You’ve always heard how drying an airplane can be to the skin, and you probably have felt it on your skin when flying but how dry is it really? As someone who travels a lot for my growing skin care company, I decided to get to the bottom of it and do a test to really understand exactly how drying flying really is to the skin.
You first have to understand that whenever the air is dry and moisture is not present, through a process called osmosis, the air draws moisture from wherever it can – and that will mean from your skin. Dry skins will get drier, and oily skins will get oilier due to increased oil production to compensate for the dehydration. This is why it’s so important to protect your skin with a good sunscreen moisturizer (like Daily Protection SPF 30) applied over a hydrating serum (like Skin Drink) to create a protective seal on the skin to help prevent moisture loss.
Supplies used for the test:
- A 100% cotton t-shirt.
- A small cap from a travel bottle of mouthwash that I used as a measuring cup.
I did this test in two different environments: the first in my hotel room in Boston on a sunny 50 degree December day. The second test was performed at 32,000 feet in an airplane…
How I performed the test: I filled the small mouthwash cap half way with water and poured it onto the 100% cotton t-shirt and time stamped it with a sticky note.
I watched and watched until the water spot had virtually disappeared and time stamped it again. I repeated the same exact steps up in the air.
Test results: The t-shirt took 1 hour and 27 minutes to dry whereas at 32,000 feet up in an airplane, it took only 24 minutes.
I was absolutely shocked. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I knew the water spot would surely dry faster, but an hour faster? Wow.
So my experiment really reinforces how it’s so important to pay special attention to your skin. Skin cells are like fish, they need water to live and without it, you are compromising not only the appearance of the skin (lines and wrinkles are more pronounced when moisture is lacking in the skin) but the overall health of it too.
P.S. Yes, the flight attendants asked me what the heck I was doing! All in the name of skin care…and to provide good skin care content for my loyal blog readers.
What can you do to prevent airplane dryness?
This experiment reinforces the importance of skin care when traveling to prevent dryness. When you travel by plane, pay special attention to your skin. Skin cells are like fish, they need water to live and without it, you are compromising not only the appearance of the skin (lines and wrinkles are more pronounced when moisture is lacking in the skin), but the overall health of it too.
Protect your skin with a good sunscreen moisturizer (you’re closer to the sun so you’re getting more harmful UV rays) applied over a hydrating serum like Renée Rouleau Skin Drink to create a protective seal on the skin to help prevent moisture loss.
Drinking plenty of water will also help to keep your system hydrated. While drinking water is not the most efficient way to hydrate the skin, it’s still important for the health of your cells.
Avoid misting your skin with a hydrating spray during flight. Why? Because since the air is so dry, it looks for water wherever it can get it and since water attracts water, when you spray the skin it takes the water from the layers in the skin and gets evaporated into the dry air! The result is even tighter, drier skin. If you want to treat your skin in-flight, it’s best to apply another layer of moisturizer on to your face mid flight to help the skin retain its moisture.
Post-flight, use a mild facial scrub or light acid peel (like Triple Berry Smoothing Peel or Mint Buffing Beads) to remove surface dry skin cells accumulated from flying. Then rinse and apply a serum (like Skin Drink or Intensive Firming Serum) followed by a good moisturizing mask (like Pure Radiance Mask or Azulene Gel Mask) with ingredients like Sodium PCA, vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid to add back essential hydration. These ingredients will also help to brighten the skin from post-flight dullness.
Happy and safe travels!
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Information courtesy of www.ReneeRouleau.com, a website with skin care tips, products based on nine skin types and advice from skin care expert and celebrity esthetician, Renée Rouleau.
Posted January 13, 2012 by Renée Rouleau
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