Q&A: Why Does My Skin Freak Out When I Fly?

Flying is all very glamorous and adventurous until logistics come into play. It’s a funny thing about reality; it’s always getting in the way. There’s packing (ugh), TSA constraints, long queues, overpriced food courts…

And then there’s the inevitable waiting period: that ticking clock between take-off and rushing to the nearest bathroom at arrival to check the state of your skin.

If there’s one thing worse than inconsiderate neighbors encroaching on personal space, it’s the havoc that cabin air seems to always wreak on every complexion.

So—why does skin freak out when you fly?

All skin types—even oily ones—are vulnerable to experiencing discomfort. Recycled cabin air, refreshed only by air taken from the surrounding low-humidity, high altitudes atmosphere, is incredibly drying on skin. Without the moisture needed to help skin feel comfortable, air on board just seems suffocating.

Combat dryness, flakiness, and tightness by keeping skin hydrated and well-moisturized.

If you have…


A few spritzes of your favorite facial spray will help instantly hydrate and refresh skin. Use as needed throughout your flight and just before landing for an impossibly dewy complexion.


Nourish dry and dehydrated complexions with a few drops of Rose Hips Nourishing Oil, a lightweight facial oil that helps boost radiance with Rosehip Oil and Rosehip Extract. Apply a few drops to target any areas prone to dryness, or massage all over your skin before taking off. Layer your favorite moisturizer on top, and don't be afraid to re-apply your oil as needed.


Replenish skin and help guard against moisture loss with Hydro-Emollient Cream. Also famously known as the go-to “in-flight” cream for dry skin types or frequent flyers, this rich face helps lock in hydration and give skin a softer, smoother, and more supple appearance.

. . .

Skin doesn’t just experience dryness, unfortunately.

When it comes to travel, your skin may become more prone to breakouts due to:

  1. Imbalance: When skin is thrown into extreme conditions and suddenly experiences intense dehydration, oil glands are kicked into high gear in an attempt to compensate for lack of moisture. Dead skin cell buildup and excess oil clog pores, making way for—you guessed it—breakouts.
  2. Stress: When the body experiences stress, a hormone called cortisol is released. Studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between increased cortisol levels and acne breakouts. Plus, stress-related habits (poor eating habits, lack of sleep, etc.) only add to the problem, causing sebum glands to secrete an oily, pore-clogging substance. Travel stress and long flights are simply no good.

. . .

So, keep your skin in check with these essentials:

  • Bobbi pins, clips, or hair ties: Keeping hair off your face can help prevent breakouts.
  • Lip Balm: Apply a thick a layer and let the blend of nutrient-dense butters and skin-conditioning oils nourish your lips. Leave it on for the duration of your flight (as if it were a lip treatment mask), then blot the excess off before you land.
  • Drying Cream: Feel a bump coming up? Dab a tiny amount onto the spot and blend well. Drying Cream is effective in helping dry up those small, under-the-skin blemishes and prevent them from getting any larger.
  • Drying Lotion: … and clean Q-tips. Your favorite on-the-spot solution comes in a travel-friendly plastic bottle so you can fly with peace of mind. True, rocking pink polka dots in public may not be everyone's cup of tea, but we’re all for dabbing this Salicylic Acid and Calamine solution if you need to—especially for red-eyes or long-haul flights.

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