How To Avoid Acne And Bloating On Your Next Flight

Whether you've had a massive breakout during the flight, mask-induced acne, or notice some pimples popping up post-flight, airplane acne is a thing. It's the dreadful aftermath of air travel, as the dry cabin air can sabotage the skin. For instance, in some planes cabin humidity may drop down to 20% of what it would be on the ground, notes dermatologist, Patricia Wexler, to Allure. According to Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, when the skin becomes dehydrated, it may overcompensate by producing oil in an attempt to rehydrate itself. But instead, this may lead to clogged pores and spots.

Strangely enough, the best way to avoid acne during flights is to stay hydrated. Whether you have a long-haul flight or a brief trip to a neighboring city, hydration is key. One flight attendant, Fay from British Airways, specifically recommends drinking more water during long-haul flights, as well as increasing water intake before and after flights (via Byrdie). Drinking water will also help with bloating.

Before you hop on a plane, a good preventative measure is to exfoliate. "Exfoliating with an alpha hydroxy acid will remove the dry layer of skin on the surface and help to clear congestion in your pores," points out aesthetician Shani Darden to Allure. During the flight, Byrdie suggests using blotting papers to help treat the excess oil. Removing makeup after flights, using a spot serum, and finishing up an oil-balancing moisturizer can also prove helpful.

What are other ways to prevent bloating?

While dehydration from an aircraft may cause plane acne, it may also cause bloating (aka jet or plane belly). According to celebrity nutritionist, Dr. Charles Passler, bloating can show up in two ways — digestive bloat and water retention bloat (per Well+Good). Dr. Passler further explains that digestive bloat is triggered by inflammation in the digestive tract, while water retention bloat is caused by the inability to properly remove water and circulate the blood. Luckily there are ways to have a less gassy flight.

At the top of the list for bloat prevention is hydration. In an interview with Byrdie, several flight attendants recommended drinking plenty of water, sipping slowly, and opting for anti-inflammatory teas such as green or peppermint tea. Well+Good points out that eating hydrating fruits and veggies is another way to increase your water intake.

Before the flight, you may want to forgo any foods that tend to bloat you and focus on gut health while on vacation. "If you're unaware of which food could be responsible for causing bloating, the most common foods that may create bloat are wheat/flour products, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, dairy products, and beans," says Dr. Passler to Well+Good. On top of these, U.S. News & World Report also suggests avoiding carbonated beverages, stretching your legs during flight, and (subtly) letting it rip mid-flight to help ease the bloat.