The Effects of Flying on Skin

Summer vacations are just around the corner and we hope you have some fun trips planned.  As you head off on your summer getaways via airplane, beware of the effects of flying on your skin.  Flying does all sorts of funky things to our bodies but have you ever noticed adverse reactions on your skin too?  Yes, one of the pitfalls of flying is skin damage and today we’re exploring ways to combat it.

The worst skin issue due to flying is loss of moisture.  The cabin pressure and dry air that is constantly being re-circulated on an airplane is a nightmare for skin.  We are used to around 40% humidity in our air but airplanes maintain between 10 to 20%.  That’s a huge difference!  Along with drying our skin, lack of humidity dries our nasal passages, mouth and eyes as well. 

To combat dry skin on your next airplane trip, take a two-fold approach.  First, drink plenty of water to hydrate your body.  You probably notice that flight attendants are constantly drinking water to keep themselves hydrated.  They know what they are doing and you should do it too!  Avoid alcohol and caffeine while flying as these can further dehydrate your body and skin. 

Additionally, soothe dryness topically with an extra-strength moisturizer before, during and after flights.  Be sure to use lip balm and eye drops too.  Natura Veda’s Hyaluronic Acid Day Serum is ideal for jetsetters as it replaces the body’s natural storage of this vital aid.  Hyaluronic acid is responsible for moisture retention that plumps cells to smooth fine lines and wrinkles.  Plus, water is required for all normal cell functions to keep our bodies and skin healthy.  The thin skin on your lips are extremely sensitive to humidity changes and when you’re rubbing irritated, itchy eyes, you are more prone to dark under eye circles, sagging under eye bags and overall redness around the eye sockets. 

Skin is further affected by the air pressure on airplanes as less oxygen is absorbed into the bloodstream.  We know that oxygen is required for energy to power our cells.  Without it, our bodies look and feel tired, especially our skin.  Blood flow helps invigorate skin for a more radiant and refreshed appearance.  Lack of oxygen can leave skin dull and more likely to show the signs of aging.  Be sure to walk around periodically during your flight and try to stretch your body to get your blood flowing.

You may also have noticed that your taste buds are affected by flying.  On an airplane, we are less likely to taste saltiness and sweetness.  This can lead to mindless eating or over-eating sodium that can be very dehydrating to skin.  Try to let your brain make food selections on an airplane rather than your taste buds so you can remain conscious of your sugar and salt intake.  Also, you’re more likely to taste spicy and sour foods so if you’re looking for a burst of flavor, try those instead.

New research indicates that flight attendants and pilots are more likely to develop carcinoma than others who fly less often.  This is because airplane windows don’t block the sun’s harmful UV rays that are even stronger at higher altitudes.  So, if you are a frequent flyer and you prefer a window seat, beware of keeping the window open too long.  And wear your sunscreen even on an airplane.

Keep these solutions in mind next time you hop on a plane.  Wherever you’re going, we hope you enjoy your summer vacations! 


Erin Stieglitz
Erin Stieglitz

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