It may sound strange, but drying out during a long flight is a very serious problem. The fact that you’re so high in the air can make it extremely difficult for your skin to maintain the moisture it needs to keep you feeling comfortable, while your body suffers from dehydration more quickly than ever.
Just as you might use RFID protection pouches to defend your personal identity by covering your bank cards, you need to find a way to protect your skin, and your internal systems from the negative effects of the dry atmosphere in most planes. After all, dehydration is one of the best ways to ensure that you turn up at your vacation destination feeling sick, jetlagged, and down-right terrible.
The following information should help you to prevent dryness from causing problems during your next adventure.
Airplanes and Humidity
The first thing to understand about flying, is that your airplane is similar to a sponge – the moment you hit the right altitude for cruising (how you spend most of your journey), the atmosphere begins sucking all of the moisture out of your body.
The reason for this is that the humidity level in the cabins of most commercial airlines is usually about ten or twenty percent – much lower than what we’re typically used to. In fact, the Sahara Desert has about 25% humidity, if this helps you to get a better idea of what you’re dealing with.
Humidity and moisture levels are so low because the aircraft has to pump air from outside into the cabin to ensure the dilution of air inside the plane – which is often loaded with carbon dioxide thanks to the close-spaced breathing of the cabin crew and passengers. Because the air pumped in comes from 30,000 feet, it’s difficult for it to hold any moisture at all.
Combatting the Dry Air
Potentially the best way to avoid drying out on a flight before you even have a chance to reach your destination, is to boost your immune system and your internal moisture by drinking plenty of extra water. Importantly, you don’t need to just start drinking more on the day of your flight, but start building up your moisture levels a couple of days before you go anywhere. You can also benefit from taking a few supplementary vitamins, and soaking in the tub both before, and after your flight to help your skin absorb some of the moisture it has lost.
On average, you should be drinking around eight ounces of water for every hour you spend in the air, and make sure that you avoid any hint of caffeine or alcohol – as both of these substances will only work to dehydrate you even further.
What’s more, keep in mind that packing small bottles of eye-based moisturizer, eye drops, lotion, and lip balm will help to relieve some of the dryness that you experience in your skin, though it might not do anything much for your internal symptoms of dehydration.