As much as I hate to say anything that might be thought of as rushing the holidays, they are almost(gulp!) upon us. Before all your travel plans are solidified, your plane tickets booked and your bags are packed, I wanted to take a minute to talk about how to properly care for your skin during holiday travel, especially in the air. Most of us don’t realize the havoc that plane travel wreaks on our skin.

My mother was a flight attendant for 30 years and always obsessed with her skin, two things that always seemed to be in direct conflict with each other. For most of her career, she never flew international flights because of a) cigarette smoke and b) the difference she could see in her colleague’s skin who flew internationally compared to her domestic buddies.

Think about that.

We may not have to fly across the country for a living, but it definitely tells you a little about what can happen to the skin when we’re up there.
Think of plane travel as an almost literal germ-filled vacuum that sucks all the hydration and life out of your skin. The moisture zapping quality of cabin air will dehydrate and simultaneously make your skin’s oil production go into overdrive as it tries to compensate for the change. Dullness, flaking AND potential breakouts? No thanks!

Luckily, you can definitely establish a minimal yet effective routine to insure healthier, glowing skin when stepping off the plane. Here are the steps:

First and foremost…

Hydrate your skin by drinking bottled water or decaffeinated tea before and during the flight. Studies show we can lose up to one and a half liters of water from the lowered cabin air pressure and humidity.

After takeoff, spend a few minutes in the plane bathroom cleansing the skin with a travel size bottle of hydrating cleanser, a cleansing balm or a facial cleansing wipe, the latter being an option you can even use right in your seat if you don’t want to get up.

The first step will dislodge makeup and any airport grime without drying you out. These cleansing cloths from Paula’s Choice are free of irritating fragrance and get the job done.

Mist, mist, and mist some more!

A small travel-friendly facial mist after cleansing and throughout the flight will be your best friend up in the air and throughout the day. I especially like ones with rose water, which contains soothing and anti-aging properties as well as being hydrating. Try
Mario Bedescu’s Rose Water Facial Spray. It’s only $7!

If you want to get fancy at this point, you can apply a sheet mask or leave-on mask to your face while you settle in to watch a movie or read. Either way, the residue left from a hydrating sheet mask usually can be worked into the skin after removing, moonlighting as the perfect moisturizer for deplaning. Patchology has always been one of my favorite on-the-go masks

Let’s say you’re thinking, ”There is NO way I’m going to put a mask on my face on the plane!” Ok, ok, meet me in the middle here by applying a super hydrating moisturizer. If you have a window seat and like to keep it open, make sure you have SPF on as well (the sun’s damaging rays get right through those windows to you, especially at 30,000 feet). Either way, if the plane lands in the daylight hours, a lightweight SPF is a non-negotiable whenever you travel.

Remember, 80% of our fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage are caused by the small, every day increments of sun exposure we get when we’re in the car driving to work, outside running errands, etc.

For those of you who are beauty product junkies and love extra credit. I’m going to add a bonus step for really getting your glow on.  We know that the best way to get glowing skin at home is by using products with chemical exfoliating ingredients like glycolic and salicylic acids. So, why not bring the magic onboard?

Pre-packaged resurfacing wipes are travel-friendly and reveal brighter looking skin in seconds.  After cleansing, swipe one on before applying your mask or moisturizer. The M-61 Power Glow Peel Pads are my favorite pick.

So there you have it! Safe travels everyone. Wishing you peace, smooth flights, love, quick TSA lines, and glowing skin…xo Biba

Biba Vernon

Biba Vernon

Biba is a New Jersey based esthetician, business owner and 15-year veteran of the skincare industry. After working as the lead skincare therapist at top spas in Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, she founded her own private studio in 2015. Beauty by Biba, located in Southern New Jersey, is a unique wellness getaway where clients receive decadent, customized facials, the highest quality waxing services, as well as in-depth education and insider knowledge of how to achieve their best skin.