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Restorative Homemade Remedies For Post-Holiday Skin

By Guan Tan

Felicia Yap / Carolyn Cheng

Summer puts everyone in the mood for travel. Whilst you're meticulously drawing up the best travel itinerary, don't forget an equally organised skin care routine. Prolonged sun exposure may cause wrinkles, pigmentation and uneven skin tone. Saltwater is especially bad for dry skin. Drugstore sunscreens may clog pores and worsen oily or acne-prone skin conditions. Before you jet off, have a preventive and all-natural skin care game plan in mind. Take it from Kendra Liew, founder of local beauty brand Katfood, as she dishes some one-step homemade remedies for healthy holiday skin. 

Oily Skin 

Felicia Yap / Carolyn Chenglemon peel and Katfood Fix-It Felix rescue serum.
lemon peel and Katfood Fix-It Felix rescue serum.

"Lemon. My favourite ingredient is lemon. If you're worried it's too strong, then take the peel – rub it on your face before you sleep, after you cleanse. The lemon skin itself has an astringent effect. It can help control oil. Only use lemon at night. It is sensitive to UV rays... If you [were to] use it in the day, and go out with lemon on your face, it will cause sun damage to your skin," Liew quips. 

While on holiday, drop the heavy bag of skincare products at home. You could easily get a fresh lemon from the hotel, resort, or the local farm. When you're back home from vacation, restore your skin with Katfood's Fix-It Felix rescue serum. Concocted by Liew, it's made of coconut oil and four other dry oils. 

Drier oils are especially restorative for people with greasy skin types. "Most of the time, your skin is oily because your skin is dry. Your body overcompensates for the dryness in the inner layers." Liew recommends that people with oily skin give this a try. Over time as the skin's moisture level increases, your body will produce less sebum and oil to make up for the dryness.


Felicia Yap / Carolyn Chengtea tree oil/ face mask
tea tree oil/ face mask

Acne-prone skin and harsh sun exposure spell trouble. The skin's surface dries up when under the sun. Your body will work to compensate for the dryness by producing more oil, which results in clogged pores and inflammation in the follicles. 

If you have acne-prone skin and are about to embark on a beach vacation, there are some things you can do to alleviate the damage. Liew recommends tea tree oil or witch hazel. You can get a small bottle from local pharmacies or websites. Tea tree oil boosts disinfectant properties, while witch hazel is a good antioxidant. But do not use them directly on the skin. "It is very strong, and might trigger a reaction on the skin – the skin is already in a vulnerable position... I mix with water on cotton wool, and dab on the problem areas." 

Uneven Skin Tone

Felicia Yap / Carolyn Chengvitamin c, lemon, serum
vitamin c, lemon, serum

The main cause of uneven skin tone is extended sun exposure. One straightforward way to prevent that is to religiously slather layers of sunscreen. If damage has been done, then laser treatments will be your best bet. It's a harsh procedure, and Liew prefers to keep things simple, affordable and natural. While on vacation, she recommends using vitamin C and easily obtainable citrus fruits like lemon at night to restore the skin's healing capabilities. 

Otherwise, use 100% coconut oil on the skin. "After a day in the sun, I come back and apply coconut oil straight to the skin. It's restorative... and it really helps to soothe the skin. Use any 100% coconut oil – it just depends on finding one that uses good coconuts and is cold-pressed... When it's cold-pressed, the nutrients or structure of the oil doesn't get altered with heat," Liew advises. She's found a trustworrthy source of coconut oil – one that fulfils all her criteria – and shares it with her customers on Katfood. Coconut oil has been repeatedly lauded for its skin regeneration properties. Besides the vitamin E it contains, the oil gently sloughs off your topmost layer of dried and damaged skin cells, encouraging regeneration. 

Katfood products are available here.