Catching flights and traveling to new places can be life-changing experiences to cherish for the rest of your life. Choosing the perfect destination, finding a hotel you love, and booking your flights are all part of the adventure, but the real fun begins once you fight through stressful situations in the airport or on the plane.

What You Didn't Know About Your Skin & Air Travel

Your skin is especially susceptible to stressful conditions and dramatic environmental changes, which can lead to dryness, irritation, and unwanted breakouts. Don’t panic, though — to save your skin a world of trouble, simply prepare and plan your travel skincare routine before you get caught up in the wanderlust. 

Whether you have a few weekend getaways planned or you’re gearing up for a big European trip this summer, you’ll want to prioritize your skincare regime. Here’s what you need to know:

Why Your Skincare Routine Needs a Refresh for Air Travel

If you’re flying to your destination, you’ll need to consider the environmental changes your skin will experience. From rushing through the airport to make your flight to sitting in the cabin for countless hours, these adverse conditions can negatively impact your skin in different ways.


As you know, airplane cabins have low humidity and recycle the same air throughout the cabin for the entirety of your flight. Recycled air can lead to skin dryness and sensitivities, especially if you fly for over 10 hours. 


At 35,000 feet in the air, you’re much closer to the sun than you might think. The sun is still there, even when you can’t physically feel its heat. UV rays intensify at high altitudes, which can cause problems for your skin, so if you snagged a window seat and aren’t wearing sunscreen, you’ll expose your skin to harmful UV rays.

Acne Breakouts 

Traveling is equal parts fun and stress. Arriving at the airport on time, getting through security, and making your connecting flight can put stress and strain on your body, and feeling stressed can lead to unwanted breakouts and acne. 

Dark Under Eye Circles

Whether traveling across the country, flying overseas, or driving just a few hours away, you’ll be waiting around and sitting down a lot more than usual. Sitting for long periods is known to stunt blood flow, which can lead to puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. This very noticeable impact on your skin is also why your friends and family may comment on how tired you look after a flight.

Oily Skin

Airplane cabins can dry out your skin and lead to excessive oil production. When your skin feels dry, your body reacts by producing sebum, which often causes breakouts and an oily t-zone.

What to do Before you Board

What to do Before you Board
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Once you’re through security and waiting for your plane, head to the bathroom or pull out your mirror to prepare your skin for the long flight. 

Don’t Apply Your Makeup Just Yet

It can be tempting to wear makeup on the flight, but doing so can further dry out your skin. A dry environment paired with foundation, concealer, and all your favorite makeup products can cause more harm than good. Consider keeping things simple with some eyeliner or mascara. Once you get to your destination, you can apply and be ready to go!

Layer on a Hydrating Serum 

During a flight, your skin will battle against the oxygen-poor environment, so effective hydration is the name of the game. Applying a hydrating serum before your moisturizer will help your skin retain moisture throughout the flight. Consider vitamin C, Hyaluronic Acid, or vitamin E. 

Grab Some Water

Remember to grab a bottle of water before you board the plane. Keeping your body hydrated will also maintain your skin’s hydration level.


Apply a thick moisturizer to combat the low humidity and keep your skin hydrated. A daily moisturizer infuses your skin with revitalizing nutrients and acts as a barrier to protect your skin from harmful irritants circulating in the air. 

Apply Your Daily Sunscreen

Even on travel days, you should always use sunscreen. UV ray exposure can lead to fine lines, wrinkles, and other skin damage. Always aim to wear at least SPF 30 on your face and neck. 

How to Pamper Your Skin Post-flight

How to Pamper Your Skin Post-flight

Once the plane lands, the real fun begins! However, before you run out to dinner or hit the town, you’ll want to give your skin some extra attention.

Reduce Inflammation

Once you get off the plane and head to your destination, it’s time to reduce inflammation and give your skin the extra TLC it needs to thrive during your vacation. Inflamed skin can lead to acne breakouts, discomfort, and redness. Start by washing your face with a trusted cleanser to eliminate any dirt, grime, and debris circulating in the air. 

Use Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic Acid is a must-have serum for hydrated skin. Apply it before you board and after you get off the plane to improve your skin’s ability to retain moisture and give you that soft, supple look you crave. For the best results, apply Hyaluronic Acid before your moisturizer. 

Reapply Your Moisturizer 

The next step is to reapply your moisturizer. Even though you applied it before the flight, the oxygen-poor, low-humidity mid-air environment wears down the extra layer of moisture. With a deeply hydrating cream, you can maintain the integrity of your complexion and avoid dull, dry skin. 

Exfoliate Your Skin

If your skin is dry and looking a little rough around the edges, it’s time to exfoliate! Exfoliation is a great way to buff away dry skin and eliminate dead skin cells on the outermost layer of your skin. Introduce this into your skincare regime, and you’ll achieve a fresh, vacation-ready complexion. 

Don’t worry – time, preparation, and some slight adjustments to your skincare routine will maintain your skin’s youthful glow throughout your vacation. Always listen to your skin and give it the nutrients it needs to thrive. And if you’re only taking carry-on luggage, remember to bring travel-sized products or transfer them to empty bottles. 

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