Whether you’re lounging on a beach or walking the streets of some quaint European village this summer, you’re bound to have to endure at least one long-haul flight to get there. Apart from boredom, irritation and restlessness, one of the most dreaded side-effects of travel is the effect it has on our skin. Dry, dull and dehydrated skin is not the best way to start any vacation- nor the ideal way to get back to the daily grind- and it takes some planning and discipline to avoid it. Here are some of the best tips to keep your precious skin safe from the ill-effects of air travel this vacation season.
You’ve definitely heard this one before- drinking copious amounts of water during flights is a surefire way to avoid dry skin and dandruff. However, that also means having to get off your seat and join the queue outside the toilets, some of which are not always in the best condition. An alternative method to hydrate is to use a moisturizer- the creamier the better- and a hydrating mist that you can apply onto your skin at regular intervals. This will keep dry and flakey skin at bay while leaving you feeling fresh as ever.
Hydraulic acid is another way to give your skin a boost of hydration. My favourite is the Hyaluronic Ampoules from Dr. Barbara Sturm that are compact and can be applied before take-off for maximum benefit. A lip balm is also a must to keep your lips from cracking.
While it’s tempting to apply your regular concealer or swipe of lipstick, it might be better to take a break from makeup while flying. Air travel is already dehydrating for your skin, and adding a layer of makeup can worsen the effects and create the perfect base for breakouts. A better option may be to apply makeup immediately before landing to look presentable when you step out. If you do insist on wearing makeup in-flight, however, make sure not to use a heavy foundation and opt for mineral based products that won’t clog your pores.
It’s bad enough not using ample SPF while you’re on the ground, but it’s even worse when you’re high up in the air and much closer to the sun. Opt for a sunscreen that has an SPF of 50 or more and apply it every two hours whilst traveling.
Turn your long flight into a spa session with a simple mask and a good movie! This effective, compact and easy to throw away method will keep your skin fresh throughout your flight. If you’re uncomfortable slapping on a mask while sitting next to a complete stranger, there are lots of discreet options available on the market that go on transparent and can be left on as a moisturizer. I like to use a Facial Ritual jade or rose quartz roller over the mask to drain any puffiness or fluid buildup. Applying your mask about an hour before landing will ensure a gorgeous glow as soon as your step off!
As tempting as it may be to take a sip of wine during a flight, the dehydrating effects of alcohol will only serve to worsen the dryness in your skin. And when it comes to food, airplane meals often contain a high concentration of salt to counteract the drop in our taste buds at such a high altitude. This causes our bodies to retain more water, making us look bloated and puffy. To keep this at a minimum, opt for bland foods and swap your alcohol for water and herbal tea to keep you refreshed. Or, better yet, carry your own food packs to enjoy during the journey.
Protecting your skin is not about investing in products but investing in the right ones. When it comes to travel, my go-to brand is Biologique Recherche because of their travel-friendly sizes. My favourites include the Lait VIP O2, an “anti pollution” cleanser that removes toxins, and the Lotion P50, a wonder-product that exfoliates, brightens and hydrates the skin.
They call is beauty sleep for a reason! A long, peaceful snooze will ensure your body is well rested, thus making sure your skin does not look tired or exhausted when you land. Carrying a Dame Essentials silk pillowcase and eye mask helps retain the natural moisture in your skin and hair while giving you a comfortable and luxurious sleep. Another trick I like is to use compression socks for maximum comfort and to maintain proper blood flow.