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Article: How Flying Impacts Skin Health and Tips For Your Next Trip

How Flying Impacts Skin Health and Tips For Your Next Trip
airplane skincare

How Flying Impacts Skin Health and Tips For Your Next Trip

Flying can be an exhilarating experience, offering the chance to see new places and cultures. However, frequent flyers and vacation travelers alike often notice that their skin tends to suffer after spending hours in the air. Understanding the effects of flying on your skin is crucial to maintaining a healthy complexion while jet-setting around the globe. In this blog, we'll explore how flying impacts your skin and offer tips on how to mitigate these effects.

Low Humidity Levels

One of the most significant challenges your skin faces during a flight is the exceptionally low humidity levels in the cabin. The World Health Organization reports that airplane cabins typically have humidity levels of less than 20%, significantly lower than the 30-60% most people are accustomed to on the ground. This dry environment can strip your skin of its natural moisture, leading to dehydration. The result? Dry, flaky, and sometimes itchy skin.

Tip: To combat dryness, apply your favorite moisturizer before and during the flight. For a clean, breathable, and ultra-hydrating option use Oxygenating Hydro-Matrix. This lightweight yet powerful moisturizer will help maintain a robust moisture barrier while increasing oxygen levels in skin cells for healthier skin. If you have acne prone skin or want something with exfoliating properties to combat in flight pollutants, try our new Pore Clarifying Hydro-Matrix. Using a hydrating facial mist periodically can also help maintain skin moisture.

The Pressure Problem

Air pressure in the cabin is lower than at sea level, which can affect blood circulation and lead to swelling and puffiness, particularly around the eyes. The lack of movement during a long flight can exacerbate this, making you look and feel more tired than you actually are.

Tip: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate you further. Consider wearing compression socks to help improve circulation.

UV Radiation Exposure

Flying at high altitudes increases your exposure to UV radiation. The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that, "While glass blocks UVB rays pretty well, it doesn’t block UVA rays." The UVA rays that still penetrate potentially lead to skin damage over time, especially for frequent flyers.

Tip: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen before your flight, even if you’re not sitting by the window. Reapply during the flight if it's a long one.

Increased Stress Levels

Traveling can be stressful, from packing and navigating airports to dealing with potential delays. Stress can trigger the release of cortisol, a hormone that can lead to breakouts and exacerbate conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Tip: Practice stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music during your flight.


Airplanes are shared spaces with many people passing through each day. This environment can expose you to germs and bacteria, potentially leading to skin issues like acne or infections.

Tip: Take advantage of the cleansing alcohol wipes some airlines pass out at the beginning of each flight to sanitize your area. Keep your hands clean by using hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face. Don't use airplane bathroom water to cleanse your face, instead consider bringing a travel-sized facial cleansing wipe to refresh your skin during the flight. 

Post-Flight Care

Once you've landed, your skin will likely need some extra TLC:
Rehydrate: Drink plenty of water to rehydrate your body from the inside out.
Moisturize: Apply a nourishing moisturizer to replenish lost moisture.
Calm: Use a soothing face mask or a product with calming ingredients like aloe vera to reduce any irritation or redness.

Flying doesn't have to spell disaster for your skin. By understanding the challenges posed by the in-flight environment and taking proactive steps to care for your skin, you can maintain a healthy, glowing complexion no matter where your travels take you. Safe travels and happy skin!

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