Jet Set Skincare
Travel is one of the hardest things on skin. From the dehydrating plane air, to the change from humid to arid, sun damage from warm climates, and dry skin from cold ones, skin can take a real beating. Most people don't realize, or simply do not think about how their skin is going to be affected by a change in locale, but once there they certainly notice the change, and sometimes it isn't pleasant.
I don't know one person that looks best after even just a four hour flight. Here are some strategic solutions to skincare in the air and beyond:
1. Evian spray is not going to help. In fact, it hinders moisturizing because as the water evaporates off the surface of your skin, it's going to take moisture from inside your skin with it. Instead look for something that contains humectants like cucumber, lavender, glycerin and I suggest something with tea tree oil in it also to ward off bacteria. My personal favorite is M·A·C Fix+, which leaves behind a thin film of humectants and give skin a dewy look, over or under makeup.
2. Drink a ton of water, before, during and after the flight. You might have to get up a few times to pee, but I'd rather do that than look like crap for a week after. Drinking water will also help flush any viruses that your body may be fighting from that evil, screaming, Kool-Aid-stained toddler in front of you.
3. Once landed and safely in your hotel room, wash your face with a gentle cleanser (I like Spectro Jel) and apply a moisturizing mask or treatment. Many of my most glamorous friends carry Prescriptives Flight Cream with them for this. Used as a mask or a moisturizer this miracle product was conceived for heavy travelers suffering from jet lagged skin and dehydration. Try it on lips also for instant soothing of chapped skin, or after skiing to rid yourself of pesky windburn.
4. Now for the lowdown on skincare once you get there: A gentle cleanser will carry you through all types of climates, I do not believe in cleansers specifically for skin type unless you are either very, very dry, or very, very oily. Otherwise I like Cetaphil or Spectro Jel which I personally use. Other than that, skincare needs can change depending on where you are. In tropical humid climates people with dry skin will not need as much moisture as they do at home - think about downgrading from your regular dry skin moisturizer to something for normal skin. The reverse goes for those with oily skin traveling to arid climates like Las Vegas or Arizona - upgrade the moisture content, but this time look for something that has the word "hydrating" in the title. This means that it's putting water back into your skin instead of balancing the skins natural oils. I recommend taking your regular skincare in addition to the new items, just in case you decide to alternate until skin gets used to the new climate and products.
5. Many drugstores and theater supply stores as well as the M·A·C pro stores sell small storage containers for the purpose of packing your skincare into jet-set friendly sizes. These also work well for skincare of all sorts and for shampoo and conditioner. Take it from an overpacker, the more space you save with this stuff, the more clothes you can take, so I highly recommend this for shorter trips. For longer ones, it's a good idea to buy backups of skincare because you might not be able to get your regular products in St. Tropez, Marrakech or whatever other fabulous place you might be sunning yourself in.