As spring approaches, so too do the skin woes associated with seasonal shifts—all of which are compounded by inevitable spring travel. Whether skin is dehydrated, dull, or just plain irritated, Dr. Philippe Allouche has the fix. As Director of Innovation for Biologique Recherche, the high-tech Parisian skin-care brand whose products and treatments are found at the top spas around the world, Allouche knows secrets to glowing skin, no matter where you go.
1. You travel the globe meeting with clients and searching for new skin-care technologies. Tell me, what happens to skin during a flight?
When traveling, skin becomes dehydrated and dull due to climatic changes, long-haul flights, modifications in diet, additional stresses, etc. Pressurized airline cabins also contain less oxygen, which inhibits water retention and is damaging to skin. I always say you need a strict skincare routine to combat dehydration while on the road. Look for products that reduce sensitivity, and always use a moisturizer in-flight—not just a water-based formula, but one that also contains lipids, which provide elasticity and protect against water loss.
2. What are the smartest things someone can do before, during, and after a flight to help protect skin?
Before: Prevention is key. Two weeks prior to travel, start incorporating serums into your skin-care regimen that are designed to prevent skin reactions.
During: Your in-flight ritual should be based on light exfoliation, powerful hydration, and protection. During long-haul flights, use a mild cleanser designed for sensitive skin. I always carry on Biologique Recherche L'Eauxygenante. It’s a facial spray that’s packed with antioxidants and oxygenating Vitamins A and C, extracted from Orange and Kiwi cells. I spritz this on my skin several times during a flight. I’ll also cover my face with a serum (again, one that’s designed for sensitive skin) to prevent irritation and moisturize the epidermis.
After: Once on the ground, use something that will gently exfoliate, hydrate, and protect. Always pack products that contain a strong concentration of anti-inflammatory active ingredients, plus sun protection. (Try Biologique Recherche’s P50V lotion, a gentler version of our P50 balancing exfoliator.)
3. What’s the biggest skin-care mistake someone can make in-flight?
Flight attendants may offer you a warm towel to wipe your hands and face while airborne. I always tell clients not to use this on the face, since skin adversely reacts to heat, leading to an imbalance. Instead, ask for a cold towel to refresh, or use micellar water—a cult French product that removes makeup and cleanses the skin without having to rinse.
4. Any common misconceptions when it comes to skincare in the U.S.?
Extractions are very big in North America. Aestheticians frequently suggest that clients “clean” their pores before traveling. But flying at 30,000 feet in a dry atmosphere can cause bad reactions if your skin is recently extracted. Not to mention if you’re headed to a hot and humid climate, your skin may have trouble healing, which could worsen things. If extractions are vital to your routine, my advice is to schedule a treatment at least one month before traveling.
5. Your top five Biologique packing essentials?
Lait VIP O2: An anti-pollution facial cleanser that eliminates impurities, calms the epidermis, and unifies the complexion. It’s ideal for those headed to dry climates, or places with lots of pollution—and especially for frequent travelers with stressed, devitalized skin.
Lotion P50W: A gentle exfoliating lotion that helps to brighten, purify, tone, hydrate, and maintain the acid pH of the epidermis.
L’eauxygenante: A moisturizing, antioxidant, and oxygenating mist that stimulates the epidermis and envelops it in a protective veil.
Crème VIP 02: The ultimate hydrating cream, which contains an oxygenating complex to protect skin against pollution.
BioKiss: A soothing lip balm that moisturizes, revitalizes, and protects the lips from climatic aggressions.
6. What’s your No. 1 skincare secret?
What’s up next for Biologique Recherche? The brand is launching an exclusive new men’s facial at the Peninsula Spa, in New York City, starting in April 2015. The treatment will address male-specific needs, such as hydration, irritation from shaving, and anti-aging. (60 minutes; $240.)