#2094 | Skincare Sundays – How to survive a long haul flight without incurring shitty skin

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Hello hello,

Back again with Skincare Sundays. Shane and I were at dinner with another couple friend of ours who are soon to be married, and they were telling us about their honeymoon plans. Somehow the conversation landed gently on the topic of skincare w.r.t. flying – and after listening to me go on about hydration for about ten minutes, our friends politely suggested that i blog about it instead. So here I am.

I haven’t been flying as much this year because, yknw, #thesis, but last year I was in and out of the country every month. And lemme tell you! My skin took a hit for sure. Particularly irritating to me was the flight there – somehow it’s always worse than the one back when it comes to skin related issues (Vice versa for jet lag though). But any flight above six hours and I find myself landing in my new destination with skin that seems determined to exact revenge for the gruelling flight by making me look dull the next couple days or so. More often than not, this comes in the form of patchy dry skin, and red bumps – not exactly pimples, but just bumps on my skin. Irritating? You bet.

In hindsight, this shouldnt have come as a surprise. Flight air is notoriously drying, especially since the air is pressurised, recycled, and very low humidity. The air is also dirty – I mean, cmon. All the bacteria everywhere! All this leads to inflamed and stressed skin. Also, the dry air makes your skin oily cos you overproduce oil to compensate, and then thats part of how you get travel pimples and what not. Anyway, enough was enough. In the style of Titus Andromedon, I was done: you gotta go, girl!

So equal parts neurotic and equal parts in the spirit of sharing, but here I am writing my post on what I (try to) keep to nowadays with regards to long haul flights..

Pre-flight


Here’s things to do a day before your flight:

Eat food low in salt
. Sodium dehydrates you and the effects are worse when youre on a plane. So just cook something simple that isn’t too salty or greasy, or keep that in mind while ordering if youre eating out.

Do a hydrating mask the night before. I actually personally like to do a clay and then hydrating mask because I feel like before travel, you gotta pull out all the stops. Right now (and for the past year) I’ve been using the Himalayan Charcoal mask and the Ethiopian Honey deep nourishing mask from The Body Shop’s at home facial experience set. These are super masks for when you’re at home, but I wouldnt bring them on a flight because the clay would be a pain to wash off mid flight, and I also dont want to risk the honey mask spilling. Better to use it at home. But this is a really good mask set, so I’ll talk about it more next time.

Make sure you drink the necessary 8 cups of water the day before. Water may not have an immediately visible correlation to how your skin looks, but it is required for your skin cells to be healthy. So it’s kind of like a extra water doesnt help but not enough water will be extremely detrimental kind of situation. Plus it’s not just the water you drink right before you go on the flight, it’s the amount you drink over roughly the 24 hours before you board that your body holds.


Here’s what to do right before you leave for the airport:

Shower at home, but wash your face with a gentle cleanser, preferably an oil one. I’m using the Shu Umeura yellow one that I bought last year because Roz swears by it (as do all the beauty gurus in the industry) but it is so expensive (to me) that it’s really more a luxury than anything. My friend told me that MUJI does an oil cleanser that is VERY good and also only about 15 dollars? I havent personally tried this, but I thought I should put it out there for those of you who do want to try.

If youre the type to wear make up to the airport like me, then bring make up removing wipes. Biore and Skin Food both do very good make up removing wipes, but for the last two months I havent been able to find the Skin Food ones, I think they discontinued it 🙁 The Biore one is fantastic also either way, just slightly pricier – get it stocked up in Japan if youre ever there cos its half the price.

Apply a hydrating serum and sunscreen before leaving the house. Don’t forget the sunscreen! UV damage is worse when youre on the plane for obvious reasons, but somehow people always still forget to SPF when they’re flying.

Bring an empty water bottle. You cant bring water through the gates but if you fill it up after check in and before you board, that’s fine. This is especially useful because they mostly serve water in those dinky little cups on airlines which hardly gives you enough water, and you might be embarrassed / it might be too troublesome to keep asking for more…

In-flight


Here’s what to do on the plane:

I hope you have a travel sized set of your favourite skincare items because you’re gonna need them! The good news is, most moisturisers do come in containers that are less than 100ml because lets face it, skincare is expensive. When travelling, make sure to pack the more intensive moisturisers (if you use more than one kind) because travel in general is very harsh on the skin.

My personal favourite plane mask (and off-plane too, but it’s just sooooo good for flights) is the laneige water sleeping mask, which is gel based and very soothing to the skin. I think of it as a lazy mask because you can slap it on and just go to sleep without having to worry about scraping it off later – sheet masks when left on too long can be dehydrating to your skin, something that really messes my head up everytime i hear it.

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But if you’re the type to keep your carry on bag really small, I’d suggest asking for sample sets from the Laneige staff when you purchase normal products in store. I actually started off using the Goodnight with Laneige sample set on flights which I got as part of a gift, but then my girlfriend took it cos she tried it and loved it -.- HAHA. So now I bring the entire tub on flights. But yes, this is really useful cos its tiny and also cos you can put both the sleeping mask and lip mask!

I checked with the Laneige brand people, and they say that the most failsafe way of getting the Goodnight with Laneige sample set is to get the actual items on their Lazada online store, and they will usually throw in the Goodnight with Laneige miniatures too. I’ve also ever gotten it as part of a store-bought package before, but come to think of it that might have been because they were having some promotion. So if you want free samples from Laneige, their online store is generally the way to go.

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It comes with the lip sleeping mask as well, which is a crowd favourite. So good – I mix it in with my lipsticks sometimes.

I would also top up my moisturiser at least twice on the flight, because plane air is very dry. Please also frequently drink water – and theoretically if you stay away from coffee or the free alcohol they serve, you’ll find that your skin won’t take such a hit. I say theoretically because I have never managed to stay away from either. LOL.

Post-flight


Here’s what to do when you get off the plane:

Your face will probably be a bit shiny from the leftover residue of your mask, but there will also be a build up of dry/dead skin, so when you get to your accommodation, use a gentle exfoliating scrub to wash your face. I personally love the Black Sugar Mask from Skin Food – I bought it in Korea for $7, but it costs twice that in Singapore, so stock up if you ever head to Korea. It’s so gentle and your skin feels great after! I use this after flights, and also once a week when I’m home in Singapore.

The first night you’re in your new destination, MOISTURISE INTENSELY, as you want your skin to adapt smoothly to the new climate and you don’t want it to go into shock because when it goes into shock all sorts of nasty things happen. If you already bring the Laneige mask on board like I do, then you can just continue to use it throughout the trip, and your skin will be the better for it.

And don’t forget to body-moisturiser it up as well! I use the Nivea body moisturiser cos thats what I’ve been using since I was a kid and it’s the perfect mix of affordable and intense. Haha.

I think that’s basically it. Everything else is left to fire, flood, will of God. Those things you can’t control. But the ones you can, you must. We all must do only what we can.

Happy flying, y’all.

x
Jem

Comments

  1. Richelle says:

    Strike a rapport with your flight attendant, then ask for the rest of the opened bottle of water every time the cart comes round.. They won’t give you a new bottle, but they’re usually happy to let you have it if it’s about a quarter to half empty. That way you can guzzle and not worry about making a 500ml pet bottle you brought up the plan last a 6 hour flight.

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