A Terrifying Visual of What Flying Does to Your Skin
Cass Bird for Vogue
Let's be clear: Any model-approved skincare tips tend to grab our attention. Then there are those occasional nuggets that practically give us whiplash. Example: Soo Joo Park discussed her travel routine with The Cut last month and made a rather vivid analogy about what flying does to our complexion.
"If you drink half of a bottle, close it, and leave it there during your flight, upon descending to a lower altitude you'll see that the bottle has shrunk," she said. "You can imagine a similar thing happening to your skin." Uh, yeah, we can. And it doesn't look good.
We've flown enough to know that airplanes really dry out our skin, but this mini physics lesson puts it into glaring perspective, no? And here's the other thing: With the chaos of holiday travel and a full schedule of festivities, we simply don't have the time (or want!) to revive a dull complexion after landing. So with this and visions of crumpled water bottles in mind, we asked skincare experts for their must-know travel tips and products to keep our faces looking fly—so to speak.
See how to maintain a hydrated, flawless complexion from takeoff to touchdown.
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Moisturizer SPF 15 ($24)
If there's one ingredient to focus on for your travel beauty bag, it's hyaluronic acid. "It pulls in water to keep the skin well hydrated," explains Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care in Maryland. But that's not all: Hyaluronic acid is also occlusive, meaning that it doesn't just draw water in, but obstructs it from leaving, as well. This extra element of defense is key—otherwise, the climate-controlled air will just continue to suck out whatever extra moisture you're providing your skin.
Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask ($25)
A leave-on mask is a really great way to give your face an extra dose of super-saturated hydration. But since sheet masks might scare your neighbors and anything that needs to be rinsed off is just impractical, the trick is to choose a clear, leave-on formula: Look for anything that says "overnight" or "sleep mask."
January Labs Glow & Go Power Peel Exfoliant ($75)
Though you should be in pretty good shape at this point, give yourself a post-flight treatment for good measure. Skincare guru January Olds recommends grabbing a matcha latte upon landing (for energy that won't dehydrate, unlike coffee) and using this peel to brighten and refresh any residual dullness. (Apply it in the cab from the airport.)
What are your travel skincare essentials? Any tips on pampering your complexion without disturbing your seatmates? Tell us in the comments below!