Ready For Take Off…. Taking Care of Your Skin on the Flight

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skincareTravelling can be exciting but unfortunately being on a plane for a long amount of time can wreak havoc on our skin. HEALTH learns how to care for our skin, even at higher altitudes.

What Happens To Our Skin When We Fly


Knowing the duration of the flight, says plastic surgeon Dr. Leandro Junqueira, is paramount in terms of how our skin will be affected. “Usually on long flights, our skin feels the effects of air conditioning even more so which dries the skin,” he explains and as such, products that create a physical barrier are advised for long flights. “This is a time to protect yourself, not the time to recover your skin,” he advises. “Therefore in this case we need to use a good moisturizer with an added sunblock.” He dispels the myth that sunblock is not required inside an aircraft. “Sometimes we think that inside an aircraft there is no need for a sunblock as on the plane we will not be exposed to the sun; however this is wrong as the majority of the aircraft’s lights have UV rays that affect the skin if no sun protection has
been applied,” he tells.

Take Along

Most of us have a day cream, a night cream, a serum and not to mention several kinds of sun blocks, cleansers and toners. How do we narrow down what we really need to take? According to Dr.Junqueira, before getting ready to board the plane, we need to prepare our travelling kit. It should include the following:

  1. A good cleansing product, such as a foaming gel, to remove the day’s dirt, grime and residue of dust or make-up.
  2. Don’t forget a good product to recover the skin from any kind of physical or chemical damage.
  3. A good moisturizing cream, to provide moisture for dry skin and for oily skin, an oil-free product for hydration.
  4. Also pack a good sunblock, preferably in SPF 50 or higher, especially for travel during the summer months or an SPF 20 to SPF 30 for the winter season.

Pesky Breakouts

Dr. Junqueira explains that if your skin is prone to breakouts, the first thing to do on the flight is to let your skin breathe. “You need to wash the pimple, remove any products or make up and apply a lotion to dry the pimple up,” he says. “If you don’t have any topical medicine, request for some toothpaste and apply locally for a couple of hours, until the end of your flight.” The fluorine’s effect in the toothpaste will dry it out. However he suggests that if you know your chances of breakouts is high; carry your own kit as it will be easier to deal with a product you are already familiar with.

After Your Flight

After the flight is the ideal time to recover your skin, tells Dr. Junqueira. “Begin with a good intake of water, then wash your face, and apply a product rich in antioxidants,” he says. In this product, add a few drops of a rich moisturizer and sunblock which will get your skin prepped for your holiday. He suggests if possible, use mineral make up to help recover and protect your skin without the damage of normal make up products.

The Top Five Products To Take On-Board at a Glance

  1. A gentle product to cleanse your face such as a foaming gel.
  2. A good quality toner to prepare your skin.
  3. A high quality serum, such as Vitamin C, to help recover the skin.
  4. A suitable to your skin type moisturizing product to protect and hydrate your skin.
  5. A good sunblock to protect your skin with UVA and UVB protection.
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