My last vacation was to the kind of place where a bikini is considered perfectly appropriate dinner attire -- I couldn't possibly have been more excited to get on that airplane. And when I did, I looked every inch the part of a healthy, happy, hydrated girl ready to go on vacation.
But something funny happened on the flight. When I got off the plane and caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, my heart sank. My skin looked dry and my lips were chapped -- it was as if I'd aged 10 years during the course of my four-hour flight. Suddenly, I wasn't nearly as excited to head to the beach.
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What happened? According to Dr. Gervaise Gerstner, M.D., associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical School in NYC, airplanes suck the moisture out of your skin faster than you can say "rehydration." A typical plane cabin has just 10 to 20 percent humidity -- way less than the normal 30 to 65 percent human bodies actually find comfortable.
Of course, hydration is key to keep from landing at your destination looking like an old catcher's mitt. Downing tons of water is smart -- if a little irritating to your seatmates who you'll have to squeeze past every 20 minutes to go to the bathroom. Instead of relying solely on H2O, throw these super-hydrating items into your carry-on. They'll keep your face soft and glowy during every stage of your plane trip. This way, your skin will feel as fresh before a relaxing vacation as it does after one.
Right before you board, sneak into the ladies' room for one last bathroom break and prep your skin for the flight with an ultra-creamy moisturizer -- even a night cream. The heavier the formula, the better it will combat dryness. Kiehl's Rosa Arctica, $60, is a little bit of bliss in a bottle.
Midway through your flight, your skin will need a moisture boost. A hydrating facial mist is the reinvigorating spritz your face needs to look and feel better instantly. Try Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist, $31. Spray it as often as you want (assuming it doesn't bug the people next to you too much); it'll add moisture, thanks to ingredients like marshmallow and lavender oil.
During the flight, your lips are just as susceptible to moisture loss as your skin. To fight dry, chapped lips, apply a rich balm, such as Beecology Natural Lip Balm, $2.99, which is light and non-waxy but still delivers enough moisture to keep lips soft and supple.
Because it's such a water-filled fruit (about 80 percent of it is liquid), an orange is an easy, sweet, and vitamin-filled way to stay hydrated from the inside out. Bonus: It's easy to pack.
When your skin feels ready for another moisture hit, apply a face moisturizer with sunblock, like Garnier Skin Renew BB Cream Miracle Skin Perfector, $12.99. It's a tinted moisturizer that also provides broad-spectrum sun protection. And since it evens your skin tone, it'll help hide those dark circles or any imperfections that may have surfaced during your flight.
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