By Catie Ryan, Staff Writer
With the holiday season upon us, airplanes can be an unpleasant yet unavoidable factor in travel. Sure, they bring you home to your grandma’s long-perfected pumpkin pie, but they always seem to leave you feeling puffy, greasy, and utterly exhausted as soon as you step off the flight. What’s worse: you may even feel these residual effects a few days after you land. So, we have decided to help. Although we can’t assist you in avoiding awkward run-ins with old high school friends in the grocery store, we certainly can help you look just as fabulous when you step off that plane as you did when you stepped on.
Apparently, the feeling of stale, tight air absorbing you as you walk onto an airplane isn’t just in your imagination - it’s the truth. Airplanes have extremely dry air. In fact, humans feel most comfortable in humidity levels between 50% and 60%, but the typical cabin usually contains around 12% humidity (the same as the Mojave Desert). Unfortunately, this dryness can cause some unsavory side-effects including chapped lips, inflamed allergies, and in some cases, respiratory problems. However, some of the most noticeable changes involve your complexion and result in the chapped, dull and bloated skin. This dehydrating phenomenon isn’t restricted to your face — a lack of humidity can also impact your eyes, nose, and lips. Here are some of our tried and true tricks for maintaining a healthy glow even on those killer cross-continental flights.
Hand Sanitizer: First things first, you’ll want to keep this disinfectant nearby because 1) airports are teaming with germs and 2) you’ll want clean hands when you inevitably touch your face. Also, many of the steps below involve rubbing products into your skin, so you’ll want to start with clean applicators. Tip: get a sanitizer with moisturizers in it, so your hands don’t become even more chapped.
Makeup Wipes: These life-savers will remove all of the dirt and grease that accumulates on your face throughout your travels. They’re super easy to travel with, and will immediately make your skin feel fresh. Try Burt's Bees Micellar Water Towelettes for a gentle and hydrating option.
Moisturizer: Use a moisturizer directly after the makeup wipes to preserve the hydration in your skin. The secret to avoiding a puffy, dull complexion is maintaining as much moisture as possible. Opt for a lotion with water-binding ingredients and other calming agents such as cucumber and aloe vera. Try our ProD.N.A. Face & Décolletage Cream to pamper your skin with a rich formula that never leaves you feeling greasy.
Serum: A serum is ideal if you’re serious about skin preservation during a flight. A quality moisturizer will help your complexion combat the draining effects of a low-pressure, dry environment, but serum is the icing on the cake. Most formulas contain antioxidants that help the skin heal and fight off bacteria, and their potent ingredients allow your skin to soak up its moisture long-term. The ProD.N.A. Advanced-Recovery Serum contains calming agents such as rosemary extract and blue lotus flower extract, so any irritation or redness will be eliminated as well.
Movement: A major reason our faces look bloated and dull after a long flight is inactivity. Exercise encourages blood flow throughout the body, giving your face a rosy glow. When deprived of movement, the body retains water and the skin loses its lively color. There’s not a ton you can do when confined to a small, uncomfortable airplane seat, but quick walk up and down the aisle should help alleviate this issue.
Face Mist: Nothing works better for refreshing your skin than a lovely face mist. A light, flowery mist will wake up your complexion like a makeup wipe, but without the mess of smeared mascara. Rosewater, in particular, works to invigorate your skin with antioxidants that help repair cell damage, and its anti-inflammatory properties reduce irritation, redness and dry patches.
Eye Mask: Opt for a silky, dark sleeping mask to make your slumber a little less disturbed. Puffy, purple eye bags aren’t exactly the cutest accessory, so let yourself fall into a deep sleep without the distraction of your neighbor’s reading light.
Lip Balm: Your lips aren’t immune to the dry air either, so make sure to come equipped with moisturizing lip balm to keep your pout supple for that special mistletoe moment. We recommend the Dior Lip Glow for a deliciously silky moisturizer with a subtle tint.
Water: Drinking water can seriously help your body adjust to the changing environments of traveling. Water supports homeostasis, so your body can maintain the proper bodily functions and levels of hydration in the frigid cabin air. Additionally, drinking water helps your body flush out excess sodium (from all those airport snacks), so you won’t step off your flight looking as inflated as the Michelin Man.
All in all, if you heed this advice, you can spare your skin from the agony of cabin air. Unfortunately, we can’t assist with the lack of leg room, tight seats or the crying baby. Simply soothe yourself and your skin by taking care of it, so you can strut off that flight rejuvenated and ready to dig into some mashed potatoes!