Even though traveling long-distances is great and we would do it every day, flights may be the one and only natural enemy of happy skin. More than stress, even more than junk food, 12 hours under cabin pressure, recycled air and a lack of oxygen inside the plane can cause a lot of damage to the skin, drying it to the point when redness and breakouts seem unavoidable. In fact, the face may even feel tight, leaving us with a slight sense of pain that – luckily – an excellent hydrating cream can soothe.
However, there are ways to keep the damage at bay and be free to enjoy your flight.
Keep a cleansing wipe at hand before the plane: yes, it’s an emergency situation, so we are allowed to use them. You can opt for the refreshing cleansing sheet by Shiseido or the So Nurturing Cleansing Cloth by Olehenriksen, which are perfect for sensitive skin. However, it would be best to get on the plane bare-faced, so you can be makeup-free and ready for pampering your skin throughout the flight.
Here are our 5 must-haves to improve your In-flight skincare routine and that should be always kept at hand during a long journey, to protect our skin and step off the plane like we’re just out of a facial.
A moisturizing balm can save you in a variety of SOS situations: from chapped lips to dull, dry skin, a boost of hydration is the key to protect your skin from drying out during a long flight without fresh air.
Another thing that could make your skin feel considerably softer and sooth during a journey can be a super-rich hand cream, that can be applied to the thirstiest and dry spots – like hands, the side of the nose and elbows – especially when the skin starts to feel tight, which can 100% quickly become a serious bother during a long flight.
We love the refreshing hydration and voluptuous fragrances of the balms by L’Occitane (the Shea butter hand cream is a favorite of ours) which we use on our hands and dryest parts of the skin, and the LanoLips balms, with their rich, fruity smell and fondant texture: we use them on the skin, lips, and cuticles, so we’re always fully protected from the merciless jet air.
For total comfort, the refreshing and moisturizing stick of Darphin, HydraSkin, it’s a real hydration bomb thanks to the hyaluronic acid and vegetable substances rich in hydration such as ice algae and pomegranate.
The stick is a comfortable substitute for the moisturizer during a flight, but the regenerating and moisturizing effect is the same, especially during summer!
Ten minutes of pure hydration injections are the answer of every beauty enthusiast to the long hours on a plane: plus, there’s nothing more refreshing than masking on-flight like you’re in a Hollywood movie. It’s not always possible, especially during quick or low-cost flights – though it admittedly looks cool –, taking the time for a quick sheet mask through your journey is actually an excellent way to re-balance the moisture in your skin and make it more radiant and plump. Since the pressurized cabin air is bad enough for you face, don’t go for excessively drying masks only based on clay, but prefer something that can nourish and cuddle the skin with juices and water.
When we travel, our team loves a soothing and hydrating mask (Dr. Jart’s + are a fave) but, if you don’t like looking like the love child of the Phantom of the Opera and Edward Norton in “Kingdom of Heaven” in public, there are options: Origin’s Apricot Overnight mask Drink Up Intensive, for example, or Bobbi Brown’s Skin Nourish face masks are the perfect low-key solutions to hydrate without attracting too much attention.
For an immediately Insta-Approved look, the Summer Fridays Jet Lag mask has been extra popular on social media and is a source of intense nourishment for the skin, thanks to ceramide, vitamins and antioxidants. Boscia, too, offers a more discreet but equally amazing alternative to the sheet mask: a cactus peel-off mask formulated with botanical ingredients, such as the Queen of the Night cactus and the Fern Fern extract, which refreshes and brightens dull skin.
Ideal for an in-flight energy boost.
If you like dry masks and don’t really mind scaring off your fellow travelers, Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Masks are perfect for immediate radiance and a sense of plumpness in just 15 minutes. Bonus: it doesn’t drip, and you can re-use it.
Another life-saver during a flight is a mist that can bring back to radiance unhappy skin, dry hair, and body.
All you have to do is make sure that the formula has essential oils with calming properties, an excellent hydrating level and a soothing element – like Aloe Vera, for example – so that it can really help replenish the skin, and you’re all good to spray away, keeping the perils of dryness and wrinkles away from your skin.
Among our favorites, we can include the hydrating bomb Hydro Boost by Neutrogena, the Herbivore mist All Natural Rose Hibiscus, which is fully natural and with a delicious fragrance, enriched with moisturizing coconut water, or the energizing power of the refreshing face mist Cactus Flower & Tibetan Ginseng by Kiehl’s. Its formula has a cooling effect and is enriched with Cactus Flower, known for its ability to keep the skin hydrated, and Tibetan Ginseng Root, to increase cellular breathing, as well as Lavender and Rosemary oils to protect the skin.
From Alpine + Sea Jet Lag Hydration Skin Water, enriched with soothing elements to calm and hydrate the skin, to the Caudalie’s Grape Water (with grape water that calms redness and refreshes), these water mists are perfect for spraying some life into your face mid-flight.
SOS Eye Masks
The many hours in the cabin can cause puffy eyes, while stress and difficulty to sleep can promote deeper dark circles than usual: the artificial environment can even cause sensible eyes to feel a bit teary and red, so it’s always good to give your eyes some extra-love during a long flight.
For puffy eyes, use a sticker with cooling and refreshing ingredients: for example, we love the Physicians Formula’s Refreshmint Cucumber & Bamboo Eye De-Puffer, a fast-absorbing treatment with peppermint and Glacial Mineral Water to refresh the skin and Aloe Vera to nourish, or the Tony Moly’s Panda’s Dreams eye stick, which helps to smooth fine lines while hydrating.
There are also under-eye masks, light to pack up and easy to get rid of after using them. They are extra-powerful and really give your under-eye area a shot of vitamins and hydration: there are solutions for every need and skin type, like the Korean Oh K! Ginseng & Eucalyptus Under Eye mask, perfect for reducing puffy eyes and looking instantly refreshed and more awake.
For a classy-looking routine, but that will immediately revive the eye thanks to the new full-round shape, we also love the Advanced Génifique Yeux Light Pearl by Lancôme: an elegant eye mask that wraps the eye contour and moisturizes deeply, making the skin radiant and plump.
Characterized by an innovative formula, the hydrogel melting texture guarantees a rapid absorption of the formula, awakening the eye in just 20 minutes. Thus, this product is also ideal for shorter trips, discreet, and with guaranteed results.
Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Flight hair is not our goal in terms of hairstyles, but there’s always a solution at hand. After your flight, keep close a travel-size volumizing dry shampoo so that you can spray it right into your hair, that would probably fall kind of flat after a nap on the plane and many hours with your head pressed against the seat. Another trick is to keep your hair braided and using (if possible) a silk cover for your flight pillow, which would prevent the ends from breaking and splitting.
Also, you can keep your hair nourished and happy by spraying a bit of refreshing mist or applying a veil of hydrating gel moisturizer on the ends to keep them from dehydration.
So, if your flight time hasn’t been kind to your hair volume, try IGK Hair Direct Flight Multi-Tasking Dry Shampoo right after you’ve landed: it leaves the hair non-greasy and absorbs everything, with an immediate feeling of volume and vitality.
Another must-have of our team is the Klorane dry shampoo with oat, which gives consistency to the hair while keeping the texture bouncy and light, without leaving residue: perfect for dyed hair as well, this product is a real life-saver, while the version enriched with nettle is also ideal for greasy hair that tends to get oily.
If you want to add volume and hydration at the same time, as an alternative to dry shampoo, it is also possible to use a texturizing spray based on sea salt: for example the Sea Mist by Herbivore, where the saline formula is softened with lavender extract and aloe vera, is ideal for giving texture and volume to dull hair. Pro tip: it’s also perfect for the body, to add a touch of hydration and fragrance.