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Jet, Set, Go - skin care travel essentials

March 23, 2018

Jet, Set, Go - skin care travel essentials

Travel and Skin Care Essentials

You’ve come off a long flight and on landing you need to look good for a business meeting or great for a family wedding. You know your skin gets really dehydrated and stressed on flights, but how can you minimise the impact and exit with skin looking fresh, smooth and plump?

Here are 3 simple skin care routines, and some tips on creating a clean personal space to eat and sleep in while flying.

Why Is Flying Bad for Skin?

An airplane cabin is extremely dry, at about 12% humidity it’s drier than most deserts. Compare this with the average year-round humidity in Sydney which is in the high 50’s. Cabin air is also recirculated, pressurised and cold, so it’s the absolute worse combination for skin. Dry skin will get drier and oily skin will overcompensate and get oilier.

You need to soothe, balance and protect your skin while flying.

Travel Essentials in Skincare  

Prepare your skin for flying.

Night Before:

  • Apply a deep moisturising mask the night before to boost and prepare your skin. The mask should be extra nourishing to lock in hydration. Formulas with olive oil, honey, aloe or jojoba oil are great nourishing moisture barriers.

Before Boarding

  • Gently cleanse and remove all make-up. It’s best to go make-up free during the flight. Make-up will dry out, looked caked-up and clog pores. Put on fresh make-up just before landing.
  • Apply a hydrating cream on clean skin to lock in water

During the Flight - Travel Kit

Have your skin care travel kit ready to go in your carry on. There are lots of travel kits that comply with air travel guidelines, so you don’t have to worry about acceptable travel bottle sizes and liquid limits.

Reach for Your Travel Pack

With desert conditions stripping your skin of moisture by the hour you need to replace and protect often. Simply reach for your travel pack:

  • First re-apply a hydrating cream: adds water deep in skin layers to keep it plump.
  • Now seal in that hydration with a protective moisture barrier. Use oils to form a rich barrier that prevents water loss. When in flight mode you need to use an intense, super protective moisture barrier and oils are best.
  • Re-apply a very light coat of oil every 3 hours on long flights
  • Misting sprays are great for freshening-up. Look for natural sprays with added moisturising ingredients to help soothe skin.

Eye Skincare on Flights

Many of us suffer post- flight eye baggage. This is basically fluid retention because you are seated and inactive for long periods. Fluid usually pools around our ankles and feet, but also collects around our eyes, giving us puffy lids and dark circles. Here’s how to minimise puffy eyes.

  • Apply your regular eye cream before boarding. Always use a specially formulated eye cream. Creams designed for face /neck are too heavy for eye areas, and will make puffiness worse.
  • Wear an eye mask while sleeping or resting, protects delicate eye skin from dehydration
  • Don’t apply moisturising oils to eyes, again makes puffiness worse
  • Get up, move around often to reduce fluid retention and pooling

Flying and Oily Skin

If you have oily skin the cold, super dry cabin conditions can trigger your skin into overdrive, compensating my producing even more oil.  Here you need to balance and calm skin.

  • Again, start make-up free
  • Apply a hydrating cream
  • Seal with a thin coat of moisture. Oils are still best as they will balance your skin and stop the ‘too dry- too oily cycle’.
  • Some oils like jojoba are naturally ‘non-comedogenic’ (don’t block pores). That’s because jojoba is actually a liquid wax, so it’s very quickly absorbed by your skin.
  • Apply thin moisture (oil) coating every 4-5 hours

Post Flight Skin Boost 

 Once you’ve arrived at your accommodation try this for a quick recovery.

  • Gently cleanse your skin. No harsh soaps or hot water
  • A warm shower feels like bliss. After apply a relaxing body lotion all over. Used this as a mini-massage to encourage circulation (gets rid of those swollen ankles and feet.)
  • Apply a deeply moisturising mask while you unpack or settle in
  • Turn-off air-con in the room if possible, this is very drying to skin, especially after a long flight.
  • If you can't turn off the air-con place a large bowl of water in the room to humidify the air.

Flying and Dehydration

Offers of complimentary alcohol and coffee may be tempting during a flight, but remember they’re both diuretics. Basically alcohol works on your kidneys so you don’t absorb water as well, and eliminate more – thus all those extra bathroom visits while drinking.

Heavy alcohol consumption in a hyper-dry cabin environment can lead to dehydration—headaches, nausea, dizziness and skin looking dull, flakey and drawn.

How Much Water to Drink When Flying?

Drink about eight ounces of water for every hour you’re flying. The average plastic airline cup holds about nine ounces.  The longer the flight the more chance of dehydration, so increase your water intake, especially if drinking alcohol. About one eight ounce glass of water for every glass of wine.

Clean Your Space – A Travel Essential

It’s not surprising that the highest bacteria counts on planes are in bathrooms, followed closely by arm rests, tray tables and seat belt buckles.  Cleaning crews rarely have time to wipe down these areas between flights and if they do they aren’t using anti-bacterial products.

Antibacterial Wipes – Best Travel Accessory

As part of settling in use sanitising wipes to clean all these areas, including your window shades and personal air vent overhead. Don’t place your food directly on the trays, for example your apple or bread roll, instead place it on a napkin.

And always use a tissue to open/close the bathroom door on your way out.  You’ve just washed your hands and don’t want them touching that germy handle as you exit.

Dress for Flying

The key is layers, layers in natural breathable fibres like cotton, silk or linen. You go from overheating on a hot tarmac to freezing once you hit 30,000 feet. Have layers that you can remove and adjust. Natural fibres will wick away moisture and sweat, so you’ll stay fresher longer. 

Wear Loose Clothing

Don’t wear tight clothing – there’re lots of very stylish loose fitting styles out there and comfy flat shoes. Remember your feet may swell, so make sure shoes will accommodate swollen feet and ankles end of flight.

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Tight clothes constrict circulation, and on long flights this can be dangerous. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a risk when we sit in cramped conditions for a long time. Reduce your risk here by wearing loose clothing and get-up regularly. Movement will make a huge difference to those fat feet and ankles.

Arrive Looking Fresh

A few simple steps including regular skin hydration and protection, drinking water and moving about makes the difference between you looking withered or fresh on arrival. With not much else to do while flying, make it a bit of pamper-me time. Look after your skin, watch a movie, drink water and exit looking great.


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