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A Jetsetter’s Guide to In-Flight Skincare

In 2018 alone, XOJET clients accumulated over 59,300 hours of total flying time*. Given the change in air conditions while traveling, these hours can require some extra attention to detail when it comes to skincare.

“When we fly, especially on long-haul flights, the body has to adapt to a lower humidity level in a pressurized air cabin,” explains skin health expert Mary Allan, founder of Mary Allan Skin Care, whom Forbes recently featured for her go-to summer product recommendation as a beauty entrepreneur. “The ideal level of humidity for our skin is 50 percent or higher, and typically an aircraft is anywhere from seven percent to 15 percent, depending on the aircraft.”

When we fly, especially on long-haul flights, the body has to adapt to a lower humidity level in a pressurized air cabin.

These low levels of humidity dehydrate the complexion. “If this wasn’t enough, the body also has to deal with a decrease in blood flow, which leads to puffiness and bloating,” Allan adds. “When you combine that with changing time zones, which alters our body’s natural circadian rhythm, you end up with both physical and visual changes to the skin.”

The good news is, with a few simple skincare practices, it’s possible to step off at your final destination with a healthy post-flight glow. Here are Allan’s top skincare tips for jetsetters:

How to Fight In-Flight Dehydration

Skincare XOJET sink bathroomOffset dehydration by adding moisture throughout the flight (and sealing it in). “I always suggest a hydrating mist with hyaluronic acid and a heavier cream than you would normally wear to lock in the water,” says Allan. Hyaluronic acid can hold up to 1,000 times its weight in water, so it’s an excellent ingredient to alleviate in-flight moisture loss.

For these hydrating elements to be most effective, it’s important to prep your skin before you step onboard the aircraft. “While we need extra moisture while in-flight, most people overlook the key to glowing skin, which is regular exfoliation,” says Allan. Incorporate exfoliation into your regular regimen, especially before travel, and you’ll see heightened benefits from the rest of your skincare routine.

Naturally, drinking water also plays an important role in skin hydration. Aim for eight ounces before a flight, and continue sipping mid-air, suggests Allan. There’s nothing wrong with a ceremonial toast of onboard espresso or Champagne, but keep in mind that coffee and alcohol are both dehydrating and counteract your water intake. Salt is also best avoided, since it contributes to water retention and puffiness.

Allan also recommends packing an electrolyte product in your carry-on and pouring it into your water an hour before landing. “My favorite is by DripDrop—it offers fast absorption of water and salt, making recovery as effective as an IV, without the excess sugar present in sports drinks,” says Allan. “I find this really helps with jet lag, especially on long-haul flights.” After all, when disembarking on a European getaway or a luxurious retreat in a far-off place, your skin deserves all the pampering it can get.

More Skincare Tips for Jetsetters

Although it can be tempting to glance out at mountain vistas below on a clear day, window glare isn’t ideal for skin. “I make sure to keep the windows on the plane shut so that I don’t expose my skin to any UVA or UVB rays, as it’s still possible to get a sun burn while flying,” says Allan.

After stepping off an XOJET flight, “I like to blot my face with blotting papers to help with any excess oil. I drink more water and have one shot of espresso [if it’s the morning] to give me a little boost and help with any water retention I may have from the flight,” she says. Allan also recommends packing an eye gel that minimizes puffiness to use after a flight (and before bed for a few nights afterward).

With these practices, your skin will look and feel ready for whatever comes after your XOJET flight, whether you’re stepping into an important business meeting or exhaling on a tropical island escape.

Mary Allan’s Travel Skincare Routine

“The day of travel, I exfoliate my skin in the morning, usually with my Pro Series Instant Enzyme Peel (available in my Travel Essential Set), a non-abrasive exfoliant that removes dead skin cells. This really helps with increasing moisture.

Next, I apply my Nude Luminosity Hydra Plumping Drops followed by the Cold Pressed Vitamin C Oil to get skin glowing while boosting collagen. It also contains powerful antioxidants it helps with free radical damage.

I mist my face and body continually during the flight with my number-one travel essential: Infused Beauty Water. It’s loaded with hyaluronic acid, vitamins, and minerals to keep skin hydrated and energized. I really should have called this mist ‘Jet Lag Relief,’ because the added benefits of the neroli flower help rebalance the skin and energize the body. It gives you that quick pick-me-up that helps on long haul flights.

I also always carry a hand cream, lip balm and anti-puffiness eye mask—I like Lost Baggage Under Eye Emergency Repair Mask. Another unique product that I always get for travel is Biocol Labs Something for Dreaming. I use this at night to help with the jet lag and to help me fall asleep. It is great because I never wake up feeling groggy.”

Allan’s routine leaves her feeling refreshed after every flight—so she’s ready to do it all again on her next XOJET journey.

Mary Allan Skincare

*Including on-fleet live, deadhead, and off-fleet flights