The Best Airplane Skin Care Routine For Every Flight Length

By December 20, 2018

A frequent flier shares the skin care products he recommends using in-flight for short jaunts, trips around the world, and everything in between.

There are few things I love more than traveling. I even love the aspects most people hate, like going through security, people watching while I wait at the gate, and nibbling on the not-so-fresh airplane meals. But there is one part of traveling I can’t stand, and that’s what it does to my skin.

Whether it’s dark circles from taking a red eye or breakouts from sitting in dry, re-circulated air for hours, it can be hard to keep your face fresh when you’re up in the air. Thankfully throughout the course of my travels I’ve developed a handful of strategies to keep these issues at bay.

Whether you’re taking a short flight for a business trip or a long-haul for a holiday getaway, read on below for the products I recommend packing to keep your skin hydrated and healthy from takeoff to touchdown. 

If your flight is two hours: 

Even just a couple of hours in dry airplane air can dehydrate your skin. So while you may not need to go through an entire routine, a good mist can really come in handy. They are super easy to apply and usually come in TSA-friendly sizes. I like to mist three to four times throughout the flight.

The Goodal Moisture Barrier Rich Mist has a milky texture that blankets skin in hydration, yet won’t ruin your makeup. 

If your flight is six hours:

When you’re on a flight this long, it’s easy for impurities and pollutants to start to build up your skin. In addition to a face mist, I love to bring cleansing wipes on the plane to keep my skin clean.

It’s crucial to use wipes that won’t dry out skin and that’s why I love the Leaders Labotica Argan Oil Deep Cleansing Tissue. They’re formulated with argan oil, so while they provide a deep clean they also nourish and hydrate the skin. Plus, they contain citric acid which refreshes and clarifies the skin, and feels seriously good. Once my face is clean, I follow up with my trusty mist and let the hydration sink in.

If your flight is 12 hours:

After cleansing and misting, break out a sheet mask. No product gives skin an instant hydration boost quite like a sheet mask.

The key to sheet masking on a plane is to: A. Not care what your seat neighbor thinks and B. Choose a mask that’s not heavily soaked in essence so it won’t drip all over your tray table. I like to use hydrogel masks because they’re super nourishing but aren’t messy.

A great pick is the Manefit Bling Bling Hydrogel Mask in Energizing Rose. It clings to the skin and contains glycerin to hydrate, rose extract to sooth and revitalize, and grapefruit extract to brighten and clarify.

Once I take the mask off, I like to apply a layer of my favorite moisturizer to seal everything in.

If your flight is 16 hours: 

For a sixteen-hour flight, your skin is going to be in need of some major love. But, surprisingly, a flight this long is actually one of the easiest to manage. Why? Because you sleep and there are so many amazing K-beauty products that work wonders overnight. 

I like to begin my routine with the same wipes and mist mentioned above to cleanse and balance my skin. Then, I make the most of my hours in the air by applying a sleeping mask. This way, my skin can be coated in a deeply moisturizing layer of protection for the vast majority of the flight. My go-to is the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask. Formulated with vitamin E for antioxidants, niacinamide to brighten, ceramides to strengthen, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate, it leaves my skin looking dewy and fresh even after the longest of long-hauls.

If you have extra room in your carry-on:

Two other products to consider bringing on the plane are eye cream and SPF. Eye cream is great for travel because the majority of containers are small enough to pop into your carry-on. Since the eye area is one of the most susceptible areas on your face to dryness, it can make a good addition to any of the above routines. Additionally, if you’re going to be sitting in a window seat, bring sunscreen! You’re exposed to stronger UV rays in the air than on the ground and airplane windows don’t block it out. 

The Bottom Line

Dry, tired skin is one of the most annoying parts of traveling, but it doesn’t have to be. With just a few steps, you can keep your skin healthy and hydrated on any flight – no matter the length. Just give the products above a try, or you can even decant your favorite steps from your routine into smaller containers and carry them on board. Whichever you choose, here’s to smooth travels and healthy, glowing skin!

+What products do YOU use on the plane? Share your in-flight routine below!

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