Now that the world is slowly opening up again, people are taking off in airplanes all over the world. They are packing their swimsuits, sunglasses, and their beach towels. However, they are forgetting the most important thing: skincare! It blows my mind how little people know about the damaging effects that flying has on their skin. Due to the fact that airplanes must recycle the air inside the cabin, this air is incredibly drying to your entire body. Since your skin is the largest organ we have, it takes the brunt of the damage. Listen, don't worry about what anybody else is doing on the flight. Since passengers can't crack a window for some fresh air (seriously, don’t try to do that), a sheet mask is the next best thing. Also, if you thought wearing alcohol-free sunscreen was important when you were on the ground, it is the most important thing I can advise you to do before getting on a plane, even if you forget everything else I’m about to tell you. As we all know, the best way to prepare for an upcoming battle is to know what you're up against. Since you'll be facing a compacted space with dry, recycled air and endless amounts of germs, I'll give you the low down on how to have your skin cruising at a reasonable altitude.
Welcome Aboard Flight 101
Alright, everyone say it with me: HYDRATION! This is the secret golden ticket that will solve all your in-flight skincare problems. It helps to start your hydration journey long before you even get on the plane, particularly the night before when possible. If you don’t have a regular skincare routine, a hydrating face mask and body moisturizer, such as Soulita’s Ultra Healing Shea Butter, will be essential. If you do have a skincare routine, your products that contain hyaluronic acid will be the most beneficial; hydrating your skin more than even water could. This guarantees that your skin is being prepared for the next day. As a tip for my constantly oily readers: this information is vital for your skin since your over-active sebaceous glands make it feel like it is always dry. That exaggeration of your glands, plus the reality of how drying a 30-minute short-haul (or a 15-hour transatlantic long haul) will equal the same traumatic result for your skin either way. Don’t you feel better knowing at least your skin will be prepared for the day ahead filled with long, stressful air travel?
During the morning of the flight, be sure to eat breakfast, hydrate your skin, and most importantly get a lot of fluids in your system! And when I say fluids, I mean water. And I’m not just talking about one single water bottle; you’re gonna want to drink a few bottles of water before getting on the plane and carry an empty bottle on the flight to keep hydrated. All my coffee lovers are going to hate me for this, but I need you to take this flight with little to no coffee consumption. Research from Healthline shows that coffee is a natural diuretic so don't be surprised that you go to the bathroom so often in your regular day-to-day life. This can be counterintuitive on the flight where the goal is to keep water in your system.
Zone of Turbulence
As much as you think watching a person pacing up and down the aisle is annoying, you might want to join them for a few laps. Research shows that by sitting in your seat for a long period of time, you'll experience water retention. Now, I know I just said you need as much water as you can hold before boarding and now I’m telling you the harmful effects of too much, but allow me to explain. Water retention is excess water in your body that is doing you no favors, leading to puffiness and bloating. If you've ever noticed your face, especially your eyes, are puffier than when you first got on a flight, water retention was the reason why. To prevent this, you’ll need to move around a bit. It can be as small as stretching your arms, legs, and toes to keep blood flowing. Don’t think you are being inconsiderate to your seatmate, it is not a great idea to sit still in your seat for the entire length of the flight. Even though it might be a hassle if you have a window seat, take that trip to the bathroom if you have to go. Your legs, butt, and skin will thank you in the long run.
Besides water retention, germs play a big factor in your flight. While an airplane’s air filtration system is quite advanced removing most bacteria, fungi, and viruses from the air as it circulates, it can’t help with the germs spread from people around you on the flight. The germs and gunk that your skin is up against in-flight are way worse than everyday life. The obvious answer is using your cleanser, but it would be so difficult to use in those tiny airplane bathrooms. This is where having travel-size bottles of your skincare comes in handy. Having some micellar water along with some small cotton balls or pads can help in a pinch, taking all that debris off your face to give yourself a gentle cleanse. Follow up by giving your skin a little mid-flight hydration boost by spritzing a little Rosewater to keep your skin refreshed and moisturized for the rest of your flight.
We've Arrived At Our Destination
If you thought we were done just because we have reached the end of the journey, you are sadly mistaken. Your skincare routine is now more important than ever as you get off your flight. I won’t put it past you to jump into the shower and wash off the stress of traveling, letting the water just soothe you. Once out of the shower, wash your face with a quality cleanser and start on your other steps cleansing your skin of any dirt and oil you picked up along the way while injecting moisture back into your skin. For your eyes, get some cold compresses and eye cream to decrease any puffiness.
If you couldn’t bring your entire routine with you, I advise you to have the essentials: cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Vacation time is not the appropriate time to sample new skincare products, or you run the risk of irritation and damaging your skin further after the flight. You need those travel-size bottles of skincare that I talked about earlier because your skin needs to have products that it recognizes and is tested to work well with. All of this ensures that while you have fun in the sun, your skin is still as pampered as ever. So, what are you doing to prepare for your next flight? Do you already have your flight routine down pat? Share it with us!