With the holidays just around the corner, many of us will be jet setting to visit loved ones or to make a much-needed escape from the cold. The cold winter weather on its own can dry out your skin, but by adding in flying, your skin takes a serious beating. Recycled airplane air and other in-flight conditions tend to wreak havoc on your skin. The air on a plane lacks moisture, causing the skin to look less than great upon landing. Whenever the air is moisture-free (i.e. recycled air in your plane’s cabin), the air draws moisture from wherever it can, including our skin. It will pull water out of the top layer of the skin leading to dryness, inflammation, and other blemishes you did not invite on your well-deserved vacation. On her blog,Skin Expert Renee Rouleauconducted an experiment to test just how dry airplane air actually is. She put a capful of water on a 100% cotton t-shirt in an airplane and in her hotel room. The results showed that the t-shirt took 24 minutes to dry in the airplane while it took an hour and twenty minutes in her hotel room. Just imagine how much moisture is sucked from your skin! Pre- and in-flight routines are a great way to make sure your skin gets the nutrients it needs on your flight.
The first thing you want to do is to make sure you board your flight without any makeup. This is true on especially long flights where you anticipate sleeping for an extended period of time. You don’t want to combine thedangers of sleeping with makeup on and the extreme dryness of the airplane cabin! Therefore, we suggest having a clean face when you board your flight. Following yourcleanse, you will want to apply ahydrating serum then amoisturizer with SPF. Since airplane cabins have such low humidity, you want to load your skin with as much hydration and protection as possible. Serums absorb into the deepest layers of your skin, making sure they are well hydrated. Furthermore, during daytime flights, you are closer to harmful UV rays and the harmful sun exposure peaking through the windows can lead to premature aging. The SPF will help combat this as well as making sure you keep the window screens down!
During your flight, you will want to continuously apply your preflight products as necessary. Because the air is recycled, it is not the cleanest. To help keep your skin clean, usemicellar water once or twice during the flight. I recommend doing this after napping or before applying makeup for the descent. One of the most important areas you will want to focus on is your under eyes. The skin here is the most delicate and will dry out the easiest. To make sure it remains supple, applyeye serums and eye creams religiously. You also don’t want to forget about your lips. There is nothing worse than dry cracked lips so make sure to apply a hydrating lip balm! One thing you will want to avoid is using a water-based hydrating spray. The worst thing you can do is to spray misters on top of your skin. Why? Because the air is so dry in the cabin, the air looks for moisture wherever it can get it. Since like attracts like (water to water), when you spray the skin, the air will steal that moisture making your skin even drier. The fix? Use a skin oil every hour or so to ensure your skin is being hydrated and the airplane cabin isn’t stealing it. It is also important to drink plenty of water! I know it’s annoying to get up and use the restroom every hour on a flight but the water will hydrate you from the inside out. Plus, getting up and letting your blood flow is great for your body, especially when you’ve been sitting for so long.
If you have places to be and people to see immediately after your flight, feel free to reapply your makeup right before descent. You might want to opt for creamier products since powdered makeup tends to accentuate dryness and your skin was just in perhaps the driest climate on earth. To make this process hassle-free, try to use products that can be used in multiple ways. A bronzer can be used as an eyeshadow and a cream blush can be dabbed onto the lips to add color.
After your flight, you will want to make sure to give your skin some extra love. Have you noticed that your skin tends to be extra oily during and after a flight? This is because when the skin recognizes that it is dehydrated, it increases its oil production as a means of protection. This increase in oil production is a breeding ground for bacteria, which exacerbate breakouts. Use oil blotting sheets to remove the excess oil during the flight then be sure to use amild exfoliating scrubto remove the dead skin cells when you reach your destination (hotel, home, etc). When oil gets trapped under these dead skin cells, that is when you get breakouts. After this post-flight step, follow up with anourishing mask to ensure your skin receives all of the nutrients it needs and hydrate with amoisturizer.
To make packing for this holiday season easier, save our infographic on the before, during, and after flight skincare routine!