How to Prepare Your Skin for a Long-Haul Flight

Longhaul Flight Skincare Routine

If you don’t remember, I took my first long-haul flight to Las Vegas last November and my face (to put it lightly) erupted. I stepped onto the plane with glowing, spot-free skin and stepped off the plane with whiteheads covering every inch of my face and my face twice its original size.

If you want the long, minute-by-minute story along with some stunning pictures of my face, you can read all about my airplane acne if you so wish. It was pretty horrific to say the least since my entire time in Vegas was spent with me feeling embarrassed and self-conscious about my face and getting minimal photos, which, if you know me, you’ll know that’s not one bit like me.

But to prevent this from happening again, I took a lot of extra measures before my seven hour flight to New York hoping that I wouldn’t have a repeat of my first long-haul flight.

I don’t know if I’m an anomaly or if this happens to anyone else but I read up on airplane acne and apparently, it does affect quite a few of us. If this does happen to be an issue for you, I’ve put together a little list of how I prepared my skin for the flight and how I prevented the same thing from happening again.

Thankfully I landed in Newark Liberty International Airport with my face looking the same as when I boarded.

1. Drink plenty of water in the lead up to the flight

Since I’d been home for the three weeks before I was due to go, I hadn’t been drinking much alcohol compared to my previous few months in Liverpool. This did mean that I was drinking more Diet Coke and less water than usual, though.

But one of the best things for your skin is water so to keep your skin less dry and more nourished, drink as much water as you can in the lead up to your flight. And when you’re in the air, also drink a lot of water (while enjoying a free bev or soft drink) to keep yourself hydrated. Plus, you can check your face out during all those toilet breaks that you will be needing.

2. Take your makeup off or don’t wear any

I don’t very often leave my house without makeup on, so I had foundation and eyebrows applied before I left for Dublin Airport at 8am.

Wearing makeup the entire journey to Las Vegas was my biggest mistake so I knew not to make it again. I bought a pack of Garnier makeup wipes to take with me onto the plane and also brought my makeup bag so that I could reapply once I landed.

After take-off, I removed every last bit of makeup from my face and cleaned my hands with the wipes. I’m not usually a makeup wipes person as I much prefer micelar water (it’s kinder to your skin).

3. Moisturise!!

This is the KEY to making sure you don’t break-out on the flight. I took my Garnier moisturiser that I had bought in Vegas onto the flight with me and applied every one or two hours, or once my skin started to feel a little dried out. This moisturiser isn’t available in the UK (unless you order on Amazon) so I’ll be glad to be able to top up on the stuff in the US.

Basically, the compression on the plane causes your skin to go extremely dry because it’s not used to the dry air conditions. For some people it doesn’t affect them, but for past Roaccutane users like myself, it seems to have a very hard effect.

So if you take one tip on board from this post, MOISTURISE.

4. Be wary of the food you’re eating

One thing I’ll point out is the food on planes contains a lot of sodium. High levels of sodium can cause fluid retention and make you bloat/swell. Plus with the little walking, your legs, ankles and feet can also swell due to low levels of circulation.

It may be best to stick to your own food on the plane or just be conscious of the fact the airplane food does contain a lot of salt. To avoid the swelling maybe try to keep your diet low in salt during the week leading up to your flight.


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