When it comes to long-distance travel, flying has become one of the most popular ways to commute from state to state for important business meetings or as a way to quickly reach that exotic holiday destination.
When it comes to inflight skincare, many of us don’t make any particular changes to our usual routines. In fact, you probably don’t even think about how much it effects your skin being up to 42,000 feet of altitude. In this short guide, we want to outline how flying affects your skin and the simple steps you can take before and during your flight to ensure that your complexion remains picture perfect when you arrive at your final destination.
Pre-flight skincare prep
When packing your in-flight beauty kit, don’t forget to include some antibacterial hand wipes to make sure your hands are clean and sanitized, especially after direct exposure to a wealth of germs and bacteria lurking in the airport.
A travel-sized eye cream, hydrating toner, a light weigh acne safe moisturizer, oxygenating foundation, acne safe lip balm and silk eye mask for use throughout the journey are all products that we’d also recommend you include in your carry on bag.
While we don’t recommend skin wipes as part of your normal beauty regime, sometimes they are a must, especially when it comes to removing makeup in situations where the use of a bathroom is limited. Here a great brand that is free of pore clogging oils and harsh fragrances: water wipes.
Before you take off, we’d advise the application of a skin serum to keep moisturizer locked in throughout the flight, followed by a liberal application of sunscreen to protect your face and arms from those harmful UV rays, which are even stronger when you’re in closer proximity to the sun.
Whenever it’s possible, opt for cotton clothing to allow your skin to breathe with added layers to stay warm, especially when the air conditioner is in full use.
Many beauty pros also recommend the use of skin spritzes, but we tend to avoid these. Here’s why. When the air is dry, it actively looks for moisture. So, as soon as you have applied a spritz onto your face, the water is evaporated into the air and leaves your skin feeling tight.
Aisle or window seat? While the view from above the clouds may be breathtaking, don’t forget to take it into consideration that you’re a lot closer to the sun at a high altitude. This means increased exposure to UV rays, which can cause damage to your skin. If given the option, it’s always best to opt for an aisle seat. You’ll not only be able to easily get up and take regular walks to keep your circulation flowing without disturbing others, but you’ll also be avoiding subjecting your skin to the potentially harmful UVA and UVB rays, which penetrate through the aircraft window.
If you’re interested in reading more about increased exposure to UV and cosmic rays while in the air, you can read studies that have been undertaken on pilots and cabin crew to assess if they are at increased risk of developing melanoma due to their occupations.
In-flight beauty cleanse
With humidity being significantly lower than what your skin is used to on a flight, it’s important to keep your routine simple and effective and be sure to stay hydrated to keep your skin free from bacteria. This can occur as a result of increased sebum production in acne prone skins.
If you’re on a night flight, don’t make the mistake of going to sleep with your makeup on. This will only cause irritation which could have been avoided. The air in the cabin can be extremely dry, which means that skin already prone to dryness will feel even tighter. In contrast, oily skin will generate more sebum to compensate for the lack of moisture in the air.
After santizing your hands, remove as much makeup as you can with fragrance-free cleansing wipes followed by a hydrating toner to wipe off any impurities, which may have built up on your skin.
Next, apply eye cream to keep the thin layer of skin around your orbital bone hydrated, followed by a nourishing skin serum, moisturizing cream, protective acne safe lip balm and spritz of relaxing aromatherapy oils onto your clothes, to help aid relaxation.
Sky high menu
If you’re partial to a glass of wine or caffeine-enriched tea or coffee while in flight, it will be important to up your intake of water to maintain adequate levels of internal hydration.
Low air pressure has the ability to thin the blood. When it’s combined with the lack of oxygen in the cabin, this can potentially lead to you feeling lightheaded and lead to headaches if you don’t keep suitably hydrated.
We would advise you to avoid drinking wine or caffeinated beverages inflight, which can have a diuretic effect on the body and increase skin dryness even further. Herbal teas, water, foods rich in essential fatty acids and deserts low in sugar will all be beneficial for your skin.
Approaching Your Destination
Just before you land it would be advisable to treat yourself to a gentle facial massage to reduce any areas of puffiness and stimulate a sluggish lymphatic system, which is key to removing unwanted toxins and waste.
If you want to apply a light application of makeup before landing, a mineral powder or creme foundation stick will provide great coverage, while allowing your skin to breathe and adjust naturally to the change in climate.
Once you’ve reached your destination, the application of a hydrating mask while you unpack will provide your skin with the hydrating boost it needs post flight.
With humidity being extremely low on airplanes, even with the application of moisturizing creams and serums inflight, the journey will still take a toll on your complexion. For this reason, we’d always advise that you exfoliate your skin thoroughly before counter-balancing any dehydration.
Then, use a rich healing and purifying or oxygen mask enriched with ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide to deep cleanse topically, while delivering oxygen molecules to the skin to stimulate the healing process. Finally, apply a thin layer of multi-peptide anti-ageing serum followed by Vitamin B lotion to nourish and rehydrate.