Not only do our inner organs have to adapt to the altitude, but our outermost organ—our skin—seems to take the brunt of all things bad in an airplane as well. Although this environment isn’t ideal for optimum health or healthy skin, there are several things you can do before, during, and after your flight that will do wonders for keeping your skin in tiptop shape and help to make your traveling experience more enjoyable. Follow some or all of the suggestions here and in (2) future blog posts on air travel and you may find your skin (and body) feeling better when you fly.
Curbing dehydration. Dehydration is the number one concern when you are flying. Ask any flight attendant and they will tell you, dry (dehydrated) skin is a chronic problem. Misting your face with water is the best and most immediate way to get moisture to your thirsty skin. You can purchase small Evian® water bottles that spray, or you can make your own. Get a travel-size plastic bottle at your grocery or drug store and fill it with clean, filtered water. I mention clean water because why spray chlorinated tap water on your face? You are trying to improve the conditions for your skin during your flight, not reinforce negative ones.
The next order of business is exfoliation. I will repeat that word over and over again since it is one of the most important things you can do to help your skin survive air travel.
- Getting rid of the dead cell buildup will go a long way to helping your skin retain water, which you lose a lot of when you fly.
- Lessening the dead skin also allows any hydrating products you’ve put on your face do a better job of moisturizing.
- The fewer dead cells a moisturizer has to penetrate, the better it will work, and the more hydrated your skin will feel.
- Finally, while exfoliating improves and refines the texture of your skin, it also increases the blood circulation to your face, bringing out the natural, healthy color of your skin.
You should consider exfoliating the day of your flight, getting your skin ready for what’s to come. Exfoliating ahead of time will diminish the amount of cell buildup on your face so anything you do to hydrate the skin will be more effective. Less dead cells equals better quality hydration.
I even have a client who exfoliates right at her seat! She always flies first class and her attitude is, “If someone thinks it’s weird, so be it. At least my skin will feel good!” She puts a towel on her lap and does a gommage right then and there on the plane.
I choose to exfoliate in the bathroom, but however or wherever you feel most comfortable doing it, do exfoliate on long (or even short) flights. Your skin will reap the rewards. And if you do it at your seat, you might even strike up an interesting conversation with someone sitting next to you.
Elixirs (especially oils) are best used by those of you with normal to dry or true-dry skin. If you have an oilier complexion or problem skin, I would recommend using a gel-type hydrating mask or glycerin product underneath your moisturizer. These will essentially do the same thing as an elixir without adding extra oil to your already oily skin. (Actually, any skin type can use the gel mask or glycerin approach, but oils should only be used by those of you with drier—oil dry—skin types.)
Whether you travel a lot, or even just a little, there are ways to help your skin get through the sometimes rough time it goes through when flying.
For more information, see: