The holiday season is here. Chances are, you'll be hopping on a plane at some point during the next few weeks. But, unfortunately, traveling can really take a toll on your skin, leading to dreaded breakouts. Why?
What causes blemishes when you travel?
When you fly on an airplane, you're exposed to dry cabin air for hours at a time. The average humidity on a plane drops to twenty percent of normal levels. If your skin is already dry, this environment can lead to a buildup of oil under your dehydrated skin cells. And if your skin is naturally oily, low humidity levels will increase oil production. These two things cause unexpected breakouts.
Bottom line: flying on a plane sends your skin into overdrive, causing it to produce more oil than usual, which leads to a resurgence of blemishes.
What can you do to combat breakouts while you travel?
The key to preventing unsightly breakouts while traveling is to hydrate, both inside and out. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight. Look for skincare products that contain hyaluronic acid. It's a humectant that pulls in water to the outer layer of the skin, helping to maintain the lipid barrier. Apply a skincare product containing hyaluronic acid, such as a serum, right before taking off.
If you notice that your skin is still getting super oily, use blotting papers to soak up excess oil on your skin. Right before your trip, you should also exfoliate using a product formulated with alpha hydroxy acid to remove the dry layer of the skin on the surface, which will help clear pores. Follow up with a moisturizer containing SPF 50 or higher. Remember that UV rays are more intense at higher altitudes, making you more susceptible to the damage that free radicals cause.
Lastly, avoid wearing makeup if you can help it. But, if you must wear something, choose a tinted moisturizer instead of your usual foundation.
Keep calm and travel on
Feeling stressed out can be enough to send your skin off its healthy balance. Lack of sleep and jet lag are stressors that occur during travel that can increase your body's cortisol levels, contributing to increased breakouts.
To reduce stress levels as much as possible while traveling, you should avoid eating sugar and dairy, take a probiotic supplement, nap as much as you can, and apply salicylic acid directly to any blemishes upon arriving at your destination.