How to Care for Your Skin When Flying

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Being an international student, I tend to be on a plane more than I'd like. I'm always travelling back and forth between Melbourne and Malaysia, and it's always a painful, 8-hour long flight.

I am never comfortable on a plane, so I refuse to sleep the day before a flight so I am too tired to not sleep on the plane. I have abnormally long legs for a Chinese, so that doesn't help my comfort level, either.

One thing I never complain about is my skin. I've never had problems with my skin on a flight, so I thought I'd share my skincare routine, as well as a few tips I picked up along the way, through magazines, and various articles about skincare on a plane.

So here are my skincare tips when on a plane:

Before the flight:
  • Hydrate! It doesn't matter how dirty that bathroom is, just drink loads of water!
  • Lightly exfoliate your skin on the morning of your flight. This unclogs your pores, and helps the absorption of moisture.
  • Apply a moisturizing serum - I love Kosmea's Rosehip Oil
  • Use moisturizing eye cream. Apply a generous layer.
  • Apply sunscreen with a minimum spf of 15. Foundation with spf is not enough. You could also use a tinted moisturizer with built-in spf for some coverage
  • Avoid makeup - if you need to, use as little as possible. Use a tinted moisturizer instead of foundation, because most foundations tend to have a drying effect
  • Moisturize the rest of your body. A good product is Elizabeth Arden's 8-Hour Cream - because little re-application is needed. They also sell travel-sized versions of this product now.
  • Remember: airport regulations now allow only 100ml sized (about 3.4 ounces) products, and they must fit into a 1L sized clear, ziplock bag, or they will not be allowed into the cabin
  • If you're really committed to saving your skin from the harsh cabin air, apply a moisturizing face mask before you board the plane, and leave it on throughout the flight.


During the flight:
    • Keep moisturized! Continually re-apply your moisturizer so that your skin stays hydrated
    • Do NOT use 'hydrating mists/sprays' - these only aggravate the dryness of your skin because they evaporate, and take your skin's own moisture along with them
    • If you must use a spray, find one with a humectant in it (like hyaluronic acid). Once you spray, lock in the moisture with a moisturizer.
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages, salty foods, and soda. These only serve to dehydrate and bloat.
    • Make sure you have a bottle of water with you. Drink it constantly.
    • Bring along a moisturizing anti-bacterial hand gel
    • UV rays are most harmful when on the plane. Choose an aisle seat instead of a window seat, and keep the shades closed. If you don't have a moisturizer with built-in spf, remember to apply sunscreen after applying moisturizer
    • If it is an overnight flight, remove all makeup with makeup removing wipes! You can reapply your makeup once you land, or right before you land.
    • Do not use any hair styling products. Just use a lightweight serum, then put your hair up in a low twist.
    • Bring a tennis ball to roll around under your feet to combat the common Deep Vein Thrombosis


    After the flight:
    • If you're worried about looking tired, just have on hand some large sunglasses and pink/red lipstick. Instant glam :)
    • Once you get to your destination, use a mild facial scrub to clear away the dead, dry skin.
    • Then, apply a hydrating mask.

    I hope these tips help you look fabulous when you get off the plane! :)

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