When I came back to university this semester, all of my international friends complained to me about how travelling would always cause annoying skin breakouts. As they traded stories and remedies I began to notice myself that I was breaking out too. I decided to learn a little more about getting a good skin regime down before I engage on another trip.
My summer began by focusing more on what promotes healthy skin. After a stressful May exam diet I knew it was time to take better care of my skin. I read a few different magazines and forums, and listened to different advice. Imagine my frustration that from keeping a healthy glow from June till August, I find myself dry and oily (blessings of combination skin) again after only a few days back in September. Was my hard work for nothing? Do skin products not actually work? Or do they decide to give up on you as you return to everyone you know in St Andrews?
The main reason travelling causes breakouts, is that flying is not a natural environment. The air is too dry! Also, travelling, for most people, induces stress which also contributes to those annoying spots.
What is the key to stay blemish free? Hydration.
Before you engage on flight travel, treat yourself to a facial or do one at home! It is especially important to exfoliate and clean out your pores. The idea behind this is that you want a clean surface so when you hydrate your face, you are not simply putting moisturizers on clogged and dirty skin. The skin will not absorb anything if your pores are not clean.
During your flight
While you are in the air it is important to do two things. This depends on your skin type, but is also generally good advice.
First, rinse your face with cleansing tissues to prevent acne causing bacteria. I prefer using the Body Shops Tea Tree Cleansing Wipes because they wipe off any excess oil.
Second, when your skin is clean, apply moisture. Use a facial moisturizer or serum with sunscreen factor since the UV rays are stronger. Serums will often be more hydrating than a regular day to day moisturizer. If you have combination skin avoid using a moisturizer with oil.
I was surprised to learn that a hydration mist spray actually dries out your skin. This is, according to Renée Rouleau, that since cabin air is much dryer, it will attract the mist out of your face. So stick to a good moisturizing cream.
Those of you who are badasses and are travelling for 10+ hours can use a facial sheet mask. Lay down in your uncomfortable seat, put the sheet on and close your eyes to weird onlookers. You will at least look better than them once you land. Post-flight
Wash your face and keep moisturizing! When I had my first ever facial this summer, the woman warned me to use a moisturizer every morning (with SPF of course) and night. Apparently, it will keep me looking young longer and avoid wrinkles.
Happy blemish-free travelling!
Want to read more? These are some of the websites that I found most helpful:
Illustrations by Emalani Artiss.