Summer is one of the peak times for travel, but flying in a plane is hard on the skin. Plane cabins are pressurized, and they contain less oxygen than most environments on the ground do. That lack of oxygen makes it harder for the body to retain water and thus increases the chances of dehydration. Similarly, plane cabins are dry: They contain 20 percent humidity while people are generally most comfortable in places that contain 40 to 70 percent humidity.
On staying hydrated
A lot of the advice on caring for one’s skin boils down to avoiding dehydration. Travelers on a plane should drink plenty of water while flying, and they should avoid coffee, tea and alcohol, for they are all diuretics and will therefore cause a person’s body to lose water.
A prudent traveler will begin preparing two weeks in advance by adding skin serums that prevent adverse reactions to their skin care regimen. On the night before the flight, the vacationer should apply a powerful moisturizer to their face.
During the flight, the traveler should use a mister with mineral water to keep their skin moist. They should also use lip balm to do the same for their lips. Keeping hand cream on hand is also prudent, for public restrooms tend to use commercial-grade soaps that are hard on the skin.
What to avoid
The wise traveler will also avoid anything that might irritate their skin. For example, many facials include extractions as part of their treatment. “Extractions involve removing blackheads from the client’s skin, and they not surprisingly leave the skin tender for a while afterwards,” said Vitacell, LLC. The dry air in a plane cabin is not nice to sensitive skin. Experts therefore recommend having extractions done at least a month before the plane trip. Hot and humid climates are similarly unkind to skin left tender by an extraction. Again, people traveling to such climates should have extractions done well before their trip.
Some cosmetics can exacerbate dehydration and should therefore be avoided. Many foundations and long-lasting lipsticks fall into this category. It’s best to either not wear make-up at all or find substitutes that don’t dry out the skin.
Other cosmetics simply don’t hold up well on a long plane ride, especially one that involves an overnight flight. Mascara and cream eye shadows, for example, tend to get smudged while a passenger is sleeping on the plane. It’s therefore best to wait until after disembarking before applying such cosmetics.
Skin care at the beach
Going to the beach is fun, but it also poses its own set of challenges in terms of taking care of one’s skin. Lying in the hot sun will eventually cause dehydration, so the vacationer should drink plenty of water and other fluids. After enjoying a day in the sun, it’s best to slather on a moisturizer to replenish lost water. Since exposure to the sun can increase the skin’s sensitivity, the ideal moisturizer will be hypoallergenic and unscented.
The traveler should also take the usual steps to protect themselves from sunburn like wearing a broad spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF of at least 30. They should also use a lip balm with an SPF of at least 18 to protect their lips. A broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses will also offer protection from the summer sun. Recent research has found that fruits and vegetables with red pigments in their skin can improve the body’s ability to protect itself from sunburn. That means the vacationer should eat plenty of strawberries, tomatoes and other red produce.
Travel can make oily skin oilier and more prone to break-outs. Using rice papers or blotting papers will enable a vacationer to rid themselves of excess oils without stripping the skin of the moisture it needs.
Travelers should try to stick to their usual regimen as much as possible during a trip. That means continuing to use the products they usually use. A vacation is not the best time for experimenting with something new. Any abrupt changes could affect the acid balance in the skin and cause a breakout.