Do you ever find your skin feeling really dry by the end, or even in the middle, of a flight? That’s because there’s about 20% less humidity in cabin air than when you’re on the ground, outside of the plane.
With the limited amount of moisture in the air, you end up with a lot of skin issues, especially those exposed to cabin air for longer periods of time on long haul flights.
Thankfully, there are simple ways to combat these skincare issues. It’s all about making small adjustments in your beauty routine, and carrying travel sized beauty products to hydrate your skin throughout your flight.
To ensure your skin is looking its best once you land, we’ve listed all the possible skin problems that can occur on a plane, and how you can fix or prevent them.
Skin Issue #1: Dry Skin
As previously mentioned, the cabin air is drier than you’re accustomed to. Many people avoid wearing makeup on flights, considering they’ll either be asleep for most of it or too lazy to remove it during, but certain products like tinted moisturizer and BB creams can help retain skin moisture, while still making you look good. Of course, there are other ways to stay moisturized on the plane without makeup.
Solution: Moisturize before and after the flight, and if the flight is more than a couple hours, moisturize during as well. Bring a travel sized (100 ml) bottle of your go-to moisturizer, leaving it in a clear plastic bag. As for dry skin and nails, you may also take hand cream with you.
Drink tea on the plane. The steam will offer extra moisture in the really dry air.
Skin Issue #2: Chapped Lips
Don’t forget that your lips can get really dry as well, causing them to rip and bleed. Chapped lips feel horrible in general, and it’s much worse when you’re stuck breathing dry air for several hours.
Solution: If you tend to have dry lips, do a lip scrub to exfoliate before you leave for the airport, and don’t forget to bring lip balm with SPF. Use your lip balm any time it feels remotely dry, or as often as you want to avoid getting chapped lips. Also, drink plenty of water on the plane.
Skin Issue #3: Increased Oil Buildup
When the air is too dry, your skin begins to overcompensate by producing more oil. While natural oil does moisturize your skin, too much oil can cause breakouts, especially when it’s mixed with the impurities and dead skin cells in the recycled air
Solution: If you want to wear makeup to your long haul flight, be sure to bring makeup remover wipes with you and thoroughly clean your face when you’re ready to sleep. You can also use the wipes as a cleansing cloth if you’re going bare faced, or carry blotting papers to soak up extra oil.
Skin Issue #4: Swollen or Puffy Skin
Swelling is pretty common on the plane, which is a sign of fluid retention. Fluid retention occurs when your body is dehydrated and you are sedentary for an extended period of time.
You normally only see it in your hands and feet, but swelling can occur on any part of your body, such as your under eyes.
Solution: Stay hydrated before, during and after the flight. You don’t need to limit yourself to just water, as other fluid intake would also help maintain your hydration levels. The two kinds of beverages that will dehydrate you are coffee and booze, so if you do want to drink either one, make sure you drink equal amounts of water to make up for the lost hydration.
Skin Issue #5: Sun Damaged Skin
In a previous post about sunscreen, we informed readers that it’s completely possible to experience sun damage on the plane since we’re that much closer to the sun. Of course, the glass prevents the passing of UVB rays, the ones that burn your skin, but UVA rays can still affect your skin. Those are the rays responsible for premature skin aging and wrinkling.
Some airplanes do have new window treatments that block the UVA rays, and you might not even be seated at one of the window seats, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Solution: Apply broad spectrum facial suncreen, or sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays, in your beauty routine before you leave for the airport. You should also bring a travel friendly bottle in your carry-on to top up on a long flight. Remember that sunscreen needs reapplication every 2 hours.
Sheena is the lead fashion writer here at Pretty Me Philippines and has contributed articles for numerous lifestyle blogs and online publications. Other than keeping up with the latest trends, she loves baking and home DIY projects.