The ultimate guide to skincare packing as we travel again
Should the three different kinds of moisturizers go in, when I am trying to pack light? What about the hydrating cleanser? Do I need it or is it excessive for a two-day trip? Sunblock is a must but then I should carry that aloe gel too! How I wish I could carry a dozen shades of lip color to go with my outfits…Do these concerns sound familiar? The tedious task of packing a day before you have to travel can quickly turn into a nightmare when you are running against time. So here’s a quick lowdown of the top 5 products that are non-negotiable in your skincare kit when you travel, particularly by air.
What happens to our body when we travel by flight-an Ayurvedic explanation
To understand that, let us know what vata dosha in Ayurveda is. According to the science of Ayurveda, vata dosha or bio energy combines the elements of air and space and this governs circulation, movement, and elimination. When it gets out of balance, it can lead to restlessness, dry skin, roughness, feeling cold, tension headaches, lack of focus, anxiety, worry and sensory sensitivity, among other things. When you travel by air, the vata dosha is the first to take a hit. And so it is likely that when you land, you may feel a bit pacey, light-headed, and very dry.
There is an important principle in Ayurveda that says, ‘like increases like’. So if you continue with eating cold or frozen foods, have a diet that lacks moisture or is not unctuous, or there is a lot of movement, or when you are flying, the air and space element tend to get aggravated in the mind-body complex. And so the first guiding principle, when you are traveling by air is, make sure you do things and eat foods that can balance the air and space element in the body. So oiling and hydrating your body is important; managing to stick to your routine is the other must-do; drink a lot of fluid even while you travel. We usually tend to not drink enough water or juices while traveling to avoid having to run to the washroom again and again but it can further aggravate the vata dosha.
Here are a few quick guidelines to keep the vata in check while you travel:
- Try and stay warm to counter the cold quality of vata. Carry a layer with you, and keep asking for warm water to drink through the entire flight.
Do not eat heavy foods since vata vitiation weakens your digestion. Even when you reach, as vata settles, have light unctuous meals, while your body adjusts to the dominant doshas in the new place.
- Stay silent as much as possible. Talking too much can add to vata which is already getting out of hand.
- Have a non-sticky moisturizer handy to keep the skin from drying off. Shankara’s Rich Repair moisturizer is a good option in this regard, since it is made using herbs that are specifically vata pacifying including arjuna, Gotu kola, aloe leaf juice, hydrating amino acids, kukui nut oil, dashmoola, rice protein among others. This moisturizing blend supports natural renewal of your skin; is warming; loaded in antioxidants, is restorative and balancing and provides natural sun protection!
- Aromatherapy oils, like Shankara’s Calming Essence, can be a great way to relax your senses after a long flight; can help fight jet lag and tiredness. The Calming Essence comprises of two varieties- Soothing Essence, which helps you stay calm when flight delays, baggage issues, excessive heat or crowds make you irritable. The Energizing Essence helps you stay alert and rejuvenated, even if you must drive through the night, and especially if you must drive through the night.
- A body massage with a muscle release specialist like Shankara’s Muscle Release Oil, will help you get rid of the stiffness, soar sensation and dryness in the muscles when you land after a long flight. The oil, a unique blend of eastern herbal essences and actives from the west like sunflower, almond, sesame, aloe vera, castor, jojoba, sweet birch, lavender, cedarwood, frankincense, devils claw, Boswellia among others, is widely being used by those who are into sports, Yoga or frequent travelers.
Abhyanga or self-massage with calming oils trigger release of feel-good hormones such as serotonin and dopamine.
Ayurveda recommends use of herbal oils for massages that offer cumulative benefits of its ingredients deep into the epidermal and dermal tissues. For example, Shankara’s Harmonizing Body Oil is formulated with the goodness of deeply relaxing and de-stressing herbs like the raspberry seed, black cohosh, clary sage, sesame oil, grapeseed oil, borage, aloe vera, and castor oil, and other herbs. It uplifts, rebalances, and centers you. It has an essence that soothes your senses and relaxes them. The raspberry has an anti-aging quality to it, fights inflammations, acne, and blemishes, and boosts collagen production too. Clary sage present in it is a natural mood lifter, mitigates stress and also soothes menstrual cramps.
- It is also important to stretch your limbs and move around from time to time while you are traveling, to ground vata.
- If you can organize for a hot water bag to place on your stomach at night before going to sleep, can help balance vata and provide warmth and relaxation. This will also support a healthy bowel movement, which often gets affected when we travel.
Here are five calming Ayurveda-inspired body oils to cool you down, soften your skin, reduce dryness, and chronic pain, and heal anxiety and stress.