No matter a long flight or short flight, the better we prepare, the easier it is to feel balanced when we arrive. Travel is one of the best things in life but it can be stressful on the skin and body. From a holistic facialists point of view, flights in particular can be disruptive to our complexions so I’m sharing my top tips below for how to prepare skin for a flight.
During flights, humidity and oxygen levels drop and are drier than desert climates. We can lose 1-3 liters of water, causing dehydration, decrease in mood, exhaustion, and this becomes taxing and constricting on the lymphatic system. Prepping for flights makes a huge difference in both our skin and energy levels. Believe me, I’ve hopped on a flight both ways and that is why I’m so adamant about preparing for travel and flights.
No matter a short or long flight, proper prep can create a big difference in how we feel and look when we arrive. If you are dealing with any inflammatory skin condotions such as eczema or acne, flying can also induce flare-ups so giving the skin some extra nourishing care before hand can also help to prevent these types of aggravations from creeping in.
How to Prepare the Body For A Flight
1. Begin prepping 1-2 days before with your water intake to keep your complexion extra hydrated. Drink 4 liters, a little over 1 gallon, of water the day before flight and before flight. (Brownie points for the aisle seat!) Keep coffee intake light the day of flight and/or opt for green tea/herbal teas. Hold the iced anything, which can slow down digestion.
2. Try to get in a sweat inducing workout before your flight to support circulation and detoxification. The less stagnation when flying, the easier it will be on the skin and body. Same goes for after your arrival. I personally love outdoor workouts and what better way to explore a new place.
3. Because the lymphatic system becomes sluggish while flying, I recommend to eat extra clean and light food before flights, ideally to avoid any extra stress on digestion. Pack light snacks, fruit and eat light as possible starting 24-48 hours. The longer the flight, the longer I recommend keeping a light diet. Dehydration slows down transit time and can induce digestion concerns such as constipation so loading up on heavy meals around travel time can leave us feeling extra sluggish and constipated. It’s ideal to keep digestion on point while traveling.
4. Opt for movement after your flight, even a 20 min walk around the airport while waiting for luggage is supportive. If you ever see me power walking around an airport, now you know why.
5. Flying can often mean vacation time but I highly recommned to avoid boozing it up before and during flights. It can be tempting but the combination of dehydrating and inflammatory factors can leave us sluggish and tired. Add on a time change and it can be quite challenging for the body and circadian ryhtms to adjust. Save the appetite, alcohol and indulgences for once your settled in and can enjoy with out the taxing effects of flying and time changes, totally worth it!
How to Prepare Skin For A Flight
6. The night before your flight; Lightly exfoliate, as dead skin buildup can prevent serums/moisturizers from absorption and you want to be sure you are as hydrated and moisturized as possible for your flight. Some movement such as gua sha and face massage is also ideal.
7. The morning/day of your flight; Before your flight, lightly cleanse, tone, hydrate with a water based serum and then moisturize. I personally love a lightweight and deeply moisturizing balm for flying as they work well to seal in hydration, moisture and prevent water loss. I will tone/hydrate/moisturize for 2 rounds on the day of my flights.
8. Night before and day of. Body oiling, or sneha/selflove in Ayurveda, will prevent the skin on the body from becoming dehydrated, as it seals in hydration. Energetically, oiling the body helps to keep us grounded. I love traveling but airports are a chaotic place with alot of energy. The more grounded and centered we are in such places, the less likely we are to pick up other peoples energy. Call it woo woo, I call it energetic hygiene. We should always be oiling the body as a foundational practice but I’ll save this topic for another post.
9. The windows on planes may or may not be UV resistant. I’d rather play it safe so be mindful of direct sunlight on your skin while flying and avoid if possible.
10. Please, no skincare treatments in flight. Not sure if it’s done for the look-at-me-ism approval on social media but I do not reccomend doing gua sha or face massage in flight. There is no way to get your skin or hands clean enough for this during a flight. Highly reccomend both during before flight skin prep and after flight TLC but skip the in-flight treatments.
11. If you do want to incorporate some selfcare approaches to your flight, you can opt for light facial misting with a properly formulated emulsive toner, totally refreshing. A well formulated emulsive toner can also help prevent transepidermal water loss or TEWL. I’m also a total fan of Aromatherapy doses in flight. Ylang Ylang is my favorite essential oil so I’ll dab a few drops on my wrists and take a few deep inhalations every so often.
12. After arrival, double cleanse and follow the above hydration steps for aftercare. If you’re worried about acne or congestion, apply a beta hydroxy serum layered underneath your hydration and moisturizing steps for both anti-inflammatory and anti-congestion properties.
I’m about to board an 8 hour flight myself in route to Portugal so I thought this weeks post was also perfect timing as we head into summer, a common time to travel. And shout out to summer, as the season has been fueling my content lately because I know summer can be a finicky time for skin. Be sure to check out How to Transition to Summer Skincare and my top Ayurvedic tips to stay cool during Summer for more skincare and wellness practices to keep the skin and body radiant during summer seasons.