This Is What Happens to Our Skin When We Travel (Spoiler Alert: It's Not Pretty)
Traveling can take its toll on our wallets and our sleep schedule — that much is obvious. What we often fail to remember is how much hell we put our skin through during that 14-hour flight to Tokyo or that cross-country bus ride.
Flights lift the moisture straight from our faces, leaving us with duller complexions, tightness, and even irritation. "This happens especially on long flights," said dermatologist Kavita Mariwalla, MD. "Our skin is exposed to recirculated air for hours." Dermatologist Dendy Engelman, MD, added that our skin absorbs less oxygen inside a plane because of how it is pressurized, which also leads to the dehydrated skin.
Traveling by bus introduces the risk of picking up germs that are both harmful to our skin and overall health. "On a bus, one has to be wary of environmental pollutants such as germs on the seats and areas by the window, as these are not necessarily cleaned between stops but rather at the end of the day," said Mariwalla. "Any time one is taking mass transit, there is also exposure to viruses as there are many people in one enclosed space."
Now that we all want to take a bath in hand sanitizer, take comfort in the fact that there are things we can do (and pack) to protect ourselves from these external attacks. Check out our suggestions ahead.