6 Ways To Keep Skin Fresh During Your Next Flight

Last Update: December 21, 2023

Haven’t booked holiday flights yet? Understandable—the prospect of chaotic airports, long security lines, and cramped quarters are enough to make anyone procrastinate.

Plus the pressure of going home to see family and friends after a few months away can be daunting. Boost your confidence—by touching down at home with a picture perfect complexion.

Traveling can seriously dry out and damage skin. Thanks to the recycled air floating around the airplane cabin, the humidity level in a cabin is about twelve percent—lower than some deserts climates. The result of hanging in this environment for a few hours? Serious dehydration from head to toe.

Pre-plane prep

The evening before a flight, spend a few more minutes on your beauty routine. Treat skin with a gentle exfoliating scrub to slough off dead skin that can clog pores and make complexions look dull, and then apply an emollient lotion or facial oil to help hydrate before air travel.

Pack smart

There are two must-have items that every carry-on bag needs: A great face lotion and a hydrating mist. Pick a lotion that’s a little heavier than typical daytime moisturizer—you want something that can basically create a moisturizing barrier against the nasty bacteria that can get on your hands while traveling while also protect your complexion from dry air blowing in your face thanks to that annoying overhead fan.

Periodically spritz your face with your mist of choice; we love Transform Mist by Moss Botanicals because of the wood, roots, and a lemony top note from Elemi, a member of the frankincense family. Make your own hydrating potion by adding a few drops of your favorite essential oil and a few drops of rosehip seed oil to distilled water.

Embrace the “I woke up like this” look

Sure, we all kind of hope we’ll have a meet-cute on a plane, where the handsome stranger sitting beside us turns out to be a humble and hilarious Prince Charming… but more often than not your seat mate is a cranky toddler or a grandmother reading Game Of Thrones for the first time. This is the perfect time to embrace your natural beauty!  Give skin a break by going without makeup, at least while in the air. Not only will it be easier to apply lotion and hydration, but you’re less likely to wake up on the ground with a brand new pimple.

If the thought of going makeup-free freaks you out, at least lighten up your routine. Try a tinted moisturizer instead of heavy foundation, and stick to chapstick instead of lipstick.

Hands off

Next time you pull down that tray table, consider what’s happened there before you arrived. (Spoiler alert: It ain’t pretty.) Germs are pretty much everywhere, even at 35,000 feet, and bacteria on your face can cause serious breakouts. Wipe down that petri dish of microorganisms with all natural essential oil towels, and keep your face clear by keeping your hands off your face as much as possible. Have an itch you’re dying to scratch? Don’t be stingy with the hand sanitizer!

Descend beautifully

Twenty minutes before landing, slather on a skin-revitalizing mask to brighten your complexion. After you wash your mask off (you can even wipe it off with a face towelette if you’re confined to your seat!) apply your normal daily moisturizer. This is the perfect time to refresh makeup, too!

Stay thirsty

Throughout your travels, stay hydrated by drinking water and fluids. Pass on the coffee or cocktails—it’ll dry your skin and make it more difficult to shake jet lag later. Make that glass of water even more hydrating by swallowing a few fish oil or essential fatty acid pills, which will keep skin cells plump and fresh!

By the time you land, you’ll be camera ready for those inevitable family photos mom just can’t wait to snap!

Photo credit: Alicia Cho

This article is related to:

Beauty Hacks, Beauty Tips, Skin, Skin Care

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Michelle Pellizzon

Certified health coach and endorphin enthusiast, Michelle is an expert in healthy living and eating. When she's not writing you can find her running trails, reading about nutrition, and eating lots of guacamole.

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