If you’ve spent any time on an airplane, you know that it wreaks havoc on your skin. You start out fresh and looking great, and you arrive at your location dry, wrinkled looking, and dull.
What Happens in the Air
Airplane travel is different than any other travel because of the recycled air surrounding you on the trip and because of the high altitude. Here are a few of the potential effects on your skin:
- Drying: Pressurized, recycled air on an airplane is typically dry, which means it will suck the moisture out of your skin. Even if you start out moist and hydrated, if you don’t counteract the effects of the dry air, you will arrive at your destination parched and dull. Dry skin is also more likely to reveal fine lines and wrinkles, making you look older than you are.
- Puffy eyes: Your inability to move much while flying can result in fluid retention in the body. That fluid can then pool in the feet and ankles, causing edema, but it can also collect around your eyes, resulting in puffy lids and dark under eye circles.
- Increased risk of environmental stressors: Air travel comes with an increased exposure to radiation. Not only do you get a dose at the security check (if they require you to go through a scanner), but you also get more while 30,000 feet up, which means you need more protection.
- Increased hormonal damage: Airline travel usually comes with its share of stress, which can increase the amount of stress hormones your body releases.
Tips for Happy, Fresh Skin Upon Arrival
To counteract all these effects of travel and arrive looking fresh and youthful, try these tips:
- Start the night before: Give your skin a head start by applying a moisturizing mask the night before travel. Try our Coconut Honey Mask for all-natural moisture, or make a mask of your own using honey, jojoba oil, olive oil, aloe, and other nourishing ingredients.
- Clean gently. Cleansers can start the drying process before you even walk out the door if you’re not careful. Many contain harsh and drying ingredients that throw off skin’s natural pH and leave it vulnerable to the effects of travel. Follow our tips here for choosing a safe cleanser, then use this the day of travel to start your skin out right. We recommend our Aloe Herb Facial Cleanser.
- Choose a protective moisturizer. Once you cleanse, moisturize with a product that contains natural antioxidants likely to protect your skin from environmental stressors. All of Annmarie Gianni’s moisturizers contain plant antioxidants. You can also mix in natural oils with your moisturizer to achieve the same effect. Try rose water, vanilla, or cranberry seed oil, or for an easier option, apply our Citrus Stem Cell Serum before flight, as it’s packed with the super-powerful antioxidant SOD.
- Forego the foundation. If you can stand it, leave your skin nearly naked for the majority of the flight. If you have to be ready upon arrival, take a little makeup case with you that includes your favorite foundation and concealer and apply before you land or shortly after you deplane. If you leave makeup on your skin while traveling, the dry air is likely to sap the moisture out if it, leaving your skin looking cakey and flaky and highlighting wrinkles. Worse, having foundation on means you will have a harder time applying needed moisturizer on the fly. If you’re afraid to go completely bare, try a natural tinted moisturizer, then apply a bit of cream eye shadow and light mascara along with a little moisturizing lip gloss.
- Swap your mist. Many people use a misting bottle to try to counteract dryness on the go. It helps for a few minutes, but in the long run, such water mists actually make things worse. As they evaporate, they dry out your skin even more. Instead, try a natural calendula, aloe, or rosemary mist. Our Rosemary Toning Mist is the perfect on-the-go hydrating solution for oily and combination skin, and those with dry skin can use our Neroli Toning Mist.
- Take the moisturizer. There are many options now that you can take with you that meet the three-ounce limitation on size. Find a natural one that won’t dry you out with alcohols and preservatives, and apply a few times during your trip. We have a number of travel kits that will fit the bill, or you can try any small moisturizer filled with natural, nourishing ingredients.
- Eat well. Remember that you are what you eat! If you indulge in fatty, greasy typical airline food, or tank up on alcohol and caffeine, your skin will likely react by becoming dry and dull, and perhaps even by breaking out. Take along healthy snacks like nuts and fruit, and get in the habit of carrying along a bottle of water and sipping regularly.
Do you have other tips for keeping skin looking fresh after airline travel? Please share with our readers.