“If God wanted us to fly, he would have given us tickets.” — Mel Brooks
I love travel more than anything but flying… not so much. Flying is exhausting, it makes me feel icky, squished, and I get grumpy. To be honest, if only I could teleport, I would! No one loves long flights. And the things that flying does to my skin… it makes it very dry and dehydrated, prone to breakouts, and at times puffy.
Here’s how it actually sabotages our skin.
On the ground, depending on where you live and the time of year, humidity can range from 25% to almost 100%. The relative humidity in a plane is around 10%. When our environment — both inside and out — is low in humidity, the air, in turn, lacks moisture, which can cause dryness and discomfort. This dryness can occur anywhere affecting the face, lips and hands.
The low humidity in the cabin not only affects those with dry skin. In excessively dry situations, our oil glands can overcompensate, causing increased oil production. When this happens to an already oily complexion, the excess oil can combine and stick to any build-up of dead skin cells and other impurities lingering on the skin’s surface, which can then clog pores and lead to post-flight breakouts.
On the plane we are much closer to the sun and still very exposed to UV light particularly if we are seated by the window. Remember there is no cloud coverage at that altitude and no atmospheric protection.
Plus, dehydration paired with sitting in one position for a long time can cause fluid retention leading to puffy, swollen-looking skin, especially the feet.
With masks still a part of the travel protocol in the foreseeable future, even the most resilient skin can suffer.
So here are a few tips to help your skin survive flights.
- Get a really deep cleaning, hydrating facial 3–5 days before you leave. At our salon we offer the Hydradermie, a deeply penetrating galvanic treatment that does it all.
- The night before a flight, treat your skin to a hydrating mask. Slather on body lotion and condition your hair. Do the same thing the night of your arrival and if the skin has become cranky during the flight, apply a clay mask that has a more corrective, rebalancing formula.
- Before boarding, make sure your skin is super hydrated — eye crème, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. And if you are comfortable doing this, lightly dust on a mineral powder for extra protection.
- If you have oily skin use a light serum after you have cleansed and toned, and any corrective topicals (for example, salicylic acid, topical antibiotic) before putting on your sunscreen and mineral powder.
- Use a calming mist with hydrating ingredients that can be spritzed liberally without the risk of drying. Do not use water to spray on the skin during the flight, it only dehydrates it.
- Don’t forget to drink copious amounts of water to hydrate from the inside out. Avoid alcohol, tea and coffee and order a light meal.
- We now know that airborne coronavirus particles do not stick to surfaces as we once thought. However, I would still recommend sanitizing your seating area when you get on the plane.
- During the flight sanitize your hands regularly and wash and use hand sanitizer every time you use the facilities. Keep your hands off your face as much as possible. And refrain from cleansing and re-applying during the flight except hand crème and lip balm. (Pack small containers so that security does not confiscate them).
- One final hurdle to clear is baggage claim. Use hand sanitizer after collecting your luggage. And once you have reached your destination, take a shower or bath to start your trip clean and refreshed.
Happy Travels and stay safe!
For more skincare tips, visit our website, call us at Skinsense Wellness at (323) 653–4701, or check out our other blogs on Medium. And for skincare services, please visit us at 8448 W. Third Street, Los Angeles, CA 90048. We have re-opened our doors and are ready to welcome you all back.