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In addition to drying your skin out, air travel also exposes you and your complexion to a lot of other stressors including restricted movement and nutrient-poor food choices. Countering these with a well-thought-out strategy before leaving home is the key.
Okay. You get it. Moisturizing is important!
The night before your trip, use an intensely hydrating moisturizing mask that you can wear while sleeping. We love Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask. The day of your flight, skip your foundation and apply a thick moisturizing cream, immediately after cleansing while your skin is still damp. If you can’t do without some kind of coverage, use a tinted moisturizer with a silicone primer underneath. The primer will give you an added layer of protection and will help keep your skin looking fresh and hydrated.
Once you’re on the plane, refresh your complexion with a hydrating mist (in a travel-sized container, like this Avène Thermal Spring Water) and then dab on more moisturizer. Depending on the length of your flight, do this every few hours. The longer the flight, the more important it is to reapply moisturizer. Throw in a hydrating lip balm or ointment to keep your lips moist and supple too. A great option is The Lip Slip by Sara Happ.
Although airplane food and the offerings at airports are much improved these days, it’s still not going to do you any favors. Your best bet is packing some fruit, veggies, nuts, string cheese, and other nutritious goodies in your carry-on. If you’re really craving a glass of wine or a cocktail, go ahead. But limit it to one. I know… bo-ring! However, alcohol is extremely dehydrating. Bring along a large bottle of water and drink plenty of it.
Hotel toiletries are typically chock full of fragrance and other irritating ingredients. Don’t risk an allergic reaction from using new products while traveling. If you’re taking a carry-on bag, transfer your products into travel-sized containers and bring your skin care products with you. (Throw in a nightie and a toothbrush too, just in case you have an overnight delay or the airlines temporarily loses your checked baggage. Arghh…)
If you’re traveling to a destination requiring a flight time of 8 hours or more, try to plan your departure time for late afternoon or early evening. This allows you time to settle in, have a light meal, do a little reading or movie watching, and then sleep for most of the flight. If you have difficulty sleeping on a plane, take a sleep aid to help you relax. Sticking to your normal sleep/wake cycle will help you acclimate to a new time zone more quickly.
The low in-flight humidity can do more than dehydrate your skin. Many people experience dry, irritated eyes as well. Bring along lubricating eye drops to soothe your eyes and reduce redness. If you’re prone to allergies, a good allergy-relief eye drop can be a lifesaver in a foreign environment. If you experience any under-eye puffiness, put crushed ice in a washcloth and apply directly underneath each eye. Avoid caffeinated beverages to maximize your shut-eye time.
Skip the brightly colored nail polish and paint nails a sheer, neutral color that doesn’t call attention to any wear and tear while on the road. Hair care can be a little tricky as well. Changes in humidity, water pressure, and the mineral content of bathing water can all have a detrimental effect on your hair. Be sure to pack hair ties, dry shampoo or texturizing spray, and a fun hat or two for those dreaded BHD’s.
These are a few of our faves for feeling and looking fresh as a daisy: