Remember that time you got off the plane and felt refreshed and amazing? No? Oh right, because that never happens. Despite romanticized images of Pan Am flight attendants, diplomatic red carpets, and general jet-set sexiness, the reality of flying is far less glamorous. In fact, it makes you look and feel downright disgusting.
To find out why you look and feel like crap after flying, we asked a doctor about the nature of a number of airplane maladies and what preventative measures you can take to be less of a hot mess.*
*Doctor’s note: Dr. Saunders explains these issues aren’t studied all that well. Researchers apparently have more important things to do/spend funding on (cancer? Ebola?) than why you look like a 3/10 after a flight. Therefore, the evidence base is notably meager, meaning explanations are speculative. This doesn’t mean they’re wrong, but it’s mostly hypothetical.