you need a little extra help. In addition to melatonin, I rely on deep belly breathing to reduce blood pressure and help ease into sleep. Lie down, turn off the lights (especially blue lights from phones/ipads), and close your eyes. Take 10 deep belly breaths, holding each breath for 1-2 seconds at the top then slowly exhaling. Also, eating meals based on the current time zone can help your body regulate faster. For example, if you arrive at 8AM, grab coffee and breakfast even if it's only 3AM to your body. Doing this can help you adapt faster to the local time zone."
How can we use supplements to keep our skin healthy while traveling?
"For healthy skin, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, and probiotics are key. To reduce extra weight in your suitcase, I pack individual satchels of Fearless & Flawless by HUM nutrition. Each packet contains detoxing herbs like chlorella, red clover and dandelion root along with antioxidants (in the form of zinc, selenium and beetroot extract) and omega-3 fatty acids. Eat less sugar, whether you are traveling or not. High glycemic diets increase inflammation and can increase redness and acne. While I still recommend splurging on dessert once in a while—especially when traveling to fabulous restaurants—limit the day-to-day sugar."
What ingredients should we be avoiding when looking for the right supplement?
"The biggest thing I see is poor quality. Just like anything, quality matters and price usually—though not always—reflects this. Check the ingredient labels to see what else is included in addition to the supplements. Red flags for me are sugar (to improve taste), fillers and artificial colors. If you are taking fish oil, make sure it's of quality, sourced correctly and not rancid! Rancid oils actually promote inflammation, not reduce it! If your fish oil causes you to burp afterwards—chances are it's rancid."