Today’s Question: I fly a lot for work and it really takes a toll on my skin. Do you have any advice on how to keep my skin looking its best while traveling? Rhonda, Warsaw
A. Rhonda, while airplanes are great for getting us where we need to go quickly, they definitely are not great for our skin. Between the recycled air and extremely low humidity found in the airplane’s cabin, our skin becomes very dehydrated. If you already have dry skin, it will become even dryer. However, if you have oily skin, would you believe it can get oilier as your skin has to overcompensate for the lack of moisture in the air and on your face? So, what’s a girl to do when she wants to arrive at her destination looking more like someone on the do list than the don’t list?
First, you must hydrate and then hydrate some more. You have to replace all of that lost moisture, so it’s important to sip on water throughout your flight. Ideally you should drink eight ounces of water for every hour you’re in the air. Avoid any alcoholic or caffeinated beverages as those will dehydrate you even more. Save those for your after work cocktail hour. If your airline still serves those snack bags of pretzels or peanuts, you will want to skip those as well. The high salt content in those snacks can both dehydrate you further and cause swelling, which are two things you’re trying to keep out of your next meeting. Plan ahead and pack some healthy snacks for your journey like an apple, banana, protein bar or carrot sticks.
Before you take off, Rhonda, it is essential to apply a hydrating moisturizer followed by an SPF 30 or higher. Try Neova’s Day Therapy SPF 30 to take care of both steps in one. If you feel you need a foundation, I recommend you opt for a tinted moisturizer like jane iredale’s Dream Tint that will add additional moisture to your soon-to-be dehydrated skin as well as a sheer amount of color and coverage. If you feel you must wear foundation, be sure to wear a primer underneath it. This will not only give your skin an additional bit of moisture, but will protect your skin from the dry air, prevent moisture loss and help your makeup to last longer while traveling. I recommend jane iredale’s Smooth Affair Facial Primer & Brightener. Throughout the flight, spritz your face with a hydration spray that will not only give your skin some extra moisture, but will also refresh and calm you as well. Just be sure not to mist your neighbor! Try jane iredale’s D2O Hydration Spray.
Once you arrive at your hotel, it’s time to wash off the old airplane air and get your skin hydrated. Wash your face with a mild cleanser like Obagi’s Nu-Derm Gentle Cleanser and apply a moisturizer while your skin is still wet to allow it to absorb even better. While you are away you will want to maintain a skin care regime, but traveling with an army of products isn’t practical. If you take a travel cleanser, toner and sunscreen along with a moisturizer your skin should stay on track until you return.
No matter where you’re flying to for your next work project, Rhonda, your skin is going to experience a change in climate and water conditions. All those changes stress out your skin which can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, dehydrated skin and an overall dull appearance. Once you get back from your work trip, I recommend you have a chemical peel to exfoliate your skin and bring it back into balance. In no time, your skin will be healthy and glowing again and ready to tackle the next big meeting. If you have any questions about your skin care while flying and traveling, be sure to discuss them with your medical skin care specialist.
Jennifer Kauffman is a Board Certified Nurse Practitioner, practicing in Warsaw and Ft. Wayne. She is a sought after speaker at medical conferences such as the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons. Jennifer is a member of American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and Coalition of Advance Practice Nurses of Indiana. She received her Nursing and Nurse Practitioner degrees from Goshen College, and Indiana Wesleyan University. Jennifer is a Clinical Instructor nationally to physicians and nurses on sclerotherapy.
Do you have a question for Jennifer, about this article or another cosmetic skin care issue? Please call Vein Institute & Medical Spa at 574-267-1900 to have your questions answered and considered for future columns. Questions can also be submitted online at www.veinmedicalspa.com.