With the summer holidays fast approaching, and our pre-holiday preening all booked in, our minds are turning to our in-flight skincare. While we adore jetting off to explore somewhere new, the thought of arriving feeling like a shriveled prune fills us with dread -- we want to arrive looking like a glowing goddess not with tight, dull skin. Fortunately, Kirsti Shuba, Co-Founder of Katherine Daniels Cosmetics gave Mark Smith, aka The Spa Man, the low down on in-flight skincare ‘dos and don’ts’, so we can glow all the way to the pool.
What happens to our skin in the air?
The biggest issue for your skin when flying is the lack of humidity in the air -- it’s terrible for skin, leaving it dry and parched. Most airplane cabins operate at about 20 percent humidity, but our skin prefers it to be around 40- 70 percent.
The pressurized cabin can also slow down our circulation which can lead to dull skin. The lack of sleep on long-haul flights also wreaks havoc on your skin (as anyone who has missed a night’s sleep can tell you). Dull, dehydrated and greige skin is a typical symptom of this. If you aren’t blessed with a business class ticket, expect to suffer.
There is also the issue of UV damage as you are closer to the sun, while the pressurized air is thinner. It could be worth applying some SPF protection if you have the prized window seat. I know many Beauty Editors who wouldn’t fly without their beloved sun-cream.
What can we do before a flight to combat this?
Get plenty of sleep the night before you fly.
Drink plenty of water on the day or the flight, eat light and include water rich fruits and vegetables. Cucumber and watermelon are good options here. The week before you might want to consider supplementing with omega 3, 6 and 9 supplement.
Cleanse your face thoroughly with a gentle cleanser and apply a rich base -- like an oil or hyaluronic acid-based serum or concentrate. Then, use a moisturiser with a rich, protective consistency, this will help to prevent dehydration and dry skin.
What can we do during a flight?
Drink water and avoid alcohol altogether as it will dehydrate your skin. Avoid caffeine too.
Take a range of products on board (in pots and bottles under 100ml) including creams and serums. Hyaluronic acid is your best friend in the air as the molecules bind to water and help to lock moisture in the skin. Re-apply as you feel necessary (or around every three hours) and use an eye cream and lip balm, too. I always travel with small eye masks, especially those containing hyaluronic acid.
Many air travelers use a spritz on their face but, sadly, this is counter-intuitive; spraying water will actually dry out the skin even more.
Do you have any other tips and product recommendations?
Avoid wearing make-up altogether as you will be continually adding creams and serums to keep your skin hydrated.
Drinking coconut water is said to be super hydrating, due to its electrolytes. It does provide a nice alternative to plain water, too.
On arrival at your destination, thoroughly cleanse the skin and apply a face mask to boost hydration.
The Spa Spies will certainly be putting these tips and tricks to use this summer. You may even catch us at the airport stocking up on coconut water and prepping our skin before testing out products at 40,000 feet. Let us know what your in-flight beauty secrets are over on Twitter.