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Travel. Air travel, specifically. Every time you board a plane, you’re exposed to stale, crazy-dry, recirculated air, so even if you’re only taking an hour-long flight (lucky!), you end up with a significantly moisture-sapped, duller complexion when you land. And that’s not accounting for what happens on your actual vacation: using strange hotel beauty products, skin experiencing different water, forgetting your favorite sunscreen, and eating different foods.

We sat down with Dr. G to understand just exactly what happens to our skin and how to combat Jet leg from sinking in while we travel.

Does skin get ‘jet lagged’? How does it manifest?

Jet lag manifests itself in many different ways, both physical and mental. Think fatigue, bloating, insomnia, irritability, digestive issues, breakouts and general stress.

Jet lag, or desynchronosis, is a temporary circadian rhythm disorder that often occurs when a person travels across time zones. The body’s internal clock is disrupted, and major symptoms include insomnia, fatigue, bloating, anxiety, malaise, and emotional disturbances. 

When a traveler crosses a few time zones, the body uses natural cues like sunlight and an eating schedule to try and acclimate to the appropriate time. But because travel is disorienting for the physical body, it can take a few days before all the natural processes even out and become normalized. 

Jet lag is usually worse when moving from west to east because travelers lose hours of their day.

Why does skin suffer? Is the increased cortisol combined with reduced hydration for example?

Stressful security checks, unhealthy airport food options, omnipresent air conditioning, cabin pressure and dry air can wreak havoc on the most resilient complexions. Dehydration and bacteria are major factors here. If you’re prone to breakouts, touching bathroom doors and tray tables (full of germs) and then touching or rubbing your face can exacerbate acne, let alone make you sick. Always a good idea to pack antibacterial wipes and wipe down the areas you will be touching. If you feel ill before travel you may want to wear a mask to protect yourself and those around you.  

If you choose to sleep on a flight (or in the airport) it’s likely not high quality zzz’s. Rest is incredibly important for cell turnover and skin recovery—in fact, regeneration happens three times as fast while asleep.

Are there any ways we can prevent it before hand? Or lessen its impact during flight or afterwards?

Pre-flight:

A pre-trip plan is crucial when it comes to preventing jetlag. If time permits you can start the week before travel by starting to wake up a few hours earlier every day to get your body used to another time zone. This is probably best for time zones, which will be many hours ahead. If you choose to do this, use a light to stimulate your brain/melatonin levels when waking (as the sun will not be up yet).  Being hydrated before your flight is crucial. Try drinking a hydration multiplier powder to increase internal hydration. Going makeup free on the flight is also a good idea but make sure you are wearing an antipollution serum (Brightening Elixir) and heavy moisturizer or nourishing oil (Fleuressence Botanical Oil) to lock in moisture. 

Inflight:

Drink plenty of fluids (no alcohol or caffeine as they dehydrate the body and skin).  Try and rest and or sleep. Pack earplugs and a sleep mask to create a relaxing sleep environment. 

Post Flight: 

Wash your face very well and try a gentle peel. Our Fresh A Peel (lactic acid peel) will obliterate any dry skin or bacteria that may have happened as a result of air travel. Follow with a hydrating oil or rich night cream. 

If possible, try to book a flight that lands later in the evening at your final destination. Your goal is to basically get to sleep, as this is the best way to acclimate to a new time zone. If you arrive during the day, a light workout or walk outside in the sunlight will help set your internal clock on the time zone. 

A daily regimen is on everyone’s mind, but how many steps and products do you really need? Sadly there is no magic bullet to deliver all our skincare goals, but with 5 easy steps, you can turn back the hands of time and keep your skin looking youthful. Five may sound daunting but below explains why you need each step to achieve glowing healthy skin.

Exfoliate:

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows treatment ingredients to penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

**Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week, unless you suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate where you live, exfoliation can be increased or decreased.

Cleanse:

Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions here. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second-hand smoke, and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what.

**Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to breakouts and or rashes.

Treat:

Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is a loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Pollution can cause uneven skin tone, dehydration, dryness, dark spots, expedited aging, wrinkles, sagging and deterioration of collagen.  Consider using products that employ the highest regarded pollution fighting ingredients, such as, Organic Red Tea, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Retinol and Resveratrol.

Hydrate:

Look for ingredients that hydrate and repair. Plant stem cells are powerful ingredients that hydrate and repair damaged, aging, sagging skin. Organic Red Tea extract also restores important anti-oxidants and Birds of Paradise restore skin’s youthful appearance by reducing uneven skin pigmentation, dull and lackluster complexion resulting in an increased illuminated glow. Plant and botanical based oils are also a terrific way to get hydrated! Loaded with Vitamins C , E and F, Baobob, Kalahari, Marula, and Mongogo oils not only deliver hydration but also overall brightness and luminosity.

Protect:

Sun protection is crucial all times of the year but especially during the summer. Reapplication every hour when in direct sunlight and up to three times daily (AM/Mid—day/Afternoon) when going in and out of indoor/outdoor areas. As a general rule of thumb: if you are going to be outside for 20 minutes or more, SPF is recommended.

** “I always recommend an SPF of at least a 30. Wearing SPF safe clothing, like hats and glasses are crucial and extremely beneficial for sun protection.” Dr. G.

Winter (or just cooler weather) can wreak havoc on skin, causing dryness, redness and dullness. The three main ways to keep a healthy glow are to hydrate, exfoliate and be gentle to your skin.

The most important part about a healthy winter glow is to stay hydrated. This is achieved in a few different ways. The first is by drinking a lot of water. Dry, cold air dehydrates you inside and out, so drink extra during the winter months.

We sat down with Dr. G to get the 411 on how to mitigate dryness and keep skin glowing, hydrated and supple all year round.

What are the main causes of dry skin?

Skin can be dry for numerous reasons. A few of the main culprits are the weather, the climate (humidity vs. dry), your age (as you age skin becomes drier), dirt, sun damage, bad diet and incorrect product and ingredient use.

The best ways of treating dry skin? Topical, non-topical?

Topical: If you have dry or sensitive skin, be careful with what types of ingredients to use topically. Stay away from astringents, acids, sodium lauryl sulfate and alcohol. Staying hydrated from the inside out is also crucial. Drink plenty of fluids. Always apply moisturizer or body oil to damp skin. Post bath or shower; try moisturizing your skin while still damp, this allows the skin to capture and seal in moisture. Take a look at your cleansing regimen, over exfoliation, particularly with physical scrubs, can be taxing and drying to the skin. Try decreasing the frequency and try a lactic acid enzymatic exfoliator as lactic acid pulls moisture to the surface of the skin.Choose a moisturizer or oil appropriate for dry skin. Good ingredients to look for are avocado oil, vitamin E, plant lipids, oils full of omega fatty acids, hyaluronic acid and plant extracts. Always wear an SPF when in the elements.

Non-topical: Similar to the thought process of what to topically use, what we ingest may help to prevent dryness. Choose foods high in omega 3 fatty fats, such as avocados, salmon, walnuts, eggs, olive oil, sea kelp and vegetables high in silica. Silica helps form collagen in the body. Look for oats, avocados, cucumbers, flax seeds and leafy green vegetables.

Should we ditch exfoliating from our skincare routine? 

Moisturizing is a crucial part of keeping skin hydrated during the winter, but you shouldn’t ignore exfoliating. Look for scrubs that have moisturizing elements to them, such as jojoba oil , avocado oil and apricot seed oil. Oils are also very beneficial during the winter months to keep skin glowing, hydrated and plump.

Alternatively, grab your peels:

“Alpha Hydroxy Acids or AHA’s (which are Lactic acid, Glcolic acid and Fruit acids) are used as facial exfoliators. AHA’s are excellent options for people with sun damaged skin, aging skin, oily skin and normal to dry skin types. AHA’s do not cause sun sensitivity and come in numerous forms. AHA’s come in the form of lactic acid which is derived from milk, glycolic acid which is derived from sugarcane and fruit acids which are derived from fruits (citrus and apples/malic acid) and are gentle exfoliating agents that break apart the dead skin cells and pull hydration to the surface of your complexion which increases hydration and promotes a supple texture.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden

Do certain foods help with dry skin? 

Choose foods high in omega 3 fatty fats, such as avocados, salmon, walnuts, eggs, olive oil, sea kelp and vegetables high in silica. Silica helps form collagen in the body. Look for oats, avocados, cucumbers, flax seeds and leafy green vegetables.

Is dry skin dependent on our skin type? Yes and no.Skin can be dry for numerous reasons. A few of the main culprits are the weather, the climate (humidity vs. dry), your age (as you age skin becomes drier), dirt, sun damage, bad diet and incorrect product and ingredient use.