Travel does amazing things for the soul, but not always so much for your skin. Flying, especially, can be incredibly taxing. When you put cabin dryness, high altitudes, and lack of sleep all together, it’s no wonder planes are the bane of radiant, healthy-looking skin. Start your holiday with a picture-perfect glow just by taking a bit of extra care on the flight.
Before you start touching your face, make sure your hands are squeaky clean. Start by cleansing your face with an oil or emulsion type cleanser to gently remove makeup and impurities so you have a clean base to work with.
At 30,000 feet, cabin air is as dry as most deserts.
The single most important skincare step when you’re flying is keeping your skin moisturised. At 30,000 feet, the air inside a cabin has a humidity of around 20% (that’s as dry as most deserts!) which makes for seriously dehydrated skin that can look dry, flaky, or ashy. A comfortable level of humidity for your skin hovers between 45-60%. Here are some ways to prevent moisture loss while you’re in the air.
Get your mask on
Sheet masks drench your skin in intense hydration quickly. Slip one on for 15 minutes and relax away.
- Bring out the big (water) gunsA sheet mask will infuse your skin with a concentrated dose of hydration (and other benefits) in a single application, and is incredibly handy and easy to use. Leave on for 5-15 minutes to instantly restore hydration while you’re reclined and watching an inflight movie. Never fall asleep with it on or the mask will start drawing moisture back from your skin as it dries out.
- Prevent moisture lossIf your skin is dry it requires oil, but if it’s dehydrated it needs water. On the plane, you’re probably dealing with both. Look for a richer moisturiser with occlusive ingredients that creates a barrier to seal in the moisture. Apply this after you have removed your hydrating sheet mask, and reapply as needed. If you’re planning on putting on makeup when you land, moisturising with a thin layer will also prime your skin as a flawless base.
- Reapply whenever you needHydrating face mists are perfect for touch-ups while travelling. Spritz this every time your skin starts to feel dry. Close your eyes and mouth and hold the mist about 20cm away from your face, then use a facial tissue to pat in the moisture. Don’t spray and sleep — leaving excess moisture on your skin to evaporate can dry out your skin even further. Some mists can penetrate your makeup to lock in moisture too.
- Fake your beauty sleepCan’t sleep on planes? You may touch down looking a little less alert than you usually do. The long hours spent sitting down also leads to poor blood circulation, which can accentuate dark circles and puffiness. To avoid panda eyes, pack a brightening eye cream for the flight. Keeping the eye area plump and hydrated will help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while alleviating puffiness and dark circles. If you’re on a long-haul flight, apply once before takeoff, once mid-flight, and then again just before you land to arrive bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.
- Get your pre-vacay glow onFlight cabins are pressurised to the equivalent of about 6,000-8,000 feet above sea level, similar to what you might feel on a mountain. This dip in pressure reduces blood flow to the skin, which can cause your skin to appear dull and tired. Think of it as the reverse of a post-workout glow.
To combat that, apply an all-in-one CC cream just before you land. Colour correcting creams target issues of uneven skin tone such as dullness and sallowness without making you look or feel like you’ve put on heavy foundation. Bonus: It also doubles up as UV protection you’ll need when you land, which is great when you have limited space in your carry-on.