In addition to staying hydrated before and during your flight, dermatologist Elizabeth Tanzi recommends applying a mist hourly to your face, neck and hands. (izusek/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Everyone loves going on vacation, except for the actual traveling part. The arid environment of an airplane or bus can wreak havoc on the skin and leave it looking dehydrated, blotchy and fatigued.

We asked Elizabeth Tanzi, a dermatologist and director of Capital Laser and Skin Care in the District, to share her skin-saving travel secrets so your skin looks fresh and ready upon arrival.

Before takeoff

Start hydrating from the inside out: Before you board, pick up a one-liter bottle of mineral water or a potassium-rich cucumber or coconut water. Pack a durable, reusable water bottle for easy refills in the airport and on the plane.

Go au naturel: A clean, makeup-free face, or a minimally made-up face, is your best defense against oily skin and clogged pores. If makeup is necessary, mix a light moisturizer with your foundation to help keep skin hydrated.

Prep to protect: Use a gentle, creamy cleanser, like Neutrogena's Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser or Donnell's Cream Wash, and a hydrating body lotion for your arms and legs, like Eucerin's Advanced Repair Lotion, to nourish skin and protect it from becoming parched in the dry cabin air.

Layer products according to your skin type: Tanzi recommends that travelers with combination or oily skin apply a sheer super-hydrating mask, like Neutrogena's Hydro Boost Water Gel. Individuals with dry skin should add an extra layer of protection — a moisturizer with hyaluronic acid and shea butter, like Olyphan's Hyaluronic Acid Cream Moisturizer.


Spray it: Nothing feels quite as refreshing as a spritz of water when your skin feels like a desert. Apply a mist hourly to your face, neck and hands to give skin the extra gulp of hydration it needs to fight redness and irritation. Tanzi's personal favorites are Avene's Thermal Spring Water and La Roche-Posay's Thermal Spring Water.

Snagged a window seat? Don't forget sunscreen: A higher altitude means extra exposure to damaging ultraviolet rays, which can lead to sunburn, wrinkles and skin cancer. Tanzi advises avoiding creams that are zinc-, titanium- or mineral-based, as they tend to dry out the skin. She likes La Roche-Posay's Anthelios SX Daily SPF 15 Moisturizer.

Sleep is your friend: Skip the movie marathon and try to catch some extra Z's. Use a comfortable blackout mask, like Nidra's Deep Rest Sleep Mask, to signal to your neighbors that it's shut-eye time.

Upon arrival

Wake up your skin: Wash your face with a gentle, sweet-smelling facial scrub, like Avalon Organics Lavender Luminosity Exfoliating 4-ounce Enzyme Scrub, after disembarking for a quick and soothing pick-me-up.

Swipe off: Wipe away plane grime easily with a pre-moistened cloth, like one of Sephora's Express Cleansing Wipes.

Swipe on: Lather on a hydrating cream, like Aquaphor's nutrient-rich Healing Ointment, to refresh dry lips, nose and hands.

Avoid extra baggage: Beat puffy, bloodshot eyes and dark circles with saline drops and a cold compress, like Juvitus's cute, reusable Cucumber Printed Gel Eye Mask. You may be jet-lagged, but your skin doesn't have to show it.

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