What Air Travel Really Does To Your Skin


There’s nothing we enjoy more than jet-setting and travelling, but how harmful is the journey to our skin? Being diligent about skincare when travelling is a must to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy once you’ve landed. We explore the culprits and find the right solutions to ensure our skin looks holiday ready.


The Plane Cabin Air 

Have you ever exited a plane only to be faced with ultra dry, dehydrated skin? It’s not just you. Thanks to the lack of humidity in an aircraft cabin, which is a drastic 20% to 50% lower than what the skin is most comfortable in, air travel can leave your skin in desperate need of hydration. The pressurized environment of a plane is very unnatural and completely drains the moisture out of the skin, leaving it looking dehydrated and dull. 



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We suggest prepping the skin pre-flight with an extremely hydrating face mask—preferably formulated with hyaluronic acid. The hyaluronic acid will help retain the moisture in the skin as well as attract moisture to the skin. Be sure to pack a travel-size face mist and have it on you in your carry on to give your skin a little pick me up, if you ever start feeling a little dry.


Once on board and settled into your seat, the easiest solution to fight the dehydrating cabin air is with a sheet mask. We love them for on the plane, as they are easy to carry on board, and you won’t have to worry about washing it off once its done. Another travellers tip is to use the excess serum in the packet and save it as part of your skincare routine, so you won’t have to bring along a separate bottle for it. Lastly, be sure to keep hydrated throughout your entire journey and drink plenty of water, your skin will thank you for it! 

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Sun Exposure

supergoop! Re-setting spray

Despite being comfortably nestled in the plane cabin, your skin is still very much exposed to UV rays. Also, because of the high altitude, we are far more closer to the sun as compared to on land. The air is thinner and clouds reflect the UV rays in all directions. That means it is an absolute must to keep your skin shielded from the sun while up in the skies. Wearing sunblock will not only protect your skin from harmful rays, but will also reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots, sagging and wrinkles. We suggest reapplying sun protection roughly every four hours for ultimate protection. 


Bacteria Galore

Planes are notorious for being a breeding ground of all sorts of germs and bacteria. If you’re not careful, that bacteria could possibly spread to your face, causing breakouts and irritation to the skin. Which is something we to avoid before embarking on a nice holiday. 

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Wipe down anywhere that your direct skin has contact to: arm rests, tray tables and windows are essential. This will hopefully limit the transferring of germs as much as possible. We love carrying both anti bacterial wipes, as well as regular makeup remover wipes on board to ensure utmost cleanliness for our face and body. Always have hand sanitizer packed in your bag and try limit touching your face as much as possible to stop the spreading of germs to your face. 


Fight Away Dullness

Set of massage rollers for facial procedures on white background. Metal, quartz, jade and dermarollers with microneedles. Concept of dermatological treatment of different skin conditions. Macro photography from above

Did you know that the altitude and cabin pressure can strip your skin of its natural glow? The low air pressure essentially reduces the oxygen flow around your skin, creating a dulling effect on the complexion. Also, as our blood absorbs less oxygen at such high altitudes it contributes to feeling of fatigue and wear.  Altitude also has a serious impact on blood flow to the skin as well. The higher the altitude, the lower the blood flow, causing the skin to feel dull and dreary. 


To counteract this, it’ll be best to stimulate and massage the face to increase blood flow upon landing. To do so, simply wipe your skin clean with a facial wipe, apply a hydrating facial serum or moisturizer to your complexion, and use upward, circular motions to gently massage the product into your skin. Investing in a face roller could do the trick as well, easy to use and very portable, use the roller in all directions on the face to increase blood flow and stimulate the skin. 

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Water Retention

Sitting on a plane from hours on end can do a lot more damage to your skin than you think. Inactivity as well as too much salt intake (through airport snacks like peanuts and chips) during a long flight can lead to water retention. Thus, inevitably causing the face to puff up and swell, especially around the eye area. Stepping off the plane, your skin may look extremely tired around the eye contours and the rest of the face.


To avoid the extra under-eye baggage, ensure that you stay hydrated throughout your flight. We suggest to get up and walk around every 20-30 minutes. Or if you are trapped in a window seat, you can simply stretch and lift your legs up and down, rotating them in circles periodically. These can help to mobilise the excess fluid. Another tip is to stay away from the salty plane food! The salt in the food will aid in the water retention and only add to the puffing of the face.