5 Nasty Things That Flying In An Airplane Does To Your Skin
Discover what flying in an airplane does to your skin.
Frequent flier miles also mean frequent flier problems like dry and dull skin, breakouts and more
1. Your skin, lips and eyes become really dry
Humidity levels in your home are generally at about 30 per cent to 50 per cent – more if you live in a notoriously humid country like Singapore – but in a plane cabin, they can fall to 20 per cent and less. What this means: your eyes feel gritty, your cuticles look rough and flaky, and your face feels uncomfortably tight just one hour into your flight. Imagine what happens on a 20-hour one. This is why you should always apply a moisturising serum and a moisturiser before boarding. And while some frequent travellers recommend putting on a sheet mask during the flight, a less “obvious” solution is the DrGL® Restore Gel Mask. Doubling up as a moisturiser and also as a mask, it soothes stressed and irritated skin, and gives it a mighty boost of hydration. If you are using this as a mask, apply a thick layer on your face and wipe off excess after 30 minutes.
2. Bacteria grows more easily on skin
If you always feel like you need to get into a bath after a flight, it’s not because you have OCD. Because the air in a plane cabin can alternate between being dry and warm, the changing temperature makes it easier for bacteria to breed. If you have been on a flight that’s more than eight hours long (and your plane clothes are full of plane meal crumbs and stains), it’s a good idea to pack a change of clothing for when you land because you usually take a few more hours to get to your hotel.
3. Blood circulation slows down
The cabins in most commercial aircraft are pressurised between 6,000 feet and 8,000 feet, which is pretty similar to what you are subject to if you were on the top of a mountain. This can slow down blood circulation in skin, which explains why, after a flight, most people (besides celebrities, that is) always have a dull, ashy and tired-looking complexion.
4. You can get sunburnt on a plane
Don’t apply your sunscreen only when you reach that holiday resort. Apply it before boarding the plane. It is believed that flying at 30,000 feet for 60 minutes exposes you to the same level of UV radiation that you would get if you were to spend 20 minutes on a tanning bed! Things get worse if you are in a window seat and flying in the day – you are much closer to the sun than you would be on earth. Use a sunscreen with at least SPF30, like the DrGL® Sun Protection Anti-Aging, and apply any excess on your arms and neck too.
5. Your skin is more prone to breakouts
And you can thank the physical stress from flying at high altitudes and across time zones for that. Also, if you are on a long-haul flight (and let’s not forget more hours spent queuing up at immigration and security before you even get out of the airport and on to your next destination), your regular skincare regimen gets disrupted. Which is why you should always pack travel-size versions of your favourite products so you can touch up in the plane.
And if you didn’t pack any, here’s the good news: DrGL® is now the first Singapore skincare brand to be sold at Changi Airport. You can get starter kits such as Turn Back The Clock (S$249), Enhance Your Glow (S$267), Don’t Be Sensitive (S$258) and Save Our Skin (S$237), and also best-sellers such as Restore Gel Mask, Eye Repair, Skin Repair, Collagen Essence and Moisturiser Collagen Boost (S$64-S$250). At Shilla Duty Free stores in T1 Arrival Hall, T2 Arrival and Departure Halls, and T3 Arrival Hall.
Former women's magazine editor Pearlyn Tham bought her first foam cleanser and liquid foundation at the age of 13. More than 20 years later, she has since moved on to eye creams, liquid lipsticks and – her security blanket – sunscreens.
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