by Pearl Dworkin, Beauty Diva

Have you ever noticed how terrible the lighting is in airplane bathrooms? I always feel like those bathroom mirrors add a few years! It’s not our imagination that air travel sucks the life out of our skin.

There are many factors that influence our skin when we travel. The recirculated air on planes is five times drier than the desert! And travel usually means an interruption in our sleep schedule; not to mention how difficult it is to eat healthfully when traveling, let alone at home. For some Divas whose names we won’t mention, traveling may mean even more alcohol and coffee than normal, both of which can dehydrate our skin. So the question is, whether we are arriving in some exotic destination to begin a new adventure or returning home after vacation or business travel, what can we do to get off that plane positively glowing?

1. Use a heavier moisturizer than you normally do.

Look for products with the ingredient sodium hylauronate. This is a humectant that binds moisture to the skin, giving your face that extra drink of water it needs. Even if you have oily skin, you can use an oil-free moisturizer with this wonder-ingredient. Both oily and dry skin can become dehydrated, and being dehydrated is definitely attributed to racking up those frequent flier miles! I recommend flying with a facial spritzer as well. You can make your own very economically by buying a spritzer bottle at the drug store and filling it with purified mineral water mixed with a few drops of lavender essential oil. Lavender is wonderful for all skin types, as it is antibacterial, antimicrobial, promotes cellular renewal, and, as an added bonus, is a stress reliever. Lavender has been shown to reduce high blood pressure in clinical studies. It’s also a smashing way to make friends with your fellow passengers or to keep that too-chatty, married businessman from Omaha at bay.

2. Drink more water.

I’m sure this is no surprise! If you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. And dehydration is the enemy! It makes us fatigued and, Diva forbid, slows down our metabolism. The rule on drinking water is that you should drink half your body weight in ounces…so if you weigh 120 lbs., you should drink sixty ounces of water a day. Add thirty-two more ounces for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage you consume. When flying, it is a good idea to drink about eight ounces of water for every hour you are up in the air. This will keep you running to the bathroom, which has the added benefit of getting you out of your seat. It’s good to stretch and move every few hours, to keep your blood circulating. Some of my clients say that they don’t like to drink a lot of water because it makes them go to the bathroom too often. When I hear this, I tell them that the bladder is like a muscle: the more water you drink, the more it expands, and you can train your bladder to hold more so you won’t have to go as often.

*A tasty and healthy tip: Buy your water before getting to the airport and squeeze a little organic lemon juice and a few drops of an herb called stevia (available at any health food store) into the bottle. It makes a refreshing “lemonade” with virtually no calories. The stevia helps regulate blood sugar (reducing cravings), and lemon is a natural purifier full of healthy bioflavenoids!

3. Wear a first-class eye cream morning and evening.

What I’m talking about here is a highly concentrated eye cream with active ingredients. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest on the body, and has no oil glands. We get dark circles when we’re tired because our circulation slows down, and darkness shows through our thinnest skin. I recommend eye creams that are anti-puff, anti-dark circle, and moisturizing. From what I’ve seen, nothing gets rid of the puff as quickly and as effectively as rosemary essential oil. Vitamin K is good for dark circles, and lots of antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, E, superoxide dismutase, DMAE, and alpha lipoic acid.

4. Take your vitamins!

It is difficult to eat well when traveling. There are many temptations, and who doesn’t want to indulge once in a while, especially on vacation! The skin is the largest organ of our body and, being an external organ, will rather quickly show signs of toxic overload! The vitamins I most recommend are antioxidants, or ACES: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium, and a B-complex vitamin. It is also excellent to take a Calcium-Magnesium supplement at night or when you want to sleep on a plane. Cal-Mag can make your sleep more restful and is a natural muscle relaxant. Remember that Cal-Mag is not absorbed properly when taken with your morning coffee. We women especially need Cal-Mag, and it has also been shown to lessen the symptoms of PMS, which can be exacerbated by traveling.

5. Avoid excessive coffee.

Sometimes when traveling we are tempted to drink more coffee than we normally do. Coffee is not necessarily bad, but it does have some negative effects on the skin and the adrenal system. I have found that Rooibos tea (a red tea from South Africa) gives me a huge boost. It has no caffeine and thirty times the minerals and antioxidants found in green tea. It tastes very rich too! My personal favorite is Rooibos with Vanilla Bean. It is easy to travel with tea bags…and you need only ask the flight attendant for hot water. Other teas to try are Yerba Mate for energy, and for those red-eye flights when you would like to catch a little shut-eye, try chamomile tea. And don’t forget your eye mask and neck pillow!

Until next time, Travel Divas, and may your travels and your skin be smooth, captivating and glamorous…

About the Author:

Pearl Dworkin has been a licensed esthetician for more than ten years, earning certifications from nationally recognized institutions such as the International Dermal Institute, the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy, and the Institute for Educational Therapy with a Holistic Nutrition major. She is also certified as a personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise.

Pearl has completed advanced courses in lymphatic drainage, the effects of hormone and menopause on the skin, the causes and treatment of rosacea, reflexology, aromatherapy, holistic nutrition, Chinese skin diagnostics, and makeup for film and television.

Pearl has worked at some of California’s top spas and for plastic surgeons who specialize in skin-care procedures. In 2003, she opened her own business, Optimum Skin Care, in the heart of San Francisco. Services include facial treatments, microdermabrasion, make-up, tinting, and waxing.

Pearl’s philosophy reflects a holistic, individualized approach to skincare. To optimize treatment results, she analyzes each client’s lifestyle, attitude, and exercise and nutritional practices. She not only provides relaxing and therapeutic treatments, but also recommends at-home skincare techniques, reading material, and provides stress-reduction suggestions.

In addition, Pearl regularly donates services to worthy causes benefiting cancer victims and AIDS research. Since 1997, she has served as a volunteer facilitator and trainer for the American Cancer Society’s Look Good Feel Better Program for women who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation.

Learn more at