Yes it certainly can and here’s the reason why. Because the air is so dry on an airplane, the moisture deep within the layers of the skin can get depleted quickly. For dry skin, meaning those that produce very little or no oil, a long airplane trip can make the skin even drier. Those with oily skin, on the other hand, can find that airplanes both dehydrate the skin, as well as increase oil, simply because when the skin recognizes it is being dehydrated, it will increase oil production to combat this dryness as a means of trying to protect itself. So with that, there are two reasons why breakouts can occur as a result from flying.
1. Long international trips – 10 hrs or more. Since oil is a breeding ground for bacteria, the increased oil may exacerbate breakouts, which is why it is important to blot your skin with tissue or oil-blotting papers during these extensive flights in an effort to reduce oil and acne-causing bacteria.
2. Since the air causes the skin to dehydrate, it creates surface dead skin cell buildup, which, if not removed post-flight by using an exfoliating product, can cause oil and bacteria to be trapped under the skin, resulting in an increase of breakouts a day or two after flying…
When I travel and have arrived at my destination, I always use my Triple Berry Smoothing Peel and AHA/BHA Cleansing Gel (or at the very least before bedtime) because they offer both exfoliating and antibacterial benefits to keep my skin clear.
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Celebrity Esthetician & Skincare Expert
As an esthetician trained in cosmetic chemistry, Renée Rouleau has spent 30 years researching skin, educating her audience, and building an award-winning line of products. Trusted by celebrities, editors, bloggers, and skincare obsessives around the globe, her vast real-world knowledge and constant research are why Marie Claire calls her “the most passionate skin practitioner we know.”