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How does air travel affect skin

Posted by ReRoute Beauty on Dec 7th 2022

1. Dry Skin

Typically, skin is comfortable when the humidity is between 40 to 70 percent. The World Health Organization reports that humidity levels in aircraft cabins are typically less than 20 percent. Low humidity is one of the most common causes of dry skin. The best solution - make sure you drink LOADS of water and a moisturizer. Keep in mind that when there is no water in the air, moisturizers don’t work as well since there is nothing to grab onto. Products with hyaluronic acid and ceramides help to keep moisture in. Remember to reapply every 60 to 90 minutes.

TIP; Skip the facial mist. It might feel refreshing, and you may think you're hydrating your skin by spritzing, but as the water evaporates from your skin, it can just make dryness worse

2. Oiliness

Sounds counterintuitive right? When your skin becomes dry in flight, it will likely produce sebum to counteract that dryness causing an oily forehead, chin, nose, and cheeks. Another reason to take your in-air moisturizing routine seriously.

3. Water Retention

Sitting for long periods of time, as well as too much salt intake, causes water retention (Yes we are talking to you pretzels). You may notice facial puffiness or swollen feet after hours of air travel. Keep yourself hydrated, get up and walk around frequently, brisk walk through the airport, or exercise once you land will all help to elevate that bloating.

4. Sunburn

A scientific review published in JAMA Dermatology found that pilots and cabin crew are occupationally exposed to higher levels of UV radiation than the rest of us, making them twice as likely to develop melanoma. UV rays are much more intense at higher altitudes, and with thinner air, there is less screening of harmful radiation. If you frequently find yourself on an airplane, be sure to apply sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection prior to boarding, especially if you are sitting in the window seat

5. Breakouts

Travel can be stressful. From security lines to flight delays and tight layover windows our stress hormones can be in high gear. These stress hormones can increase redness and flare up conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Remove makeup pre- or mid-flight and stick to your regular skincare regimen even while traveling. 

TIP: Invest in travel size products to keep skin happy, no matter the environment. Look for travel size face wash and moisturizer with enriched natural ingredients providing great hydration and toning. 

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