How to Avoid Dry Skin and Breakouts During Travel

Traveling somewhere new is always exciting! That is, once you get there. The whole part in between with security checks, hauling heavy bags, airplane food, and recycled air… not so much. It’s very common to breakout once you arrive at your destination. I’ve got some tips on how you can keep your skin looking and feeling it’s best!


How Flying Affects the Skin

In-flight air quality is extremely dry. In low humidity, moisture gets pulled from the deeper layers of skin, causing it to become extra dehydrated. People who have naturally dry skin (like me!) will be able to see and feel this dryness in their complexion. The skin may look a bit leathery and fine lines will stand out more. If you tend to have oily or combination skin, you might experience even more oiliness. This is because the skin is trying to compensate for the moisture being lost, and sebaceous glands go into overdrive. Sebum is a perfect environment for propionibacterium acnes (the bacteria that causes acne) to flourish. With a spike in oil production, dead cells building up on the surface, a lack of sleep, the stress of traveling and hopping time zones, it makes sense as to why so many of us breakout. Here’s what you can do!



  • Exfoliate more. Removing dead cells off the surface prevents them from stacking up and allows topical products to get absorbed deeper. Peter Thomas Roth Max Complexion Pads are my favorite acid exfoliation. If you like scrubs, opt for one with a sugar-like consistency. SkinCeuticals Micro Exfoliating Scrub is the best!
  • Lather on the moisturizer. Use what’s best for your specific skin type! After a good exfoliation, your moisturizer should work even better.
  • Go makeup-less. If you can, having a bare face will decrease buildup and make it easier for you to take care of your skin while flying.
  • Bring a hydrating mask. Do this the night before, and during the flight if you’re able to. It will make a huge difference! Dermalogica’s Colloidal Base Mask is my favorite gel mask and is great for any skin type.
  • Get in your antioxidants. Flying exposes us to free radical damage. Load up on vitamin A and/or C, and this will help keep skin clear and vibrant.
  • Bring your usual products – traveling is not the right time to try out your new Sephora samples!



  • If it’s a longer flight, remove your makeup in between and keep the skin clean.
  • Apply a thick moisturizer or hydrating mask
  • Spritz with a moisturizing mist. Dermalogica’s Antioxidant Hydramist works great. I also recommend Rose Water Mist by Heritage Store.
  • Load up on water, and skip alcohol/caffeine.
  • Avoid excess salt and sugar


Upon Arrival

  • Wash off the airplane grime and get to EXFOLIATING! Removing the accumulation of dead cell buildup will leave skin feeling refreshed.
  • Opt for a moisturizing mask to push hydration back into the cells. If you still feel oily that night, apply a clay mask to pull out excess oil, then moisturize.
  • Use your usual products in the same routine you do at home, and remember to apply sunscreen!

Leave a Reply