How to Prevent Dehydrated Skin During Your Flight
Packing a skincare kit for your in-cabin bag is not a vanity thing but self-care.
It’s taking care of you, keeping you comfortable in the air. It’s not about packing the most luxurious cream or having every hydrating spritz in your kit, it’s about managing your skin and keeping it happy and hydrated in the dry air with practical skincare products.
You may ask, “didn’t I already apply what’s needed before I left my house?” Yes. And don’t skip that just because you will be using skincare during your flight.
Let’s revisit the reason why we even need skincare mid-flight: Skin is most comfortable when humidity is between 40 to 70 per cent. The humidity level in Singapore ranges from 55 to 95 per cent, which is why our skin generally feels quite comfortable, and occasionally a tad oilier, throughout the year.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the humidity level in airplane cabins is usually less than 20 per cent. This lack of humidity, meaning lack of water in the air, causes the skin to become dry as it loses moisture to the dry environment. That translates to dry skin all over, and you may also experience tightness, redness and itchiness on sensitive areas like around the eyes, mouth and nose.
Prep Skin Before You Fly
Aside from following through with your usual skincare routine, you should also exfoliate your skin before your flight. Exfoliating helps to remove dead skin cells and that’s crucial when you fly because when the skin becomes dehydrated, it naturally produces more oil in an effort to keep it comfortable. This excess oil coupled with the bacteria floating in the cabin (and makeup, if you plan to wear makeup) makes your congested skin the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive, and that can lead to pimples when you reach your destination.
Skip the Hydrating Face Mist Alone
You should only use a face mist in the plane if you follow with your serum and moisturiser. Just never use it on its own. While a face mist can make your skin feel refreshed for that few seconds, it doesn’t help to keep skin hydrated. Quite the opposite, really. The water in the mist will evaporate from your skin and that just makes the dryness worse.
Use Skincare with Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a moisture magnet. It is naturally found in your skin and has the ability to bind to water. When the skin is dry, it draws residual moisture from the deeper skin layers. That’s not what we want. So, always apply a hydrating essence, like DrGL® Essence Anti-Aging which functions as both a toner and essence, before your HA serum. One such hyaluronic acid-rich serum is DrGL® Collagen Essence that is also suitable for sensitive skin. (I like that it comes in an 30ml bottle so I don’t bring unnecessary weight in my cabin bag.) You should then follow with a face moisturiser, which can create a barrier to keep moisture in, like DrGL® Moisture Collagen Boost.
It’s not about keeping skin hydrated just because you are on a plane. The deal about dehydrated skin is, it can become inflamed and trigger sensitivity issues for those with eczema, psoriasis and rosacea. Those who do not have such chronic skin conditions can also experience skin sensitivity issues like itching and redness all over the body. And that’s why it is important to prevent dry skin, especially over long flights.
Lastly, when you’re on a flight, always make sure you use sunscreen after you moisturise. You are closer to the ozone layer and will be exposed to higher levels of UVA radiation that can penetrate the windows in the plane and damage the skin. Opt for lightweight formulas like DrGL® Sun Protection Mist or DrGL® Sun Protection Anti-Aging to avoid any sticky sensation on skin, and keep skin comfortable and protected.