The One Very Tempting Thing You Should Skip Doing After A Flight

Long-haul flights are tough, especially when you end up in a completely different time zone and the jet lag is fierce. After enduring the cramped aircraft, the recirculated air, the smell of jet fuel, turbulence, and the dirty seats, it can be really tempting to do a bunch of self-care, beauty, and wellness hacks to feel refreshed and like yourself again. That can look like a lot of things — drinking your weight in water to replenish your fluids and stay hydrated, or maybe lathering up on scented hand and body lotion to get a headstart on keeping up with your skincare after a long flight. If you're not that fancy, you might just be jonesing for a really good and hot shower once you arrive at your hotel or Airbnb. However, according to travel experts, taking a hot shower after a flight might actually do more damage to your skin than good.

Travys Carinci, customer service manager for Qantas, spoke with CN Traveller and admitted that while he agrees with drinking water to hydrate, the hot showers post-flight are a no-no in his books. "I also skip overly hot showers which, even though it is tempting after a long flight, is a sure-fire way to dry out your skin," he told the outlet. And he should know — he logs about 59,952 miles in the air per month! So why are hot showers bad for your skin post-flight? And what should you do instead? We investigate. 

Bring a travel-sized moisturizer on board with you

If you've ever experienced dry, tight, or itchy skin on a flight, you might be interested to learn that it's all down to the dip in humidity inside the plane's cabin, dermatologist Dr. Suzanne Friedler told USA Today. Once you get to your hotel room, you might think a nice shower will set your skin right again, but it turns out hot showers will only serve to further dry out your skin, rather than hydrate it! "[It] strips the skin of sebum, healthy fats and oils necessary for skin health, and dehydrates the skin," dermatologist Shari Marchbein told Allure. Dermatologist Dhaval G. Bhanusali also tells the outlet that if you have some pre-existing skin conditions, like eczema, they can "get worse with long, hot showers."

So what can you do? Dermatologist Rina Allawh told Tatler Asia that you should moisturize your skin before you even board to make sure you start the flight on the right foot. Dr. Jasmine Ruth Yuvarani also told the outlet that you should carry a travel-size moisturizer in your carry-on to re-moisturize as needed. But what if you still really want a shower? When all else fails, try a cold shower, says Cleveland Clinic physiologist Zach Carter, per The New Zealand Herald, or if that's just too much of a shock to the system, Carter says go for a brisk walk.