Flying, wonderful for the mind and soul but can wreak absolute havoc on the skin. While the feeling of takeoff to your next destination may bring total excitement, traveling through airports can be far from relaxing. The confined space, high altitudes, dry air recirculating itself throughout the cabin and greater exposure to UV rays can produce some less-than-ideal skin conditions upon arrival to your vaca spot (or, you know, work retreat).

So, if you find yourself catching a flight for your next Spring destination, here are some surefire ways to keep your skin looking fresh, glowing and radiant upon touch down.



When you’re aware that there will be dry air, make sure to exfoliate a few days leading up to the flight. A light chemical exfoliation (I love the Clarifying Brightening Polish by Skin Pharm) will remove the dead skin cells at the surface, allowing for your hydrating products to better absorb.


No To The Cocktail

Try to avoid any alcohol the night before, as it’s a wonderful way to dehydrate yourself. If you can’t say no to that happy hour drink with your girlfriends or the dinner cocktail with your loved one, try pairing it with lots of water or replacing that soda mixer with water instead. Every little bit helps.


Yes To the Shot

No, not that kind of shot! A shot of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice with some local honey will not only boost your immune system preflight, but also help keep bloating and inflammation down from the high altitudes. Yes, it’s quite common to feel bloated and puffy post-flight.

Flight Day


This is the first essential step to flying. While the ability to travel is a glamorous one, the airplane and environment itself is not so glamorously clean. Be sure to use a gentle hydrating cleanser preflight and also wipe down the seat you’re sitting in with an antibacterial wipe to prevent germs migrating from your hands to your face!


Say No to Sprays

While facial mists are incredibly enticing, spraying water on your face can actually do the opposite of hydrate. Why? Because water attracts water. Spray water onto your face and your face will start to give up its own water content. Just say no!


Use a Serum Instead

Serums are fantastic for hydration, due to their ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of your skin, allowing for superior delivery of beneficial ingredients. Hydration starts at the second layer of your skin, NOT the top layer. The top layer (the one we all see) is simply a barrier protecting us from the environment and also assisting in maintenance of hydration, which is why it is so important to use a product that can absorb beyond the outer layer. Look for a hyaluronic acid serum to beat the dry air (Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum by Drunk Elephant works wonders!).


Seal that Serum In

Once you have tackled hydrating the deeper layers of your skin, it’s time to seal it all in. A hydrating moisture mask or face cream loaded with hyaluronic acid, ceramides and peptides will keep your skin feeling hydrated and happy. And don’t neglect the eyes! A rich eye cream is a fantastic partner in crime. More of an oil fan? Now is the perfect time to layer your facial oils on and relax as your skin soaks it all up.


Rock the No Makeup Look for Real

Rocking your natural beauty during flight can be beneficial to avoiding those pesky post-flight breakouts and flakey skin. If you want to wear makeup while in the airport and for your arrival, simply wash it off preboarding and reapply before you land. If you feel more comfortable wearing a bit of makeup for the entire flight, then ensure that you use hydrating products such as BB Creams or tinted moisturizers, and avoid using any powders or full coverage foundations until you’ve arrived.


Yes to the SPF

The higher you are, the closer you are to the sun. Ironically, many of us don’t even think about this when traveling. Planes are magnifiers for sunshine exposure (especially those window seats), leading to dryness and premature aging from UVB exposure. We are approximately 20,000 feet closer to the sun during flight and those sun shades don’t actually do much for blocking out the harmful rays. So be sure to layer on some SPF if you’re flying during the daytime. And remember our previous point about only wearing makeup if it’s hydrating? Well, now is your chance with a tinted SPF moisturizer (Elta MD makes a fabulous one for even the most sensitive skin).


Roll it Out

Rose quartz stones and facial massagers are the hottest new skincare accessory to hit the market, and for good reason. Keep one of these in your carry on to help fight inflammation and puffiness while in the air by stimulating circulation. Plus, they’re pretty.


What You Consume Matters

What you take in will affect what is on the outside. Avoid consuming sugar and alcohol during flight to keep your skin in check. Water (bring your own reusable bottle) and tea (bring your own and ask for hot water on the flight) will keep your body hydrated and help fight the inflammation and bloat from the altitude. Finding yourself hungry while traveling? Bring water-rich, antioxidant-loaded snacks with you on board. Try veggies with hummus (cucumbers are full of water), salt-free nuts, fruit with clean nut butter, and rice cakes with avocados to fuel you while also fueling up your skins health!

Like any quick changes in life, preparation is crucial. Traveling can be incredibly stressful, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer with stressed-out skin  Dehydration can cause breakouts, dullness, and  wrinkles to take over! Ensuring optimal hydration both internally and externally will help you feeling fresh at your final destination.