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Skin in the air

September 07, 2017

Skin in the air

If you’ve spent any time on an airplane, you know that it wreaks havoc on your skin. You start out fresh and looking great, and you arrive at your location dry, wrinkled, dull and somewhat like a bedraggled mess. There is a reason all the celebs wear massive glasses - to hide the eyes! 

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips to care for your skin at 30,000 feet.

What happens to your skin up in the air?

Airplane travel is different than any other travel because of the recycled air surrounding you on the trip and because of the high altitude. Here are a few of the potential effects on your skin:

  • Drying: Pressurised, recycled air on an airplane is typically dry, which means it will suck the moisture out of your skin. Even if you start out moist and hydrated, if you don’t counteract the effects of the dry air, you will arrive at your destination parched and dull. Dry skin is also more likely to reveal fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older than you are.
  • Puffy eyes: Your inability to move much while flying can result in fluid retention in the body. That fluid can then pool in the feet and ankles, but it can also collect around your eyes, resulting in puffy lids and dark under eye circles.
  • Increased hormonal damage: Airline travel usually comes with its share of stress, which can increase the amount of stress hormones your body releases.

So how do you get that fresh arrival glow?

To counteract the stress of travel and arrive looking fresh and youthful, try these tips:

  1. Start the night before: Give your skin a head start by applying a moisturising mask the night before travel. 
  2. Clean gently. Cleansers can start the drying process before you even walk out the door if you’re not careful. Use a gentle foaming wash the day of travel or even a micellar water to prevent any extra loss of moisture.
  3. Choose a protective moisturiser. Once you cleanse, moisturise with a product that contains natural antioxidants likely to protect your skin from environmental stressors. Even think about applying a nourishing oil.
  4. Cancel the foundation. If you can stand it, leave your skin nearly naked for the majority of the flight. If you have to be ready upon arrival, take a little makeup case with you that includes your favourite foundation and concealer and apply before you land or shortly after you deplane. If you leave makeup on your skin while traveling, the dry air is likely to sap the moisture out if it, leaving your skin looking cakey and flaky and highlighting wrinkles. 
  5. Swap your mist. Many people use a misting bottle to try to counteract dryness on the go. It helps for a few minutes, but in the long run, such water mists actually make things worse. As they evaporate, they dry out your skin even more. 
  6. Take the moisturiser. There are many options now that you can take with you that meet the three-ounce limitation on size. Find a natural one that won’t dry you out with alcohols and preservatives, and apply a few times during your trip.
  7. Eat well. Remember that you are what you eat! If you indulge in fatty, greasy typical airline food, or tank up on alcohol and caffeine, your skin will likely react by becoming dry and dull, and perhaps even by breaking out. Take along healthy snacks like nuts and fruit, and get in the habit of carrying along a bottle of water and sipping regularly.

More importantly - enjoy that holiday!

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