Monday, November 21, 2011

Your Skin Flight Plan

November means the holiday travel season is upon us. Whether you’re off to a family gathering or a much deserved getaway, it’s important to remember when flying that the unique pressurized environment of a plane is rather hostile to the human body. In addition to travel fatigue, swollen feet and motion sickness, flying causes severe dehydration.

Most of us find a relative humidity of 50% comfortable. In-flight humidity levels register at 10%. Considering that the Sahara desert reaches a just bearable 25%, flight conditions are extreme. Since your skin is your largest organ, when you lose moisture, it shows. To protect yourself and arrive in un-wilted condition, I cannot stress drinking water enough. Not soda, not coffee, not alcohol - water. In a 3 hour flight, the human body loses 1.5 liters of water! I recommend bringing your own, so you can rehydrate immediately and continuously.

Before the flight, in addition to making sure you embark well hydrated, apply moisturizer from head to toe. Most manufacturers have travel or sample sizes so you can bring your favorite moisturizer in your carry-on or purse. You will want to reapply often during your flight. Give your face a quick spritz from a water atomizer or small spray bottle before reapplying moisturizer to get an extra moisture boost. Other good items to have are saline eye drops, antibacterial hand wash and lip balm.

My other piece of advice – keep your hands away from your face. Think about the amount of germs covering every surface. Whatever you may have thought, planes are not deep cleaned after each flight. With thousands of travelers having flown on any given aircraft, it’s too easy to come in contact with unknown bacteria that can result in breakouts and skin problems. Use wipes or sanitizer religiously.

We know that part of the appeal of a vacation is a change in routine, as well as scenery, but do not let that extend to your skincare habits. Pack your regular beauty products. An abrupt change in products can upset your skin’s acid balance and cause an unwanted vacation breakout.

Finally, have a safe flight and a great holiday!

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