When you step foot on a plane, your skin is bombarded with recycled air – and you’re dealing with more than just 27C’s garlic breath. “The cabin of a plane in flight is extremely dry, with humidity levels hovering at about 10-12 per cent,” says dermatologist Dr David Bank.
Remember osmosis (ringing any faint bells from high-school biology?). Well, this process starts happening as soon you take off. “Whenever the air is dry and moisture is not present, the air draws moisture from wherever it can – and that means from your skin,” says Bank. In response to the cabin air sucking your epidermis dry, your skin clicks in to defence mode protecting itself with inflammatory mediators – the same molecules that help you fight off infection when you get sick.
The problem with these li’l heroes? They can be dramatic. “Inflammatory mediators sometimes overreact, causing more harm than good,” says Bank. On your face, this can lead to hypersensitivity, irritation and breakouts. In general, dry skin will get drier, while oily skin will get oilier due to increased oil production to compensate for the dehydrating in-flight air.
Jet lag’s gonna get you, but with the right products and know-how you can dodge plane face and arrive at your destination looking fresher than when you left. First, forget pore-clogging make-up and board your flight fresh faced. “I cleanse thoroughly at home before leaving the house,” says expert facialist Jocelyn Petroni. Then it’s all about layering your hydrating products. Start with serum, which will penetrate deeper layers and prep your skin to absorb moisture. Petroni likes Sodashi’s Rejuvenating Serum, followed by a facial oil, like rosehip.
Then it’s time to moisturise. Both Bank and Petroni agree that applying a clear overnight treatment mask instead of a traditional moisturiser will provide the most hydration. Apply a layer over your serum and leave it on for at least four hours.
Mid flight, spritzing intermittently with a product containing rose or aloe vera will freshen your skin without leaving your seat. But don’t get too comfy. While it might mean having to straddle old mate on the aisle an extra time or two en route to the toilet, if best results is what you’re after, Bank suggests getting up to wash your face at least two points throughout the journey and repeat the whole routine again. A lot of work, but worth it. Once you’ve landed, first things first – check in to your hotel room, then exfoliate.
“Use a face wash with beads to get rid of dead skin built up during the flight,” says Bank. Follow up with moisturiser or a sheet mask to quench your skin’s thirst. “As long as you take care of your skin while flying, it should be hydrated and healthy, looking perfect as ever,” says Bank.
What hosties do…
Cassie Radford is a Qantas A380 service manager, flying to LA, Dubai, Hong Kong and London. Here, her long-haul beauty must-haves:
● Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream Skin Protectant, $38.
● Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, $60. “This provides a smooth and lasting base for make-up.”
● “I can’t go past Lucas’ Papaw Ointment, [$6.60] for cuticles and cracked lips.”
OUR FAVE Inflight Skin Solutions
● SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $140 (pack of 6)
● HydroPeptide FACE Anti-Wrinkle Repair and Prevent Treatment, $140
● Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask, $47
● Bioderma Crealine H20 Solution Micellaire, $19.95
● Bioré Daily Detoxify scrub, $10.95
● Sodashi Rejuvenating Serum, $106.50
● Dermalogica UltraCalming Mist, $16
● Rosehip PLUS Rosehip Oil, $19.95