Whether you’re flying for only a couple of hours or across a couple of continents, being stuck on a plane can wreak havoc on your skin. It can leave your face feeling dry or extra oily and may even make your skin’s appearance look dull. This can be far from ideal, especially if you’re headed to a special event or going on vacation. Thankfully, a little bit of preparation and in-flight care with the right face masks can make all the difference. Now you might be wondering which products you need or when to use a face mask in routines while you’re on the go. Fear not—here’s everything to know about nurturing your skin before, during and after takeoff.
How does flying impact your skin?
By now you’ve probably realized that the air on a plane doesn’t feel quite like the air inside your home. People often refer to the cabin air being “dry” and there’s truth to that statement. Humidity levels on airplanes are usually 20% lower than what our skin is typically exposed to (around 30-60%). The dry, recirculated air can cause your skin to feel more dry or oily as the skin produces more oil to compensate for the lack of moisture. The dry air is also a result of lower air pressure and higher altitudes, which could reduce the amount of oxygen your blood carries and cause the skin to appear dull.
But, that’s not all. Being 35,000 feet in the air exposes you to more UV radiation, which may increase your risk of sun damage—especially if you’re sitting near an open window. On top of that, prolonged sitting in those dry environments can create visible under-eye puffiness as a result of water retention. This is where specialized skincare products like face masks and eye creams can help. But, how often should you do face masks and what other routines should you consider? Let’s break it down.
Prepping your skin before a flight
Supporting your skin mid-flight begins long before you even step foot on the plane. Some of the steps you should complete before boarding include:
- Hydrate: Be sure to drink plenty of water prior to your flight. The more liquids you consume, the more you help hydrate your skin. Since TSA prohibits bottled water, we recommend bringing an empty, reusable bottle for easy refills at the airport and on the plane.
- Clean your face: If you have an early morning flight, be sure to complete your usual AM skincare routine at home before heading out. The same goes for late-night departures, but we suggest you also use a face mask. While you might be tempted to bring your favorite anti-aging face mask along for the journey, we suggest grabbing the best hydrating face masks you can find, like the Artistry Signature Select™ Hydrating Mask. This unique formula can rehydrate skin instantly and leave it feeling soothed and replenished. It can also seal in moisture all day and help protect skin from harsh environments and pollution. As with all things skincare, just remember to look for the best face masks for oily skin, dry, combination or sensitive, depending on your type.
- Go bare: After washing your face, using your face mask, and applying sunscreen, go makeup-free if possible. This can help defend against contributors to oily-skin and clogged pores. Hyaluronic acid can also help provide additional hydration to keep your skin from kicking into overdrive with oil production mid-flight.
What to do during a flight
You’ve boarded, buckled in, and are ready for takeoff—now what? Here’s what we recommend:
- Avoid salty foods and alcohol: While you might look forward to a mid-flight treat, these foods and drinks can dehydrate your skin and lead to visible under-eye puffiness. Opt for a healthy, light meal before takeoff to satisfy your hunger and prevent being tempted by salty chips and a cocktail while in the air.
- Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated throughout the flight is essential, but be sure to stick with water and decaffeinated drinks to avoid bloating.
- Use eye creams: Have a long flight ahead of you? While you might be tempted to use a face mask, we suggest applying eye cream instead. This product is designed to be used overnight and may maximize hydration while you rest in your seat. Consider formulas that use a combination of antioxidants and soothing agents.
- Apply a face mist: To help offset the dry cabin air, consider hydrating your face with a mist throughout the duration of the flight.
Caring for your skin after a flight
Just because your travel is done, doesn’t mean your skincare routine is also. After arriving at your destination, we recommend that you:
- Thoroughly wash your face: Between the plane, airport, and transportation, your skin has been exposed to air of varying quality (and likely a lot of particles). Be sure to double cleanse your face as soon as you arrive at your destination to remove any oil or dirt your skin may have picked up along the way. Washing your face can also help your skin reap the most benefits from your face mask.
- Apply a moisturizer: Since dry, recirculated plane air can disrupt the outer layer of skin and cause irritation, you should moisturize your face to help repair and hydrate it as soon as possible.
- Use a cold compress: If you tend to get visible under-eye puffiness after traveling, a cold compress may help alleviate some of the swelling. Check out Artistry Studio’s Eye Look Energized Eye Serum and its cooling rollerball for easy product application.
- Use another face mask: Yup, another one. Why? Because a face mask can support exfoliation and help your skin feel smooth. But, don’t just use any face mask. Be sure to reach for one formulated to complement your other products—like the Artistry Signature Select™ Polishing Mask. This face mask was created with Nutrilite™-sourced Black Currant extract (which may help defend against visible aging), along with natural Sugar Cane (which can gently buff away impurities for deeply clean, supple skin).
- Finish your skincare routine: After using your face mask, continue with the rest of your regular skincare routine—be it your morning one or your night.
The next time you prepare for a flight, make sure your skin is ready, too. With the right routines and products in tow, you’ll be on your way to helping your skin feel and look its best.