With school out, most families tend to plan their yearly vacations around this time. But with families vacations also comes lots of stress. The stress of flying may not only cause stress to your mental health, but it can also wreak havoc on your skin. Cabins of airplanes have extremely low humidity, which causes the skin to become very dehydrated. Dry skin will become drier, and oily skin will become oilier.
How does this happen?
The dry air in airplanes look for moisture wherever it can get it…which means robbing it directly from your skin. This means your skin will be very short on moisture. For oily skin this can be a complete nightmare, as it will try to overcompensate the loss of moisture by producing even more oil. Dry air can be such a brat sometimes.
Before Take Off
Get your skin pre-flight ready so your skin doesn’t attempt to skydive for much needed moisture. You’ll need to load your skin up with as much hydration and protection as possible. Apply a skin serum under your sunscreen (I’ll get to the sunscreen part in a minute) to deliver moisture deep within the layers of your skin. Serums that have hyaluronic acid listed as an ingredient are key, as this keeps skin plump and hydrated.
Did you know because you’re closer to the sun when you’re flying that UV damage is at its greatest? Those windows on an airplane are not your friends. They do not filter out damaging UV rays, so even though you are not in direct sunlight you are still exposed to those harmful rays. Scary. UV rays = skin aging and wrinkles. Make sure to wear a minimum of SPF 30 on your face and neck. Makeup foundation containing SPF is NOT enough. The sunscreen must be built into your moisturizer so it can properly coat and protect the cells.
Pick a Window Seat
Research shows that 78% of premature skin aging is due to incidental exposure. This means your skin is in direct sunlight when you’re not intentionally trying to get sun exposure. When you’re up in the air, you’re 30,000 feet closer to the sun and those damaging rays are coming through those tiny airplane windows. Airline pilots have a high risk of developing skin cancer since windshields on airplanes only filter out about 50% of dangerous UVA rays. UVA rays are responsible for the damage to the cells that lead to premature wrinkles, brown spots and visible aging. The best action you can take to prevent this? Choose a window seat so you have the choice to close the shade and protect your skin.
Up in the Air
It’s important to keep your body hydrated while flying. When the flight attendant comes around taking your drink orders, skip the spritzer and choose water. Your internal cells will thank you.
Apply a Skin Oil Every Hour
Applying a few drops of a well-formulated skin oil to your face every hour of the flight will dramatically keep moisture in the skin where it belongs. This is especially great for long international flights.
Do NOT Mist Your Skin with a Hydrating Spray
This may have you confused, but you read it right. Skin care experts have suggested misting our skin with a hydrating spray to keep it moist. This is a huge no-no. Since the air is so dry, it looks for water wherever it can get it. Once you spray your face, all the water from the deep layers of your skin will get evaporated into the dry air. The result? Even drier skin.
Once you arrive to your destination, cleanse your skin and use a mild facial scrub to remove surface dry skin cells caused from flying. Avoid using facial scrubs that contain natural grains such as apricot kernels, walnut husks and almonds as the sharp edges can scratch and irritate the skin. Instead, use scrubs that contain natural jojoba beads or polylactic acid beads.
Use a Hydrating Mask
After exfoliating with your facial scrub, it’s important to add back essential hydration and brighten the skin from post-flight dullness. Gel masks are great due to their high level of water content.
Hang Your Head Upside Down
After a long day of traveling, your skin can look a bit sluggish. Bring some fresh blood to your face by hanging your head upside down for three minutes. You’ll go from tired to radiant immediately.