From Dryness to Breakouts: 4 Ways Flying Affects Your Skin

January 20, 2017
By: Jackie Burns Brisman | by L'Oréal
From Dryness to Breakouts: 4 Ways Flying Affects Your Skin

From winter getaways to spring break to summer vacations, often our only means of transportation to get where we want to be, is by air. And, while flying may be one of the fastest ways to get from Point A to Point B, it's also one of the quickest ways to throw our skin for a loop. Reaching cruising altitude means a whole lot more than just being able to freely walk around the cabin. Between the lack of moisture, the changing temperatures, and the constantly recirculated air, find out all the ways flying affects your skin, below.

Skin Care Side Effect of Flying #1: Dehydrated complexion

The air in pressurized cabins features less than 20 percent humidity, according to the World Health Organization. When our environment—both inside and out—is low in humidity, the air, in turn, lacks moisture, which can cause dryness and discomfort. This dryness can occur anywhere from your face to your lips to your hands, so pack along a hydrating moisturizer or serum to apply frequently in-flight. Looking for great products to take along to give your skin moisture during your travels? You're in luck! We share a few TSA-approved products to pack for your next flight, here

Skin Care Side Effect of Flying #2: Breakouts and blemishes

While you may think the low-humidity in the cabin only affects those with dry skin, think again. In excessively dry situations, our sebaceous glands can overcompensate, causing increased oil production. When this happens to an already oily complexion, the excess sebum can combine and stick to any build-up of dead skin cells and other impurities lingering on the skin's surface, which can then clog pores and lead to post-flight breakouts. For a little oil control, turn to blotting papers which can instantly remove any excess oil on the surface and bring along a pack of makeup remover wipes to help you keep your skin clean in-flight. 

Skin Care Side Effect of Flying #3: Puffy, swollen skin

Dehydration paired with sitting in one position for a long time can cause fluid retention leading to puffy, swollen-looking skin, especially the feet. During the flight, take a nod from this flight attendant tell-all and be sure to drink water to keep yourself hydrated. Also, wearing loose-fitting clothing, not crossing your legs, and getting up at least every hour to walk around the cabin, when possible, can help keep the puffiness at bay.

Skin Care Side Effect of Flying #4: Increased risk of melanoma

Frequent fliers take note: 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. If you’re a frequent flier be sure to wear a moisturizer with a broad-spectrum SPF—this means you'll help to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays—for the flight as the plane’s windows may expose you to these higher-than-normal levels of UV radiation. 

Want a little help packing for your next getaway? We share the must-have skin care items you'll need in your carry-on here!

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