In the next few days, many of us will be hopping on and off flights for holiday travel. This is the time when most of us neglect our daily routines and fall into bad habits. However, it doesn’t mean that your skin routine has to suffer. 

Air travel is especially harsh on your skin, causing dryness and breakouts.

Dylan Mustapich, lead aesthetician at Face Haus in NYC says: “If you have ever flown halfway around the globe, only to arrive feeling dry as a raisin, you’ve experienced firsthand the effects of air travel on the skin.”

The air on flights is dry and germ-filled but with the right routine, you can keep your skin glowing during your travels this holiday season. 

How Flying Affects Your Skin:

“The air on airplanes is dry and recirculated. Being above 10,000 feet increases your risk for sun damage with UVA light penetrating right through windows and can be harmful to the skin”, says Joshua Zeichner, M.D., director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in NYC. 

“The lower air pressure and higher altitude reduce the amount of oxygen your blood carries, and this lower oxygen flow causes the skin to appear dull and lackluster. You can also experience water retention when sitting for prolonged periods of time, and this may make you appear more puffy, especially under the eyes,” says Sejal Shah, M.D. to Teen Vogue. 

How To Treat Your Skin Before Flying:

You should start prepping a day or two before your flight by drinking lots of water. The more hydrated you are, the longer it will take your skin to become dehydrated. 

“The night before flying, or even before boarding, use an overnight hydrating mask,” says Dr. Shah.

Another great tip is to get moving. 

“Be sure to exercise pre- and post-flight, as your overall well-being is important. Eat a light meal while flying,” suggests Danuta Mieloch, an aesthetician and the wonder of Rescue Spa in NYC. 

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Before heading to the airport, make sure to take a shower and apply moisturizer and sunscreen. “I also recommend a hyaluronic acid serum on the face, and if you are feeling dry on the plane, you can reapply your serum or apply a face mask,” says Dr. Zeichner. 

How To Treat Your Skin While Flying:

During the flight, it’s a good idea to “Ensure that you have your sunscreen on board, and to improve a dull complexion, gently give your face a massage when you land to increase blood flow to the skin,” says Dr. Shah. 

In order to prevent bloating of your face, Dr. Shah suggests not eating salty foods, drinking tons of water and walk around the plane every 30 minutes. 

Apply a sheet mask an hour before landing to get a hydrated glow when you get off of your flight. 

How To Treat Your Skin After Flying:

After exiting the plane, head to the bathroom and wash your face. “After you get off a flight, thoroughly wash your face with a soap-free hydrating cleanser to remove any dirt or oil from the airplane,” Dr. Zeichner tells Teen Vogue

“Vacations and other trips are NOT the time to try new products, so leave the newly acquired samples at home! Otherwise, you risk a possible negative reaction, which nobody wants to deal with while abroad,” says Mustapich. 

As long as you remember to drink tons of water, stay away from salty foods and caffeine, and keep up with your skincare routine before, during and after flying; your holiday skin will never lack radiance.