As frequent flyers, I’m sure most travel nurses are familiar with the negative effects of flying on your body. Bad circulation? Dehydration? No Fun. But, not all may know that flying the friendly skies can take the biggest toll on your skin. Take the already stress of air travel paired with altitude and recycled air in a confined space and you’ve got the makings for potential skin disaster! Good news is following few skin care tips on your next trip will give you the confidence you need on that first day of work. Here are five tips to help keep your skin healthy and beautiful while you’re traveling to your next assignment:
1.) Moisturize. Flying can really, I mean really dry out your skin. Be sure to keep a travel-size moisturizer in your carry-on to replenish lost hydration. Letting your skin become overly dry can cause it to produce more oil, which can worsen acne breakouts. Also, try finding a moisturizer that contains at least 15 SPF. UV rays are more intense at higher altitudes, and airplane windows may not block them. So don’t forget to apply SPF, and close the window shade if you can. I’m in love with Cetaphil Daily Moisturizer SPF 15. For a decent price, it’s also non-comedogenic, fragrance and paraben-free. I unfortunately haven’t found a travel size yet, but you can get an empty plastic travel size tube for like $1 each to put some in. The best part is it dubs as a face and hand lotion.
2.) Forget the Foundation. If you wear make-up, skip the foundation on the day of your trip. Instead, wear only moisturizer. If you just can’t go without some coverage, try a tinted moisturizer. My fav tinted moisturizer is Tarte Smooth Operator. A little pricey, but so worth it. It contains SPF 20 and is organic with no parabens or synthetic fragrances (you might have noticed I’m keen on the organic products). This gives a light coverage, while still sealing in the moisture you’ll need. I would recommend using this after your regular face moisturizer. Trust me, your face will dry up faster than you think. Mascara is also a no no. The dryness of the aircraft cabin will cause it to flake and irritate your (already) tired eyes, especially if you sleep or wear an eye mask.
3.) Stay Hydrated!!!! It’s the most important part. The best way to counteract the dehydrating effect of flying is to stay hydrated on the plane. Opt for water instead of red wine or soda from the beverage cart (alcohol and caffeine are quite possibly the worst choices as they are both dehydrators by themselves.) Not a water fan? Try eating your water. Carry on some water-rich fruits and vegetables. Doing so is not only good for your skin—it’s good for you too!
4.) Stretch. Sitting for hours upon end slows blood flow and circulation. Try some simple exercise moves to stimulate blood flow and help maintain your healthy skin. When I’m in-flight, I have a few simple moves I like to do:
- head rotations to keep my stressed neck as loose
- ankle rotations keep the blood flowing in my legs
- flexing my feet stretches my calf muscles
- giving my arms a little stretch and shake
5.) Brighten the Eyes. Your luggage should be the only bags you carry off the plane. The stress of flying can create bags under your eyes or even dark circles under your eyes. Even a short flight can make you look like you haven’t slept in days. Unfortunately, sliced cucumbers or chilled green teas bags aren’t really convenient when you’re flying. Instead, carry-on an under eye serum roller. Most of these wondrous tools contain caffeine, vitamins and antioxidants, so one swipe under each eye keeps the jetlag away. You can find these rollerballs serums at most drugstores and they are made by several popular brands. I’m a huge fan of Aveeno Anti- Fatigue Eye Treatment, or Aveeno just in general (another brand that usually doesn’t use preservatives in their products). The reviews for this product speak for itself.
Happy travels, and remember, any product you carry on the plane should be no more than 3 oz.