Here is a fact you know whether you have been racking up those frequent flyers miles or you only go for a quick jaunt now and then. As far as your skin is concerned, an airplane cabin is the exact opposite of the fountain of youth. No need for hours of applying movie prosthetics here. You board the airplane looking absolutely stunning and disembark looking like a 10 years older version of yourself. No ‘happy to see you’ snapshots, please!
These simple steps will help you (and your skin) arrive at your destination unfazed, looking enviably refreshed and gorgeous. I think it’s a great time for a selfie!
What Usually Happens
The extremely low humidity caused by the dry re-circulated air sucks your skin dry, causing it to become dehydrated (and possibly inflamed) very quickly. This, understandably, makes dry skin even drier. What’s hard to believe is that it makes oily skin even oiler. But that’s how your skin works – it counteracts water loss with increased oil production. The dry air isn’t the only one to blame, since the mental stress of travelling also takes a disastrous toll on your skin, exacerbating problem skin conditions.
What Can You do About it
Bring the five essentials
First, be sure you are aware of the guidelines as to what is or isn’t allowed on the flight. Pack hydrating cleanser, moisturizer, lip balm, hand sanitizer and hand cream in a small, clear zip-lock bag. The FTA stipulates a maximum size of 3.4 ounces (that’s100 ml) per product. Avoid having to grab overly expensive or less than ideal stuff on your way to the airport. Plan ahead and ensure you carry your favorite products to use during the flight.
Go bare (of makeup that is)
If the thought of going without makeup just does not compute with you, then you must at least be prepared to make compromises. You will need to strike foundation and powders off your list, as they will only aide the drying effect. A little mascara and lip gloss, however, should do just fine. Let’s say for a moment, that you need to board the flight in a fully made up face. Maybe the person accompanying you to the airport just simply must not see you otherwise. If that’s the case, then a short trip to the powder room is in order once you board the flight. Use a moisturizing cleanser or makeup removing wipes to quickly cleanse your skin.
Keep your skin hydrated
Apply (and re-apply) your moisturizer as frequently as you deem necessary throughout the flight. Go for more frequent applications on longer flights. You will need to keep that little zip-lock bag of products close at hand. There is no way it should end up in the overhead bin.
Sunscreen is a must
Yes, even within the confines of an airplane you will still need to wear sunscreen. Why? Simple – airplane windows do not filter out harmful UV rays. On top of that, while flying you are closer to the sun’s harmful rays. To combat this, a moisturizer with SPF is ideal. Also, you should opt for an aisle seat instead of a window one and most definitely keep the shade closed.
Drink, drink, drink!
No, that’s not a beer chant. That’s a reminder to keep your body hydrated during the flight by avoiding alcohol (complimentary or otherwise) and filling up on water instead. A good rule is one glass (or regular sized bottle) of water for each hour of airtime. This should go a long way in replacing fluids lost to the moisture seeking cabin air. If you’re not up to multiple trips to the bathroom (and we understand why), try to get as close to the recommended amount of water as possible. But you must stay away from those dehydrators.
Get some shut-eye
Getting some sleep is a good idea on longer flights. It will rejuvenate your body and mind, warding off that dreaded jetlag look and feeling. A neck pillow, no matter how ridiculous you think it makes you look, can go a long way in helping you get some restorative sleep. Remember to moisturizer again as soon as you’re awake!
Reward your skin
Once you get to your destination, it’s time to remove those dry skin cells and excess oils brought on by the flight. A gentle facial cleanser or scrub is a must, but for all over skin rejuvenation, go for head to toe moisturizing. Your skin has braved and overcome the ordeal of being bombarded by moisture hunger recycled airplane cabin air. It deserves a good treat!
So wherever you are off to, near or far, business or pleasure, take heart in the fact that the moisture-deprived-zombie-look doesn’t have to be the one you arrive with. You can help your skin stay hydrated and looking fresh during even the longest of flights. Happy travels!