how to: keep skin hydrated on long haul flights

Like desert air – which contains very little moisture – in-flight conditions can be extremely drying for your skin. Both have the same ultra-low levels of humidity and are 50% drier than normal air. That’s why long stretches at high altitude can cause any skin type and every complexion to feel dehydrated well before your destination is reached. By the time you’ve climbed above 30,000 feet, the high altitude may also decrease the blood flow to skin, giving your complexion a dull, lacklustre appearance.

It’s important to keep your skin well-hydrated and refreshed while flying, particularly those long-haul flights when moisture levels take a nosedive. Read on to find out what you can do once you’re in the air to ensure you arrive at your destination with your most hydrated complexion.

How to hydrate your skin from take-off to touch down

As Helen Robb-Lacey, endota skincare expert and head of endota Wellness College, explains, "Flying can take a real toll on the skin as the atmosphere on board has very little moisture, meaning dry cabins filled with recycled air can dehydrate your dermis."

The simplest and most effective way to keep well-hydrated internally is by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight. Helen also suggests the use of skin-quenching mists, masks and moisturisers during your flight. "These are of enormous benefit as they help revive and lock-in moisture, assisting the skin to combat the controlled air environment. Look for travel-sized skincare, such as endota’s Hydrate or Balance Mini Kits, or sample packs and remember to check with your airline regarding carry-on allowances."


This lack of humidity associated with air travel often leads to flaky skin that is prone to redden and feel irritated. "This not only affects the complexion," says Helen, "the recycled air also causes eyes and mucous membranes to dry out. Other common side effects can be experiencing cracked lips, blocked noses, sinus problems and split cuticles." Having a hand cream in your carry on can ensure your hands keep hydrated and minimise the effect flying can have on your cuticles.  

helen's top tips for keeping your skin hydrated on long haul flights

An easy way to restore hydration and keep skin glowing is with the use of a jade roller, paired with your favourite serum or facial oil. This simple face massaging technique will promote blood flow and lymphatic drainage. Your moisture levels will feel replenished, and fluid retention and puffiness visibly reduced. 

The effects of flying will be more evident in the following days and weeks after a flight. "You may see more breakouts, more flakiness and an increase in sensitivity. But if you keep internally and externally hydrated while you’re in the air, you will definitely reduce the overall effects on your skin, and your complexion will recover more quickly from the experience," explains Helen.

Another benefit of keeping your body and skin well-quenched while flying is that jet lag and travel sickness are diminished. Try taking short naps, or listening to a guided meditation during your flight. It will relax your mind and senses, and revitalise your body systems, allowing for an enhanced feeling of wellbeing once you’ve landed.

Elevate moisture levels with our super-hydrating, in-flight approved skincare and wellness essentials

Looking for a treatment to have your skin feeling holiday ready pre take off? endota’s Intense Radiance facial will buff away spent skin cells to brighten and refine while LED light therapy evens skin tone. Book in a week before your flight for calm, soothed and hydrated holiday skin. Or visit your nearest endota spa to renew, restore and rejuvenate your skin throughout your travels.