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Flight skin care: Your essential beauty check list to keep your skin happy on your next long haul flight

Flight Skincare

We've all missed it, the frantic midnight repacking, the arriving an hour earlier than check in time. In the age of Covid travelling has been something of a distant cloudy memory, but the time is nigh to open the window shade and take in the view because borders are open and we're ready to get on that plane. With that said, it may be time for a refresher on what air travel can do to our skin. It may have been a while, but we haven't forgotten about recycled air, UV rays and high altitude and the harmful effects this creates after a few hours up in the air. Thankfully, dry, patchy and sensitive skin will be something of the past with just a few handy tips to keep in mind before you check in your bags. Below we have put together the necessary checklist for your best flight skin care regimen.

Skin care before the flight

We know that for any long haul flight the idea of wearing a full face of makeup is not ideal. In a world that now requires masks for any flight, the idea of clogging our pores with extra product is just something we don't need. Before you come to the airport your face should be double cleansed with a gentle face wash, for optimum results try a calming cleansing balm like Alpha-H Melting Moment Cleansing Balm. This will help in maintaining the skins moisture and hydration levels while removing all the dirt and makeup, follow this up with a nice light foaming cleanser for a really deep clean.

The second and arguably most important step, pre flight skin care. Often when we are on a plane we don't stop to think about the sun and its effects. If you're planning on flying through the day an SPF is still as vital as the UV rays can still reach us. In fact, studies have shown radiation levels are twice as high then they would be at ground level. Though getting a sunburn is unlikely, wearing a light SPF 30 on your face, neck and shoulders can prevent any UVA damage that does transmit through the plane glass windows. We love Ultra Violette Clean Screen SPF 30 for some light weight protection that won't clog up the skin over the long haul. Follow this up with a light lip balm like Bobbi Brown SPF 15 for extra protection of the lips and even hands.

Skin care during the flight

In the same vain as sun care, hydration is of vital importance when flying a long distance. With the altitude and recycled air over such long stretches we need to be doing double duty here. As we know, with each hour we know we should be guzzling half a litre of water, the same should be said for our skin. Start with a layer of a hydrating serum such as The Ordinary's hyaluronic acid, followed up by a deeply penetrating mask like the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe. Pack it into the skin and sit back with your Silk Slip Sleeping Mask for a few essential hours of beauty sleep while you await arrival at your destination. Sheet masks are more your jam? Look to Bio Cellulose [cloth] masks, like the Medik8 Recovery Mask these are the most effective when it comes to the skin retaining moisture and keeping environmental pollutants out.

As for moisturisers look for ones that contain emollients, like squalane. These properties will draw in the moisture of the environment and seal it into the skin. In this case you can't go past Paula's Choice Omega+ Complex Moisturiser, which is packed with the latter and infused with both ceramides and antioxidants. It also comes in a handy travel size perfect for your carry on luggage when you can't bare the thought of a multitude of heavy, burdensome products.

Skin care post flight

The post flight skin routine should look at two things, the first is rehydrating the skin, followed by warding off any stressors. After a long period on a flight bacteria and congestion can reap havoc on the skin, it's important to balance this as soon as possible. Once disembarking off the flight look to get in a quick cleanse, failing that a quick swipe of a makeup wipe to get rid of any dirt or residual bacteria. When you arrive at your destination have a shower but avoid using hot water, as this can further dry out the skin. Try having a lukewarm or even a cool shower to try and reset the body clock.

Pending the weather of your destination, it will be important to pay attention to environmental factors and keeping this in mind when you continue down your usual daily skin routine.

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Images: @bellahadid, @emrata