Skin Care in Flight - Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra

Be it for work or pleasure, travelling in flight, abroad or even domestic, is a regular event for many nowadays. Being in flight can be fun, especially if it’s your first time but besides the check-in and other things, you also need to take a closer look at yourself. Without being aware, many changes are happening in our body – skin as well as hair, while we are cruising between the clouds!

The air at high altitudes is dry and the oxygen content
is low. This results in dry itchy skin and myriad of other symptoms which are far more serious and irritating. Cabin air reduces humidity to an uncomfortable 10% to 20% leading to dryness in mouth, throat, eyes and skin.

It is easy to get dehydrated while soaring high in the air. Thus, it is extremely important to drink plenty of water regularly before and during the flight. Pure water is an elixir for skin; don’t underestimate its power! Hence grab a bottle of water over alcohol and caffeinated drinks.

These only further dry you up inside out i.e. dehydrate you further leading to fatigue and exacerbating the ensuing jet lag after a long flight.

Besides sipping water, there are some other things that you should do to prevent a stressed-out skin that feels like a parched field. Intensively moisturizing the skin of your exposed body parts does help a lot. Pack in a crème that leaves your skin feeling smooth and luxurious! Dermalogica skin smoothing and intensive moisture balance are good moisturisers. Clinique dramtically different moisturiser is also a great coice.

These have deep moisturizing agents and thus, hydrate the skin well enough. Also adding a Vit C serum helps as it is an antioxidant and helps to keep the skin supple and bright. Dr. Obagi Vit C serum is a good choice. This regime can be followed even after getting off the flight for a few days.

My personal experience made me realize that improper hydration of the body and skin during long hauled flights made my hands and feet appear as if they have aged by 10 years!!! Applying deep moisturizing crèmes after the flight reversed my skin dryness.

Venusia cream and Evion cream are very good for hand and body. Hence, my advice to my beloved readers would be as to moisturize their skin before, during and after the flight to maintain the skin’s suppleness.

Another thing which one can do is to apply a moisturizing mask just before boarding and leaving it on the skin throughout the duration of the flight. Also, our eyes are one of the first features to show the travel fatigue. Puffiness, bags, dark circles, dry and irritable eyes are some of the common complaints of frequent flyers.

Thus, lubricating the eye with eye drops helps, especially when one is wearing contact lenses. Though, it is best to use reading glasses in the flight than using contact lenses.

Other concerns

Besides dry skin and puffy eyes, there are also the chances of getting sunburns. The concentration of ultraviolet (UV) rays – the ones that can cause sunburn, skin cancer, and other problems – is greater at altitude than on the ground. This can lead to skin damage of several varieties, ranging from premature aging and wrinkles to skin cancer.

A sunscreen here is utmost important to offer protection against the harsh UV rays. To internally boost your skin’s protection (from sun exposure) make it a habit to consume an antioxidant and oil capsule daily and not just while travelling certainly helps in maintaining youthful skin on a long term basis.

So keep in mind these tips before & during undertaking your next flight and feel the difference in your skin. Happy flying!

-Dr. Chiranjiv Chhabra,

Skin Alive Clinics, New Delhi

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