Plane Skincare Is All Over TikTok – But Why Is It So Important?

By Ellie Smith

2 months ago

Here's what actually happens to your skin during a flight


Is your For You page filled with videos of influencers showcasing their in-flight beauty routines? That’s because plane skincare is trending on TikTok right now – with the hashtag #planeskincare amassing over 84.5M views on the platform. A face mask in the sky certainly feels glamorous, but should we all be doing it? We asked an expert what happens to your skin on a flight, plus some top tips for arriving at your destination with a glowy complexion.

In-Flight Skincare: An Expert’s Guide

What Happens To Your Skin On A Flight?

With all that dry air circulating, it makes sense that aeroplanes aren’t the optimum environment for our skin. The air is parched and oxygen-deficient, which can leave your skin thirsty, irritated and dull.

‘Travelling can upset the natural balance of our skin due to various factors such as water pH levels, dehydration, and fluctuations in humidity experienced on aeroplanes,’ explains Saarah Mengrani, Health and Skincare Specialist at Landys Chemist. ‘Ideally, our skin thrives in humidity levels ranging from 40 to 70 percent. However, during flights, cabin humidity typically plummets to 10 to 20 percent, causing a notable shift.

‘This drop in humidity often leads to dehydration, causing the skin to lose moisture much quicker,’ says Saarah. ‘Consequently, the skin may start to overcompensate and produce more oil, potentially leading to clogged pores and breakouts, particularly for those with oily or combination skin types. Dehydrated skin can also become more susceptible to sensitivity, and irritation, compromising its barrier function. This increased vulnerability makes the skin more prone to irritants, dust and bacteria, which can lead to further breakouts.’

Being still for a long period of time – plus consuming salty snacks and perhaps a G&T or two – can also cause fluid retention, which means your skin may feel puffy after a long flight.

There could be some long-term effects, too. Plane windows don’t block UVA rays, meaning they offer no sun protection, and the sun’s rays are significantly stronger above cloud level. It’s therefore very important to wear SPF if you’ve got a window seat – particularly on long haul flights. 

Bag with sunglasses and suncream on a beach

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Plane Skincare: How To Maintain Skin Health While Travelling

Saarah recommends:

‘Maintain a consistent skincare routine

Opting for products that counteract dry air and provide antioxidant benefits to protect the skin and provide hydration is beneficial. It’s essential to maintain consistency with your skincare routine where possible while travelling to not overwhelm the skin. Always ensure that your hands are clean before touching your face, too.

Avoid wearing makeup during the flight 

Try to refrain from wearing makeup on the plane to prevent pores from getting clogged, reducing the likelihood of breakouts.

Use SPF protection

It is also important to wear SPF even if you are inside an aeroplane because your skin is still exposed to the UV rays and can worsen acne.

Hydrate and Use Non-Foaming Cleansers

Combat the harsh effects of hard water by opting for non-foaming cleansers and keeping your skin hydrated. This helps maintain the loss of moisture in-flight and prevents dehydration.

In-Flight Skincare Routine

Incorporating in-flight skincare routines can help to combat the dry, low-humidity conditions in aeroplanes by keeping your skin hydrated and protected. Use hydrating face masks containing ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and peptides to replenish lost moisture and soothe the skin.’