Picture this: you spend months planning the perfect vacation. In the weeks leading up to the big trip, you’re prepping — treating yourself to pre-vacation self-care and buying new outfits. Things couldn’t be going any better. When you finally arrive at your destination, it’s everything you’d dreamed of. But then — boom! A big zit or terrible breakout shows up at the worst possible time.

We’ve all experienced acne at a less-than-ideal time. While there’s never a good time to get a zit, it’s not something you want to deal with on vacation. It can bring your mood down and ruin the vibe of the trip. But there are ways to ensure your vacation is zit-free, and therefore, stress-free.

Here are six tips for avoiding acne on your next vacation.

1.    Find a Long-Term Acne Solution

Rather than treating acne while you’re on vacation, when it may be too late, opt for prevention. Treating the root cause of acne will hopefully vanish it for good. This can be hard to do since everyone’s skin is so different. If you’ve struggled with acne for a long time, you may very well need a prescription treatment.

Oftentimes, an acne prescription is the only thing that has the strength to truly rid you of acne and blemishes. Remember, acne is more than just clogged pores or an occasional zit every now and then. For many people, acne is a skin condition that must be treated as such. Luckily, online treatments are readily available for anyone who wants an effective treatment for curing acne.

2.    Perfect Your Skin Care Routine

Once you treat acne at the source, work on perfecting your skin care routine. Even if no acne is present, good skin care is still essential for a few reasons. One, using good products that are right for your skin can prevent breakouts. Two, good products help you achieve a smoother, more even-toned complexion, leaving skin bright and glowing. Three, incorporating the right products into your routine can help prevent early signs of aging (wrinkles, dark circles, etc.).

To build the best skin care routine, start with the essential components. The main steps are to cleanse, treat, and moisturize. There can be several products, but each one falls into one of those categories. Your routine should include a cleanser, toner, serum(s), eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen.

When choosing products for your specific routine, think about your concerns and skin type. For example, a serum with retinoids can reduce wrinkles and hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C serums also have anti-aging properties, but they give skin a brighter, more radiant appearance. For this reason, many people like to incorporate vitamin C into their morning skincare routine.

3.    Take a Makeup Break Pre-Vacation

During the weeks leading up to your vacation, try wearing as little makeup as possible. Makeup causes breakouts for a variety of reasons. You don’t have to do away with it completely, but be conscious of it. Specifically, pay attention to the ingredients in your products, the methods you use to apply your makeup, and how much product you’re using.

First, your makeup could be causing breakouts because it’s clogging your pores. Lots of makeup, ingredients, and other bacteria can all lead to unpleasant breakouts. Use non-comedogenic makeup (products formulated to not clog pores) to ensure this doesn’t happen. Secondly, ingredients could be irritating your skin and causing breakouts. Try hypoallergenic products to see if this fixes the issue. Lastly, use clean applicators to apply face products — not your hands.

4.    Make Appropriate Dietary Changes

Believe it or not, making small changes to your diet can help you avoid hormonal breakouts. Hormonal changes can increase the amount of oil your skin produces. When oil interacts with the bacteria on your face, it causes breakouts. Fortunately, the right diet can keep your hormones balanced which, in turn, helps your skin.

Red meat, processed foods, caffeine, and dairy products can throw off your hormonal balance. But a diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins can keep hormones balanced. If you think that you’re suffering from hormonal breakouts, try cleaning up your diet to help.

5.    Pack Products For the Climate

When it comes time for your trip, make sure you have the right skin care products for the climate you’re visiting. Every climate is different and therefore, your skin will have different reactions to the environment. For example, if it’s extremely hot and humid, your skin will likely sweat. However, if you’re somewhere cold with elevation, your skin could dry out or even crack.

If you’re visiting somewhere warm and tropical, make sure to pack a good facial sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30. Check the list of ingredients to make sure that there is nothing that will irritate your skin. Most sunscreens formulated specifically for facial use will not be irritating. If you’re visiting a colder climate, make sure to pack a high-quality moisturizer. Cold air can dry out the skin and lead to breakouts.

6.    Start Treating Yourself to Facials Regularly

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget to treat yourself (to facials, that is). Using an acne treatment to truly rid yourself of breakouts is a great first step. An even better second step is taking the initiative to perfect your skincare routine. But to take things a step further, start getting facials regularly.

A lot of people think of facials as just a form of self-care. While they are a treat, facials should be seen as more of an essential service. The difference that just one monthly facial can make for your skin is astounding.

From basic facials to Hydrafacials, any option will have amazing benefits. In general, you can expect just about any facial to deeply exfoliate the skin, unlike what you can do at home. Facials also increase blood circulation beneath the skin, stimulating the renewal of new skin cells and increasing collagen production.

On vacation, you should feel happy, relaxed, and ready to make memories. But blemishes can throw a wrench into these plans, causing you distress and plaguing your vacation photos. Don’t let acne ruin your upcoming getaway. Instead, take proactive measures to ensure your skin is looking flawless and you’re feeling your best. If you do, you’ll be glowing from the inside out.