Derms Love the Serum I Swear By To Keep My Skin Looking Alive After 15+ Hours on a Plane

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I travel a lot as a freelance writer, covering resort openings, food and beauty trends all around the world, and more. Just this past year, I’ve been to Turkey, Italy, Israel, Mexico, and England, and I constantly take flights back home to India to spend time with my family. As thankful as I am for the trips around the globe, the toll these long plane rides take on my skin is much less fun, to say the least.

“While the idea of traveling is exciting, all that flight time can have negative effects on your skin,” says Tamila Deveny, a medical aesthetician at Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery in New York City. “Airplane cabin air is very drying (only 20 percent humidity compared to 60 percent humidity on the land), and the poor moisture level can leave skin feeling dry—or even oily, as the skin can produce more oil to compensate for dryness,” she adds.

The result? Lackluster skin, bags under the eyes, a dull complexion, and overall, just a blah feeling: After all, who wants to land in a new destination not feeling their absolute best? I tried tons of moisturizers, drank as much water as humanely possible (which is not that convenient when you're on a plane for 12+ hours!), and even used a few sheet masks during the flight, but nothing worked. That is, nothing worked until I tried my new favorite miracle product, Vichy LiftActiv Vitamin C Serum ($34).

First of all, this affordable serum has a silky texture that spreads onto the skin like butter, unlike the other sticky serums I’ve tried in the past. To use, I’ve simply added it to my pre-flight skin-care routine: After I wash and tone my face, I add three to four drops of this spreadable serum all over my face. Once it dries, I top it off with a heavy moisturizer (my favorite at the moment is Drunk Elephant’s Lala Retro Whipped Moisturizer ($60), which easily absorbs into my skin).

In a few hours, my skin is absolutely glowing, and this effect lasts well post-flight. I also do the same thing before I go to bed on the day I land, just to make sure that the results stay locked in. And honestly? It always looks like I’ve just had a facial, not just stepped off a plane! And it’s all thanks to the incredible ingredients this serum is packed with.

What makes Vichy LifeActiv Vitamin C Serum so good

It's the vitamin C, mainly, but also a lot. more. “I absolutely love this serum, and I’ve tested it out both on myself and with clients,” says Deveny, adding, “Vitamin C is the star ingredient here, as it is an antioxidant known to help brighten skin and reduce the appearance of skin aging. It works immediately, and your skin looks brighter and healthier.” With this serum specifically, all the vitamin C is under the moisture barrier of the heavy cream I put on top, sealing it in place. This product also contains a very high percentage of vitamin C, according to Deveny: It clocks the amount in at 10 percent, and Deveny adds that the maximum amount of vitamin C you can add to products is 15 percent. This means that the product really packs this superhouse ingredient in, which adds to its efficacy.

Other star ingredients in this serum include hyaluronic acid and vitamin E, both of which are known for their anti-aging and moisturizing benefits. Hyaluronic acid, according to Deveny, is great for moisturizing, while vitamin E is super anti-inflammatory. “Vitamin E specifically supports natural cell repair and reproduction, helping defend against environmental damage—like planes!” she adds.

According to the brand, this product visibility increases skin brightness in only 10 days, but for me, it’s more of a preventative measure that I use to make sure I keep my glow on planes. Whichever way you choose to use it, though, trust me when I say it’s a total miracle worker, and will make sure you stay refreshed and bright, no matter where in the world your travels may take you.

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Our editors independently select these products. Making a purchase through our links may earn Well+Good a commission.

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