Peak vacation season is here. We’re spending more time in the sun, on airplanes, and away from our normal routine. What’s the best way to protect our skin from sun damage, dehydration, and jet lag, while also soaking up vitamin D, looking our best, and enjoying our vacation? We spoke to the founder of natural skincare company Palermo Body, Jessica Morelli, to learn her skin-saving secrets.

Splendid Spoon: Before we even arrive at our destination, we need to get through the journey. What’s the best way to stop our skin from freaking out on a flight?

Jessica: Hydration is always important, but especially so when flying. Being in a pressurized airplane cabin with recycled air and a lack of humidity can dehydrate you. I make sure I drink plenty of water, and I pack a travel-size bottle of our Hydrating Facial Toner in my purse. Giving myself a liberal spritz before, during, and after the flight keeps my skin glowing.

SS: How can we stop our skin from revealing how jet-lagged we feel?

JM: Always bring your favorite products with you. I never leave town without my toner, Regenerative Facial Serum, and Vitamin C Mask.

I also never fly with makeup on. Instead, I give myself 15 minutes to apply it once I land. If I need to look especially fresh before I even get to my hotel or destination, I’ll make a pitstop in the airport bathroom for a quick refresh. I do a Minute Mask (I have no shame in doing this in a public bathroom: a girl’s gotta look her best, right?!). I’ll follow that with our toner and serum, before applying makeup.

SS: How do we find the perfect balance between sunbathing and sun protection?

JM: I apply SPF to my face every day. Unfortunately, it took many years for me to form this habit. I have an olive complexion and rarely burn, so it took me a while to understand the importance of daily protection from the sun. I now make an effort to use a broad spectrum SPF [one that protects from both UVA and UVB rays — Ed.].

However, I do still still sunbathe. Here’s how I do it: I apply that broad spectrum SPF to my face, (I’m currently loving Josh Rosebrook’s Nutrient Day Cream Tinted SPF 30), and I wear a beach hat. Yes, I do both. My face gets enough sun exposure on a normal day, so already has a summery glow. I don’t need or want additional rays on my face. If I’m looking to get a touch of color on my body, I start the day with SPF 15, then follow with SPF 30 once I feel I have a good base tan.

The most important thing to realize is that sun exposure damages your skin. It’s so much more important to wear sunscreen than to be super tan.

SS: What are your favorite go-to toxin-free sunscreens?

JM: I have a few favorites, which all have slightly different benefits:

Natural Tinted Options:

  • Josh Rosebrook — Nutrient Day Cream Tinted SPF 30. This lightweight formula blends in with ease while still providing the necessary SPF coverage.
  • Suntegrity — 5 in 5 Tinted Face Sunscreen SPF 30. This offers a buildable tint, making it a great replacement to a less protective CC cream.
  • Jane Iredale — Dream Tint SPF 15. This is a good choice if you’re looking for foundation coverage that includes SPF.

Natural Untinted Options:

  • Josh Rosebrook — Nutrient Day Cream SPF 30. This one is my favorite untinted facial option. It’s super lightweight, but still provides the necessary SPF coverage.
  • Suntegrity — Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30. This one has a denser consistency for body coverage.
  • Raw Elements — Eco Formula SPF 30. This one is great for body coverage, and has a more approachable price point!

SS: After a day in the sun, how can we give our skin the love and care it needs?

JM: I follow a day in the sun with a cool shower and generous helping of our Repairing Body Oil. This oil was formulated with soothing ingredients to help repair potential sun damage and soothe burns.

SS: How can we keep our vacation glow going when we return home?

JM: Moisturize! If you continually moisturize your skin, especially right after a shower, you’ll maintain your summer glow for months. Body oils are the best way to nourish and moisturize your skin.

Photos: Palermo Body.