One of the most exciting things about the holiday season and the chilly winter months that follow is the opportunity for travel to visit family, friends and exciting new destinations. With all of the whirlwind that can accompany planning for a trip, don’t forget that when you travel, especially by airplane, your skin is going to need some extra care and attention to battle the effects of dry cabin air, change of altitude and the change of environment. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your sanity and keeping your skin looking healthy and fresh while traveling the vast skies.
Begin Preparing One to Two Days In Advance
- There is plenty that you can do ahead of time to save your skin from the perils of a long flight. One of the most important is making sure that you are properly hydrated. A couple of days before your flight make an effort to increase the amount of water that drink. This is especially important if you are not so great at taking in enough water normally. Aim for 8-12 glasses of water per day.
- On the same note of drinking more water, try to cut back on beverages that contain caffeine and extra sugars, such as coffee and sodas. Caffeine can dry out your skin and counteract all of that extra water that you have been drinking, and sugar causes an inflammatory response that can result in breakouts or flare-ups of skin conditions such as rosacea and psoriasis.
- Focus your diet on lean proteins, whole grains and fresh produce. At this point, you want to lay off of the extra salt, fat and processed foods as much as possible. These types of food can dry out your skin or cause the opposite effect of too much oil production. Plus, these types of foods can also cause you to become bloated, which can show up as puffiness in your face.
- TSA regulations can make it challenging to pack up all of your beauty essentials and bring them on board with you. Make a list of what you really need to have with you during your flight. Many of the most essential in flight products are already at or below the 3.4 ounce rule. For the rest, transfer into smaller, TSA-approved containers.
- The day before your flight, use a gentle exfoliation product to remove dry skin and impurities. Follow the exfoliation with a rich, hydrating moisturizer.
Play Defense Before Boarding
- The morning of your flight, give your entire body a dry brush treatment. Using a natural bristle body brush, begin at your feet and brush upward towards your heart. Skip your face since the brush might be too abrasive for sensitive facial skin. This will help to remove all of those dry, dead skin cells right before your flight and increase your circulation which will supply you with a natural, healthy radiant glow.
- Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. Slather on a rich, emollient moisturizer on your face and body right before your flight. The dry cabin air can deplete moisture from your skin at an alarmingly fast rate. Make sure you are properly moisturized before boarding and bring a TSA approved container of your favorite moisturizer and body lotion on board with you.
- Go light on your makeup. To look your best at the end of your flight, you want to go with a minimal look at the start of your flight. Heavy makeup can dry out and look cakey, plus even your most reliable foundation can cause irritation when combined with dry cabin air. If you are going to be on a flight for several hours, there is also a good chance that you might try to rest or even catch a few winks of sleep. Eye shadow, eye liner and mascara will likely end up everywhere other than where you initially applied them.
- If you think you can play it safe with an eight hour lipstick or lip stain, think again. These products can be drying to begin with and the dry air will only pull out more moisture. The result will be lips that look dry, puckered and any fine lines that you have in the area will be accentuated.
- If going bare faced makes you feel uncomfortable, try products that are light and multipurpose. For example, a BB or CC cream is lighter than foundation, can cover a multitude of flaws, and help you look refreshed plus they often contain moisturizers and sunscreen, allowing you to streamline the products that you are using. Additionally, choose a tinted moisturizing lip balm over lipstick and try using a clear mascara to enhance your lashes and tame your eyebrows. Keep eye make up a neutral color that won’t be as noticeable if it smudges or smears during your flight.
- Keep in mind that while you are flying you are even closer to the sun and even if you don’t have a window seat, you are still going to be exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Protect your skin by applying sunscreen or a moisturizer with sunscreen and plan on reapplying every couple of hours. Don’t forget to apply some to your arms and hands as well.
- Once you have passed through security clearance, head straight over and pick up some bottles of water for your flight. Yes, you will be offered water, but typically the glasses that are served simply aren’t enough to keep you hydrated. Prepare by having at least one or two full sized bottles of water to sip on and supplement them with the water that is offered to you.
Avoid In Flight Temptations
- If you are a nervous flyer or if there is a chance that your destination is going to greet your with family holiday stress, it can be very tempting to take full advantage of the cocktails offered to you during a flight. This might be good for calming your nerves, but it will do nothing for your skin. In fact, you are likely to look more tired and stressed after a few drinks than if you had skipped them altogether. Alcoholic beverages can cause water retention and a red, splotchy complexion. To keep your skin looking soft, dewy and refreshed, steer clear from the adult drinks and do your body good with straight water.
- Along with skipping out on cocktails, it is best to forgo coffee and sugary sodas. You will want to avoid these drinks for the very same reasons that we have suggested cutting back on them for few days before your flight. Additionally, the dry air in a plane can exaggerate the effects of these drinks on your skin. If you are feeling tired and need something to perk you up, try taking a quick nap instead.
- Skip salty snack offerings that when combined with a change in altitude can result in almost immediate water retention and a puffy face.
- Be wary of the air blower. Yes, it is nice to have the air around you circulating, and it can bring some comfort, however the air that comes from the air blower above you is typically warm and cause additional drying. The air around you is going to dry out your skin fast as it is, using a blower is going to accelerate the process.
Catch a Little Shut Eye
- If you are on an extended flight, there is no better way of keeping yourself looking fresh than getting a little bit of sleep. You can actually use the time you are resting to treat and pamper your skin, so that you will wake up looking and feeling refreshed and ready to go. If you will be traveling for more than 4 hours, try to spend at least some of that time napping, or at least resting with your eyes shut.
- If you are traveling to a different time zone, especially if you are traveling to a different country, try to time your sleep so that you can adjust more naturally once you land. Jet lag can easily rob you of energy and fresh looking skin if you don’t adjust at least a little before arriving.
- As you get comfortable, make an effort to not let the pillow or blanket touch your face. Unfamiliar detergents, dust and other debris can cause these items to irritate your skin.
- Treat your skin before you go to sleep. If possible, step into the bathroom and to wash and moisturize your skin. Use the same moisturizer or serum that you would before going to bed at home. You might not be asleep for as long, but the change in air and altitude are more than enough to justify a luxurious moisturizer.
- Consider applying a hydrating mask. We’re not talking about a dark clay mask here that will draw stares from your fellow travelers. A hydrating mask such as OZNaturasl Vitamin C + Sea goes on clear and can even be left on while you are napping. Just rinse off and reapply moisturizer and sunscreen before landing.
- Use a cooling gel eye mask. Not only will this help to keep out light and distractions, but the coolness will prevent under eye bags and help you feel refreshed.
Give Yourself a Mid-Flight Boost
- If you’re traveling for hours you are going to want to freshen up at some point during your flight. One great way of doing this is using a gentle cleansing cloth to remove oil and debris and then misting your face with a hydrating spritz. Choose a product that contains ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, minerals and vitamins. Avoid spritzing your face with plain water. The air around you is so dry that it will immediately evaporate and possibly cause your skin to feel drier than it was before. A good solution is to mix a bit of mineral water with your favorite serum and either spray that onto your face or apply it with a clean cotton pad.
- Don’t forget to reapply your sunscreen if you are traveling during daylight hours.
- Ask the flight attendant to brew two cups of tea. Remove the tea bags and allow them to cool. Sit back for a few minutes with the tea bags over your eyes to reduce tired looking puffy eyes. You can also ask to have a few pieces of ice wrapped up in a cloth. Apply this to your eye area for several minutes for quick results.
- If traveling makes your skin extra oily, now is the perfect time to use blotting papers to remove some of the oil before it has the chance to contribute to a breakout.
- Reapply any moisturizing beauty products such as lip balm, hand cream or cuticle cream.
Prepare for Landing
- Right before landing is the perfect time for some last minute touches that will leave your skin looking and feeling as good, if not better than, it did before boarding your flight. This is a good time to dot a little eye gel around your eyes to reduce puffiness and eliminate dark circles. To brighten up your eyes even more use some eye drops to reduce redness.
- Cleanse your with either a cleansing cloth or mild cleanser to remove oil, dirt and debris from the flight. Also, apply a light moisturizer. Natural products that counteract redness and puffiness are ideal to use at this point of your travel.
- Stick with the natural look until after you reach your destination. Reapply your BB cream, a light concealer, tinted lip balm and curl your eyelashes rather than applying several coats of mascara. A very light blush or cheek stain can also perk up your looks. Remember that even if you took extra good care of your skin before and during your flight, you might still notice a few negative effects. Keeping your post flight makeup routine light and natural will help to camouflage these effects and keep you looking refreshed.
There you have it, all that you need to keep your skin healthy and beautiful during your travels.