What you need to arrive fresh faced every time
You know that face you give right after stepping off a plane? The one that unmistakably shows you’ve just cleaned out the cabin’s chardonnay after a toddler wouldn’t stop kicking the back of your impossible-to-sleep-in seat? Believe it or not, there’s a quick fix for that. Several, actually. All you need are better beauty habits.
Yep, you read that right. Turns out mistakes you make when you travel—some before you even step through TSA—can seriously sabotage your skin. Luckily, there are plenty of simple solutions.
Here’s how to ensure nothing hinders your face (or attitude) upon arrival.
Throw the salt
The day before you fly, keep salt to a minimum. Too much of the seasoning can cause you to retain water, which can lead to puffy eyes, says New York City dermatologist Neal B. Schultz. Because the skin around the eyes is so thin, the area swells easily, says Dr. Schultz. And before you assume you have your intake under control, know this: many Americans exceed their recommended daily amount of 1,500 mg (two thirds of a teaspoon). At which point, you won’t only have puffy eyes, but possibly high blood pressure, osteoporosis and other serious health problems. Stay safe when you swap in Health magazine’s delicious, low-salt dishes.
Scrub your skin
In addition to your diet, prep for flights by making a point to exfoliate the morning of. When you remove dead, dry cells, your skin is better able to absorb your moisturizer, maximizing its benefits—something you want before spending time in an air pressurized cabin. Don’t usually exfoliate? Skip harsh and gritty products that can further irritate skin for super hydrating, non-greasy options like St Ives Olive Scrub and Olay’s Skin Smoothing Cream Scrub.
Help your hair
Once you moisturize your face, don’t forget to do the same to your hair with leave-in conditioner. The idea is to apply it after you’ve showered, leaving it in until your next wash. So while you’re struggling to get in a comfortable sleeping position on the plane, the conditioner will soften strands, leaving your hair smooth, not full of static. For an option that won’t make your hair feel heavy, go for Garnier Fructis’ Hydra Recharge Moisture-Whip Leave-In Conditioner.
Go au naturale
Depending on where you’re headed, you might want to put on more makeup than usual. Hey, we love bold lashes and lipstick just as much as the next gal, but that little extra isn’t necessary for an airplane. “Ingredients in different products can ‘fight’ each other, negating their powers or causing skin irritation when combined,” Maryland dermatologist Arleen Lamba tells Yahoo! Shine. Stick to a few skin care products and lip balm because in air, less really is more.
Say no to vino
So now you’re on the plane and want to chill out with a cocktail. Understandable, for sure. But again, the plane cabin is pressurized, resulting in thinner air that can lead to dehydration. And alcohol only exacerbates the situation. Instead, drink plenty of water. No, the additional trips to the bathroom aren’t ideal, but water is better for your complexion. Not to mention H20 helps brighten eyes and prevents wrinkles, too.
Vitamins A and D, as well as fish oil, don’t just hydrate skin—they also boost your immune system, according to 2008 research published in Nature Reviews Immunology. Given the separate studies that have found you’re 100 times more likely to catch a cold on a plane than in your day-to-day life, this is a winning combination. For best practices on traveling with medication, check out these tips from USA Today.
Of course, hair products aren’t always foolproof. And if you don’t want locks to look dull for your destination, pack hair shine paper. These sheets, says Yahoo! Shine, add extra shine and eliminate static. Brush first, then smooth hair over with paper. Yahoo! suggests Ted Gibson Hair Styling Sheets, though Stylist.com says dryer sheets can also get the job done.
Treat tired eyes
In the event your inflight menu is limited to pre-packaged, salty snacks like pretzels, be sure to have cucumber eye pads handy. These pads from Earth Therapeautics and Caswell Massey infuse ingredients, including cucumber, aloe and vitamin E, which work to comfort skin and relieve puffiness and dark circles. The effects are even better if you refrigerate them ahead of time.
…and red ones
The climate change mid-air doesn’t only darken and puff up eyes—it can also make them really dry and red. Add a cold or allergies, and you’re going to want to avert your gaze at your gate. Thankfully, it’s nothing a few eye drops can’t take care of. In just a tiny bottle, you have instant relief.
Use calming cloths
Right before landing, quickly cleanse your face with a pre-moistened cloth such as Aveeno’s Ultra Calming Makeup Removing Wipes. The combination of chamomile, aloe, and cucumber has a spa-like effect that both calms and cleans your face—better than a splash of water—hiding the fact you’ve been stuck in a stuffy space for hours.
Stick to what works
If there’s one habit you make, let it be this. Sure, TSA guidelines can mess with your makeup bag, especially if your tried-and-true products exceed their liquid limit. But splurging on travel size alternatives isn’t the answer. “An abrupt change in cleansers can disrupt skin’s acid balance and cause a vacation breakout,” dermatologist Erin Welch tells WebMD. Since our favorite products aren’t always airplane-friendly, consider packing smaller quantities in TSA-approved beauty bottles.