Hydrate. Moisturise. Protect. These three pillars sound like commonsense right? The kind of things we think about when going through our everyday skincare routine.
But what about when we get on an aeroplane? If you’re like me, you’ll forget about these pillars until you’re in the middle of a long-haul flight and your skin is screaming at you and becoming drier and flakier by the second. That is, until I decided enough was enough and that from now on I was going to prep like a boss.
How? Hydrate. Moisturise. Protect.
Achieving healthy, glowy skin is as much about what we put in our bodies as what we put on them. Drinking lots of water is going to make a world of difference to how your skin feels during the flight and once you land.
Never seem to be able to drink enough water during the flight? I get it. Whether you’re stuck in a middle seat and hate disturbing people to use the bathroom, or you’re flying overnight and desperately want to get some sleep, it’s tough to drink enough. That’s why hydrating prior to your flight – think 1.5 – 2 litres – and then sipping your way through at least another litre during your flight can be the best way to go.
If you’re flying international and can’t take water through security, take a reusable water bottle that’s empty and fill it afterwards. Most planes now have water taps near the bathrooms – or ask the flight attendants if they can fill up your bottle for you.
MOISTURISE + PROTECT
Before you fly, make sure you follow your usual skincare routine.
Flying during the day? Follow your morning routine. Flying overnight? Follow your evening routine.
But there are a few particular things to remember for when you fly.
Flying in the AM:
SPF is especially important when flying. The plane’s windows do not block out UVA rays. UV radiation is comprised of both UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays are longer in wavelength and penetrate deeper into the skin. They are associated with skin ageing. UVB rays are shorter in wavelength and are associated with skin burning. Both have been associated with skin cancer (1). This means that if you’re flying during the day, it’s really important to protect your skin, just like you would any day that you’re exposing your face to the sun.
The air is also going to be extremely dry. This is why I like to use a moisturiser that also contains SPF, so you’re achieving both goals at the same time. I’d also consider a hydrating face oil or serum in addition to your usual moisturiser. I like to add a few drops of face oil and mix it in with my SPF, giving my skin a dewy, but not oily, feel.
Flying in the PM:
This is where moisturising becomes key. I like to use an evening moisturiser that is full of oils like jojoba and almond, to really hydrate my skin overnight. Keeping a travel-sized container of your moisturiser or favourite face oil handy so that you can reapply when your face inevitably starts to feel a bit itchy-scratchy is a great idea.
Sleep is when your body takes the time to rest and rejuvenate, so it is also essential for minimising breakouts, dark circles and the appearance of fine lines (2). Consider your sleep cycle before you get on a flight – it might be daytime now, but what time is it in your destination? Other small travel essentials such as an eye mask or a travel pillow can help you get the best possible sleep.
ITEMS TO HAVE IN YOUR CARRY-ON
Having finally learnt my lesson, this is my list of essentials for any plane flight
- Roll-on deodorant
- Lip balm/pawpaw ointment
- Gum or chewy mints (keeps your breath fresh and helps the pressure in your ears equalise during take-off and landing)
- Facial oil
- Hand cream (just like your face, your hands are exposed to the dry, recycled air and really need an extra bit of love during a flight)
- Chocolate (just because)
Just remember that there are restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage, especially on international flights. If you’re unsure, check with your airline. Thankfully, many brands now do travel-size or mini versions of their best-sellers, so you can still take these with you on the plane! You can also buy travel-size containers from most beauty retailers and decant product from some of your favourite regular-sized products.
YOU’VE LANDED. NOW WHAT?
Keep calm and carry on with your regular skincare routine. It’s hard when you’re travelling, but consistency is key when it comes to your skin. Having said that, rehydrating by drinking lots of water is going to make a lot of difference. And if you feel like going the extra mile, or you’ve got a fancy event you’re going to and want your skin to look fabulous, I’d suggest a sheet mask. Ten to 15 minutes and your skin will feel brand new.
Looking for product recommendations? This article really isn’t about that – it’s about using what already works for you. But if you’re wanting to try some new products, here are some recommendations from the experts at Adore Beauty and Mecca.
About the Author – Rachael Dodds
Rachael has been a Studio Pilates client since 2002 and started working at Studio Pilates HQ in 2013. She is passionate about the transformative impact these classes have had on her physical and mental wellbeing. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) and Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology) from the University of Queensland. She is starting Medicine at the University of Queensland in 2020. She was an elite track athlete for 9 years, representing Australia at the Athletics World Championships in 2011 and London 2012 Paralympic Games.