Heading off to the airport can be stressful as much as exciting. But, no matter what time we’re flying most of us get up, shower and dress ready for a long day of travelling.
But, despite many of us thinking it’s the polite thing to do – one skin specialist says there are downsides to showering the morning of a flight. (Although to do otherwise may earn you the ire of your fellow passengers, it could be better for your skin).
READ MORE: 'I'm a scientist – there's a disgusting reason you should always shower after a flight'
Liberty Mills, @millsliberty, a certified Integrative health and nutrition professional specialising in fertility, Lyme disease, Crohn's disease, nutrition and skin complications – founder of integrativeliberty.co.uk – claims you shouldn’t shower before you fly for a number of reasons. These include the impact on your skin, hair and free time.
She told the Daily Star: "Showering before taking a flight is generally not recommended due to several factors that can affect the comfort and well-being of passengers during the flight. While there is no strict rule against showering before flying, it is important to consider the potential consequences and make an informed decision based on personal circumstances.
"One of the main reasons why showering before a flight is discouraged is the effect it can have on the body's natural oils and moisture balance. Showering with hot water and using soap can strip away the natural oils that help keep the skin moisturised.
"This can lead to dryness and dehydration, which can be exacerbated by the low humidity levels in airplane cabins. The dry air in the cabin can further dehydrate the skin, causing discomfort and potentially leading to issues such as itching or irritation."
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Plus, if you have a skin condition she claims showering before a flight could be even worse. Liberty said: "Furthermore, it is worth noting that some individuals may have specific medical conditions or sensitivities that could be aggravated by showering before a flight.
"For example, people with certain skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis may find that hot water exacerbates their symptoms. In such cases, it may be advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice."
But, it’s not only risking dry skin if you choose a relaxing shower first thing. Liberty added: "Additionally, showering before a flight may cause the hair and scalp to become oily more quickly. The scalp produces natural oils that help keep the hair healthy and moisturised.
"However, excessive washing or hot water can stimulate the production of these oils, leading to greasy hair. This can be particularly bothersome during long flights when access to showers or hair care products may be limited."
So if you want your hair and skin to be in great condition it might be best to skip the shower. Or, opt for a cold one or a sink wash of all your sweatiest areas instead.
But, Liberty says there is a great added benefit for people who skip showers if they have an early flight. She commented: "Another factor to consider is time management. Showering before a flight may add extra time to the pre-flight routine, especially if one needs to wash their hair or apply additional grooming products.
"This can potentially lead to rushing or stress, especially if there are other tasks that need to be completed before heading to the airport. It is important to allow enough time for all necessary preparations without feeling rushed or overwhelmed."
Whether the risk to your skin, hair and sleep is worth potentially annoying fellow flyers with any body odour you might have is up to you. But, you should definitely always shower after flying – as one scientist told Daily Star.
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