Over the last ten days I've been traveling non-stop. At one point, I think I was in 5 states, 1 US territory and 2 countries all within a four day span. When I stepped off my 7th or 8th flight, a friend told me my skin looked great and asked how I travel "so well" and encouraged me to share some frequent traveler skin tips. Full disclosure: my skin is not that great at all nor do I think I actually do travel that "well" and I am definitely no aesthetician. That being said, I've learned a few tips along the way that I do find helpful. Maybe you will, too! Here they are:
1. The nose. Ok, I'm going to start with a kind of "ewwww!" type of tip but it works! Years ago, a fellow actress who travels a lot said she puts a thin layer of vaseline in her nostrils before a plane flight to protect the delicate nasal membranes from drying out. She swore it helped prevent catching a cold from the nasty recycled airplane air as well. I am not a big vaseline fan (petrochemicals, yadda yadda) but I will take a thin swipe of Burt's Bees Baby Bee Multipurpose Ointment and swipe it around the inside of just the tip of my nose. It's petrochemical/paraban free and safe for sensitive skin and it doesn't make me break out or anything and it does seem to work very well. The key here is moderation. Do not snort it like it's cocaine.
2. Cherries. Oh yum, yum, yum. I buy bags of those "Just Cherries" freeze dried cherries with no sugar added and eat a bag per flight. Supposedly, a good source of melatonin, they prevent jet lag or at least decrease its effects. I believe it. They definitely work for me. Also, because I eat a bag of cherries per flight, I don't usually go nuts from hunger and feel the need to order a bunch of overpriced, unhealthy potato chips from the flight attendant. Win-win! Oh, yes, and cherries are also supposed to be a natural anti-inflammatory so that can only help. If you hate the taste, sorry. I've got nothing for you.
3. Support stockings. Yup, I am going to sound like your grandparents. I totally wear compression stockings whenever I fly. If you don't believe it will make your legs feel better, try one leg of the journey (no pun intended) in them and one not and, if you're anything like me, you'll feel a huge difference. You don't have to look like your grandma when you're wearing them (although I would be flattered if someone told me I looked like either of my grandmas; they were both super snazzy fashionistas) nor do you have to spend a ton of money. You can buy a pair of compression stockings or socks on the cheap from a drug store like CVS or Duane Reade and then just wear cute pants or a skirt over them. Nobody will be able to tell. If you're going to a warm tropical destination, wear hose so you don't have sock lines and pull 'em off as soon as you land (well, go to a bathroom or something first - I don't recommend trying to divest yourself of your clothes as soon as the plane lands, to the dismay (or joy, I guess) of your fellow passengers.
4. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Drink tons of water and if it makes your trips to the restroom more frequent, so what? It's an excuse to stand up, move around and get out of those insanely tiny little airplane seats. I bring my glass water bottle (empty of course so TSA doesn't deport me) and, once I am through security, I go to the nearest food kiosk and ask if they'll just fill it with regular old water for me. I have never been turned down. And there you go! Free water, no plastic aftertaste and you can feel all environmentally friendly, righteous AND hydrated. Boo yah!
5. No makeup. For me, makeup makes my face feel like it's melting after a long flight. I just dab on a spare amount of Josie Maran's Argan Daily Moisturizer with SPF 40, chapstick and, maybe I'll do makeup on my eyes but leave the rest alone. I'll bring a little Koh Gen Do powder as well. I love Koh Gen Do. No animal testing, all natural and they seem clinically good in the sense that they never make me break out and I feel like my skin is better after using their products, even when they're makeup or powder. No, Koh Gen Do isn't paying me to say that. They have no idea I am alive. Darn it. I wish they did so they would give me free products. They're expensive! Worth it, but expensive. Oh, yeah, and Josie Maran is also very natural and doesn't test on animals (important to me).
6. Oil cleansing. This one is very tricky and I recommend googling "Oil Cleansing" and doing your homework before trying this while traveling. A friend introduced me to the oil cleanse method (thank you, Becca) awhile back and, it took a lot of time and trial and error but once I got it right, I would not go back. Basically, you make your own cleanser out of oil. I was taught to use castor oil and a 2nd oil. The amount of castor oil depends on how oily your skin is - the more oily your skin is, the more castor oil you use. The drier it is, the less castor oil you use. Then, you use a 2nd oil to make up the difference. Some of my friends with drier skin swear by olive oil but it made me break out and I didn't like it. I also tried coconut oil, which a lot of people like, but found it too heavy for the face (I put it in a spray bottle and mist it after a shower on the body though, and it's really nice). One woman I recently met said she is going to try avocado oil. I've never tried that one but it sounds good. There are so many you can try (again, google "oil cleansing method" and you'll see a ton of website and blogs that explore all the pluses and minuses of various oils in detail). My go-to now is a blend of 30% castor oil and 70% jojoba oil (I have oily/combination skin). I add a drop of essential oil to match what I am looking for - lavender to relax and detox; tea tree if I feel a break out coming on, rose if my skin is dry, etc. You can put mix the oil in a small glass jar and bring it with you when traveling. I rub a quarter-size amount on my face, dry, and then put a hot wet washcloth over my face for a couple seconds to "steam" it a little and then gently wipe the oil off with the washcloth and rinse my face. Once you get your ratios right, it's the best cleansing method ever!
7. Loose, layered clothing. Nothing constricting (other than those compression stockings - ha!) and layers to deal with temperature changes. I like soft, natural fabrics like silk and linen and cotton. That's it! I hope there's a tip in here that's helpful to someone on their next foray into the friendly skies.
Actor, Author, Attorney