With the holidays quickly approaching, many people will be flying across the country to celebrate with family and friends, taking off for a sunny retreat, or perhaps seeking far-off ski slopes. No matter the
destination, packing the right skin care is as equally important as your choice of wardrobe. With over 25
years in the beauty industry (plus, lots of travel!) I’ve amassed some great tips on keeping skin radiant, glowing, and clear wherever your travels may take you.
Most people realize that flying can cause skin to dry out and breakout, but they may not know why.
Whenever the environment is moisture-free (as with recirculated air in a plane cabin), the air
actually draws moisture from wherever it can, including the skin. Dry skin will tend to get drier and oily skin will get even oilier to compensate for dehydration. To see just how damaging flights can be on the skin, I decided to conduct an experiment using a T-shirt and a small amount of water. I poured the liquid onto a 100% cotton T-shirt, then marked the time on a sticky note. On both the plane and in my hotel room, I watched until the water spot had virtually disappeared.
The T-shirt took one hour and 27 minutes to dry in my hotel room, whereas at 32,000 feet, it took
only 24 minutes.
Needless to say, I was absolutely shocked! My experiment reinforces how important it is to pay special
attention to your skin while actually flying. Skin cells are similar
to fish in that they need water to live. Without it, the appearance of one’s complexion (in addition to overall skin health) is compromised.
I’m not suggesting that you forgo planes altogether, but there are a few things you can do to ensure skin is protected during travel, as well as keep it radiant and glowing upon your arrival. Those
1. Apply a serum and sunscreen before boarding your flight. Airplane cabins have low humidity, so applying a serum that delivers enhanced hydration and protection is vital. This serum acts as a vehicle to deliver moisture deep within the layers of the skin while
providing an occlusive seal to help it retain moisture. You want to apply a sunscreen over the
serum to filter damaging UV rays. Because you are closer to the sun when flying (even
though you may not be in direct sunlight), skin is still exposed to harmful rays. Use a moisturizer
with SPF 15+ for added protection.
2. Don’t mist your skin with a hydrating spray during flight. When the air is dry it looks for water wherever it can. So, when you spray your skin with a mist on a plane, the air literally robs skin of the applied moisture. Basically, misting mid-flight really doesn’t do
much at all. Instead, try applying another layer of moisturizer as it is much more hydrating and
absorbed into the skin.
4. After flying, use a mild facial scrub or light acid peel to remove surface dry skin cells that have accumulated. Be sure to avoid facial scrubs containing natural grains such as apricot kernels, walnut husks, and almonds, as the sharp edges can scratch and irritate the skin. Instead, use
scrubs containing polyethylene, jojoba beads, or micro-beadlets. To add back essential hydration
and brighten the skin from post-flight dullness, apply a gel mask that is both calming and deeply
hydrating, like my Bio Calm Repair Masque, so skin gets the moisture it needs. Just leave it on for 15 minutes, rinse well, and apply moisturizer.
5. Be sure to blot. In addition to drying skin out, flying can also increase breakouts for people with oily skin. If oily skin is dehydrated, oil production increases to combat dryness. Dry skin can create surface dead skin cell buildup, which, if not removed post-flight by using an exfoliating product, can cause oil and bacteria to be trapped under the skin, resulting in an increase of breakouts a day or two after flying. On longer flights, it’s important to blot skin with tissue or oil-blotting papers
to reduce oil and acne-causing bacteria. Oil is a breeding ground for bacteria and the increased
oil may exacerbate breakouts. When you arrive at your destination, immediately exfoliate and
cleanse to keep skin clear.
6.Don’t forget to pack all your skin care products to keep your routine
intact. Look for travel-size containers for carry on bags because sticking to a
routine, especially when traveling, will keep your skin looking its best.