Q&A: Why Does My Skin Freak Out When I Fly?


travel beauty tipsFlying is all very glamorous and adventurous until logistics come into play. It’s a funny thing about reality; it’s always getting in the way. There’s packing (ugh), TSA constraints (good thing for these guides!), long queues, overpriced food courts…

And then there’s the inevitable waiting period: that ticking clock between take-off and rushing to the nearest bathroom at arrival to check the state of your skin.

If there’s one thing worse than inconsiderate neighbors encroaching on personal space, it’s the havoc that cabin air seems to always wreak on every complexion.

So – why does skin freak out when you fly?

All skin types – even oily ones – are vulnerable to experiencing discomfort. Recycled cabin air, refreshed only by air taken from the surrounding low-humidity, high altitudes atmosphere, is incredibly drying on skin. Without the moisture needed to help skin feel comfortable, air on board just seems suffocating.

Combat it: prevent dryness, flakiness, and tightness by keeping hydrated and well-moisturized.

If you have…

  • Combo skin, oily skin, OR a short flight: A few spritzes of our Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs and Rosewater will help instantly hydrate and refresh skin. Use as needed throughout your flight and just before landing for an impossibly dewy complexion.
  • Combo skin, dry skin, OR a long flight: Nourish dry, sensitive, flaky complexions with a few drops of our Rose Hips Nourishing Oil. Rose Hips has antiseptic and healing properties in addition to a high Vitamin C content. Apply under your moisturizer before taking off, and re-apply as needed wherever needed.
  • Dry skin, maturing skin, OR a long flight: Prevent dehydration with our Hydro Emollient Cream. Also famously known as the go-to “in-flight” cream for dry skin types or frequent flyers, this rich formula helps guard against moisture loss and environmental stress.

Skin doesn’t just experience dryness, unfortunately. Breakouts are also incredibly common for two reasons:

  1. Imbalance. When skin is thrown into extreme conditions and suddenly experiences intense dehydration, oil glands are kicked into high gear in an attempt to compensate for lack of moisture. Dead skin cell buildup and excess oil clog pores, making way for – you guessed it – pimples.
  2. Stress. When the body experiences stress, a hormone called cortisol is released. Studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between increased cortisol levels and acne breakouts. Plus, stress-related habits (poor eating habits, lack of sleep, etc.) only add to the problem, causing sebum glands to secrete an oily, pore-clogging substance. Travel stress and long flights are simply no good.

Keep your skin in check with these essentials:

  • Bobbi pins, clips, and hair ties. Keeping hair off your face can help prevent breakouts.
  • Drying Cream. Feel a bump coming up? Dab a tiny amount onto the spot and blend well. Our Drying Cream is effective in helping dry up those small, under-the-skin blemishes and prevent them from getting any larger.
  • Drying Lotion… and clean Q-tips. We’re all for dabbing this Salicylic Acid and calamine treatment on the plane (especially for red-eyes or long-haul flights) during flight, but rocking pink polka dots might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Pack a bottle in your suitcase should any pesky whiteheads pop up during the flight.


Author: Kimberly Yang

I hold these truths to be self-evident, that skin care is paramount, green tea is everything, and the Internet rules all (typical Gen-Y philosophy; if it wasn't 'grammed, it never happened). Also pertinent: writer, content creator, national sales director at Mario Badescu. For more about me, visit my Google+ page.

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