Let's face it (pun intended), being on vacation is one of the worst times to breakout. You'll be taking pictures your whole trip and running around from place to place all day, and worrying about a pimple is the last thing you should be concerned about! With some basic planning, avoiding a breakout while abroad should be easy. Just make sure you know what to pack and what to expect.
1. Face wash isn't enough
Travel with micellar water - especially if you'll be staying in hostels. There are sure to be nights when you get back to your room late and washing your face will be the last thing you want to do before passing out. Sometimes even if you want to wash your face you'll have groups of people hogging the bathroom sink in your hostel. Micellar water and some cotton pads will remove your makeup and leave your face feeling refreshed in one clean swoop. Micellar water is a great back-up in airports too. Now you have no excuse not to clean your face every single night! The Garnier one is my favorite. Make sure you get the blue bottle which removes waterproof makeup too.
2. Travel with clear acne gel
We've all tried and loved the toothpaste trick, but the look is one best saved for the privacy of your own bedroom. When you're sharing a hostel with 5+ strangers it'll be nice to have invested in some clear acne gel and spare yourself the awkward glances.
3. Be prepared for your skin type to change
Jet-lag, a new diet, stress, weather, and even different water hardness can not only lead to breakouts, but can also cause your skin type to change. If you tend to have dry skin, it might be a good idea to bring oil-blot wipes and a translucent oil-absorbing powder and/or setting spray in case you do notice a shift in your skin type while traveling - especially if you're headed somewhere with more humidity than you're used to. Likewise, those with oily skin should consider bringing a moisturizer to combat any unexpected dryness. Remember long flights are known to dry your skin excessively.
4. Always wear sunscreen!!!
Traveling will have you spending most of your days outside for long hours at a time, and while a little bit of sunlight can actually help clear breakouts, too much sun exposure can have just the opposite effect. Find a face sunscreen and make sure it's non-comedogenic (won't clog pores). My personal favorite is Vita Liberata's Passionflower and Argan Dry-Oil with SPF 50. While it's intended for dry skin, I've always had oily skin and have noticed that this sunscreen actually makes me less oily throughout the day. The 3.38 oz. bottle runs at $45 (seems insane, I know!) but it has replaced my daily moisturizer, and the fact that I'm getting SPF 50 and avoiding that annoying, greasy, 'I have to wash my hands right after I use sunscreen' feeling makes it totally worth it. I've had my bottle for 6 months now and have yet to go through half of it. For my fellow fair-skinned ladies, this one is a must!
5. Use clean towels and makeup brushes
I recommend not traveling with a towel at all. At hotels they're free and in hostels you can rent them cheap. If you get a new towel at each place you travel to, you're guaranteed to wipe your face with a fresh towel every time and will avoid having to find time for laundry. Plus, it's one less thing to pack.
As far as makeup brushes, depending on how long you'll be abroad, it might be worth it to invest in an on-the-go brush spray to hold you over between deep cleans. I haven't tried this one myself, but the IT Cosmetics brush cleaner has great reviews!
I love my makeup sponge for foundation, but it can get gross when you're not able to let it air dry between uses because you have to catch a bus or train to your next destination. The RealTechniques sponge is available in a 2-pack so you can toss one out halfway through your adventure and start with a fresh one. The 2-pack is about $11 while the original Beauty Blender runs at $20, and personally I haven't noticed a difference in the quality between the two brands.
6. Stay hydrated!
I don't need to lecture you about the well-known benefits of water and what it can do for your complexion, but in a busy, fast-paced day of traveling it can be hard to get your recommended 6-8 glasses. Make a point to stop and stock up on water. Remember you can't drink the tap in a lot of foreign countries.
7. If all else fails, a little FaceTune never killed nobody...