By mushee cosmetics | June 15, 2022

After more than 2 years of playing Animal Crossing, baking muffins and Zoom parties, daily life is slowly showing signs of “normal” again. Commuting to work, attending social events and planning vacations have finally resumed!

It’s probably been a while since you’ve had to prep for a trip and decide which skincare products to pack. Between dealing with security lines, potential delays and jet lag, traveling can be stressful. All this stress plus the different climates can wreak havoc on your skin. We want to take the guesswork out of what skincare to bring on your trip and how to best care for your skin when you’re on the go.  

Why Does My Travel Skincare Routine Matter? 

We all know how awful it feels to be uncomfortable, cramped and tired on a long-haul flight. But unfortunately, it also takes a real beating on your skin. No matter how healthy and happy your skin may be at home, traveling can cause adverse reactions to your skin. From breakouts, itchiness and inflammation to dry and dehydrated skin, there is nothing more that you want to do than to get off the plane! But why does your skin react so adversely? 

Cabin pressure, humidity and the dry recirculated air all have something to do with it. As a result of pressurized cabin air, humidity drops to levels below 10% within 2 hours and stay at this value throughout the flight.1 This air causes your rapid skin dehydration and an onslaught of skin issues including oily skin (to overcompensate for the lack of hydration), clogged pores and breakouts.  

Planning in advance and doubling down on hydration can help combat these skin issues. There are several steps you can take to prep your skin and give it some extra love before you step on the plane.

"Between dealing with security lines, potential delays and jet lag, traveling can be stressful. All this stress plus the different climates can wreak havoc on your skin."

How Do I Care for My Skin While Traveling? 

Packing at least the skincare basics (cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen) for your trip is one thing, but you have to make sure you have prepped your skin prior to flying so you are not constantly scrambling through your bags for your products mid-flight. Here’s what we recommend: 

  • Load up on the moisture

    Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It is crucial to maintain your skin’s hydration when traveling – especially in flight. The lack of moisture in the cabin is not only the culprit of dry and dehydrated skin, but also of potential breakouts and emphasized fine lines and wrinkles. Apply serums and moisturizers prior to flying to promote long-lasting hydration during your flight.
  • Wear sunscreen

    You wear sunscreen every day, and it is no different when you’re traveling on a plane. The sun’s rays are still, if not more, harmful mid-flight (you are closer to the sun at a higher altitude, after all). Most plane windows block UVB rays, but UVA rays can still penetrate the glass. Studies have shown that pilots and cabin crew are at a higher risk of melanoma due to increased UV radiation exposure.2 Although you’re up against far less cumulative exposure, hours in a plane add up and increase your risk of sun damage and skin cancer.  
  • Drink plenty of water

    Yes, yes, we know that it’s tempting to drink anything other than water pre- and in flight (cheers! *clink*), however it can make dehydration worse. Drinking water is the best way to counter the drying humidity levels, increase skin hydration and help fight against the excessive oil production. Your skin (and body) will thank you for it. 
  • Focus on your skincare pre- and post-flight

    It won’t be detrimental to your skin if you treat yourself to a sheet mask or hydrating facial mist mid-flight, however you’re better off focusing on prepping your skin before and after flying. Stick to the hydrating products you normally use, whether that be a facial mist, sheet mask, toner or serum. Make sure to lock in all the hydrating with a moisturizer (and you can add a facial oil in too). Lastly and most importantly, wear sunscreen! 

Final Thoughts

“Life is about the journey, not the destination” doesn’t apply to traveling as we would like it to. Preparing for a trip is hectic enough as it is without throwing in all the other stressors of traveling that you do not have control over. Thankfully, your skincare routine is one thing you have control over to ensure healthy travel-ready skin. And remember: if you have limited space in your luggage, be sure to at least pack your cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen.  

Disclaimer: Beauty Vibin' is intended to help educate on skincare ingredients and skincare related topics. It is designed for informational purposes only. Information on ingredients used in cosmetic products appearing on the Site are not intended to be, nor should be interpreted as, advice or a recommendation concerning the use of any cosmetic product. If you have questions about the use of a cosmetic product, please consult a physician. Please note any Mushee Cosmetics products with referenced ingredients are formulated for cosmetic use only.

Sabine Guéhenneux et al, ‘Skin Surface Hydration Decreases Rapidly During Long Distance Flights’ (2012) 18(2) Skin Research & Technology 238.

2 Martina Sanlorenzo et al, ‘The Risk of Melanoma in Pilots and Cabin Crew: UV Measurements in Flying Airplanes’ (2015) 151(4) JAMA Dermatology 450. 

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