Whether you’re travelling home for the holidays or heading off on a vacation, airplane travel can be stressful. Along with the crying toddler or the passenger that’s constantly kicking your seat, you also have to deal with pressurised cabin air, low humidity, unhealthy plane food and the lack of sleep. All of these take a toll on your body and skin and can cause breakouts or acne. Which is why I came up with my tried and tested post airplane beauty routine and it works like a charm. Every. Single Time.
Here’s the science-y bit: The low humidity has an especially adverse effect on your skin causing the epidermis or the topmost layer of skin to dry out. To compensate for this the oil glands go into overdrive and produce more oil. The result? Everyone – and I mean, everyone – looks greasy on and after a flight. It also means your pores are probably blocked with dead skin and sebum that could lead to a breakout. I’ve already posted my in-flight skincare routine, which helps balance and hydrate your skin. If you’ve followed that, it’s already half the battle won, because to a certain extent, it will also help prevent breakouts. But equally important is your post flight skincare routine. The focus here is to remove dead skin, deep clean as well as rehydrate and balance your skin so you’re ready to look gorgeous in all your vacation pics.
Unlike the inflight routine, this one is fairly quick and easy – because nobody got time for a long ritual after a tiring flight. First things first: cleanse. As soon as you get to your hotel room, make sure to cleanse your face with a gentle cleanser or makeup remover if you’re wearing makeup. Next, a gentle scrub like the Glamglow Daily or Crème Simon Brightening Detox Gentle Double Exfoliation Scrub will help slough off any dead skin that could potentially block pores. I avoid using chemical exfoliators and my retinol immediately after a flight because it could worsen the dry skin. The focus here is to deep cleanse and replenish.
Once I’ve gently, but thoroughly exfoliated I smooth on a clay mask – you could use the Neal’s Yard Remedies White Tea Enriching Facial Mask or the Laneige Mini Pore Water Clay Mask. The key to using a clay mask is to make sure you wash it off while it’s still tacky. If it looks dry and cracked on your skin, it’s already too late.
With the dead skin out of the way and your pores cleansed, it’s time to replenish all that lost moisture. You want to use something that is deeply hydrating. I like to use sheet masks. The SK-II Facial Treatment Essence Mask is the bomb, but if you’re looking for something a little more wallet friendly, look to Innisfree for their Second Skin Nourishing Mask and Etude House for their Collagen series masks. I leave this mask on while I moisturise my hands and legs, which are now equally dry from the flight.
Once I’ve removed the mask, I will apply another hydrating overnight mask – something like the Origins Calm To Your Senses mask that I’ve already carried with me. If your skin isn’t very dry, the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask works well too. When I’m home, I use the La Prairie Caviar mask that works like a charm to hydrate, brighten and soothe tired skin so no one even knows I’ve been on a flight. I slather on a generous layer, put on my eye cream and it’s lights out till the alarm goes off. Or I’ve landed in the day, it’s washed off, followed by my usual serums, moisturisers and sunscreen and out the door.
I hope this works for you! It’s really the worst possible thing to get to your vacation and find that you’ve broken out. Let me know what you do to combat post-flight tired skin.
PS: Don’t pack any skincare that you haven’t tried before for your vacation. Your body is adjusting to the weather, water and food, it’s best to keep your skincare familiar.