11 In-Flight Travel Skin Care Tips for Globetrotters

In-Flight Travel Skin Care Tips and Airport Makeup Hacks for Globetrotters

I’m lucky to have friends all over the world, so I have a lot of opportunities to travel. The trips themselves, the opportunities to see new places and old friends are completely worth it. However, when it comes to travelling by airplane, it can be quite stressful both on you and your skin. I know it is for me. Whether it’s the hassle of standing in line and dealing with passport control, or just the hours sitting in a very dry airplane, flying definitely takes its toll on your skin. Here are my in-flight travel skin care tips and airplane makeup hacks to minimize the toll flying takes on the skin.

In-Flight Travel Skin Care Tips and Airport Makeup Hacks for Globetrotters

#1. Prep Your Skin with Layering

Since the air inside the airplane is so dry, you want to load your skin with as much moisture as possible. The secret to super-charging your skin with water is to layer a humectant serum (something rich in glycerin and hyaluronic acid, like the awesome when hope is not enough serum from Philosophy), and then to lock in all that moisture and goodness with a thick, occlusive moisturizer (Kiehls Ultra Facial Cream is certain to do the job).

By layering products, from thinnest to thickest, you push each layer of moisture deeper into your skin and guarantee fresh and plump looking skin even after hours of sitting in a dehydrating cabin.

#2: Consider Non-Makeup Eye Solutions

There is just something about airplanes that destroys makeup. I can’t tell you exactly what it is, but I find that even my best mascara will get flakey, and my best foundation will fade after a 6-hour flight.

If you absolutely must look fresh and done up when you reach your destination, look into getting eyelash extensions or eyebrow microblading done before you leave, instead of mascara or eyebrow fillers that may smudge.

#3: Some Long-Lasting Makeup Is Okay

If eye makeup is a must, there are some in-flight makeup tricks to keep it from smudging. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner is a classic long lasting choice, but if you like a smokier look layer a bit of gray or black eyeshadow over a long lasting pencil eyeliner, like Revlon Colorstay.

By layering the eyeshadow you’ll set the eyeliner, guaranteeing that it’ll last much longer. The same principle applies for eyeshadow and eyebrows: layer your eyeshadow over a primer or cream shadow, and set your brow pomade with brow powder.

For mascara, Maybelline Full ‘N Soft Waterproof mascara is a fan favorite, but be careful since on long flights mascara can be quite drying. By continuously applying eye drops throughout the flight you can mitigate that damage.

#4: Drink Water

With a great serum and moisturizer you can keep your skin hydrated from the outside. However, it’s also important to hydrate from the inside. Remember to refill a water bottle or two once you’re past security, and try to drink continuously throughout the flight.

It’s very easy to become dehydrated while flying, so avoid that tired and irritable feeling by drinking at least 2 liters of water over a 24-hour period. After all, when you feel good you look good.

#5: Sunscreen

The closer you are to the sun, the stronger the radiation of it is. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before your flight, and if you’re a fan of window seats, reapply it throughout the flight as well.

My personal favorite is La Roche Posay Anthelios 60 SPF sunscreen, since it feels good on the skin, and protects from both UVA and UVB rays.

In-Flight Travel Skin Care Tips and Airport Makeup Hacks for Globetrotters

#6: Mist Throughout the Flight

As comprehensive as your pre-flight skincare routine might have been, it’s still good to carry an in-flight hydrating product. A hydrating mist is a great choice, since it’s portable and not very messy.

While I don’t recommend wearing foundation on flights, even if you do wear foundation, the mist won’t disrupt it. Whether you choose simple Evian water, or something more specific like L’Occitane Peony Perfecting Mist, make sure that the bottle you use is under 100ml, or else airport security will take it away from you.

#7: Carry Double-Duty Wet Wipes

Sephora Express Cleansing Wipes are an excellent thing to carry. Gentle and unscented, you can use them both to clean your hands after an on-board snack, as well as to wipe your face. You could use the wipes to clean up any smudged eye makeup, or to wipe your face before misting with your hydrating mist or reapplying sunscreen.

#8: Avoid Foundation

If you absolutely must wear something to even out your skin tone, consider a BB cream or tinted moisturizer instead of foundation. For a good coverage, Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 is the best choice. It has a 35 SPF, and is chock full of hydrating and antioxidant ingredients.

For lighter coverage, Tarte Amazonian Clay BB tinted moisturizer has a 20 SPF, and a light, natural coverage that will keep your skin moisturized.

#9: Easy On the Powder!

This one is tough for me to say, because I’m a powder addict. However, even I had to come to terms with the fact that while in the air, powder will just highlight any inevitable dehydration.

Your best bet is to skip the powder all together, or choose a very light translucent powder like Bobbi Brown Sheer Finish Loose Powder.

If you have oily skin, instead of reapplying powder throughout the flight, use blotting sheets instead! Boscia Green Tea Blotting Linens are made from Abaca tree fiber, so they are super gentle and do an incredible job of mattifying the skin.

#10: Choose a Tinted Lip Balm Over Drying Lipstick

The last thing you want on your lips is a drying long lasting lipstick. Instead, opt for a moisturizing tinted lip balm like Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. It’ll protect your lips from dehydration, keeping them smooth, and soft, and a 15 SPF will protect you from increased UVA/UVB exposure.

Another option is to layer a chapstick with SPF over a lip-stain, like Benefit’s uber popular Benetint.

#11: Make Lists to Avoid Unnecessary Stress

When I pack haphazardly for a flight, or mismanage my time and find myself rushing to the airport praying that the line up for security checks won’t be long, I am guaranteed a few breakouts once I reach my destination. The biggest in-flight skin care tip I can give is this: be organized!

Before you start packing make a list of what should go in your checked luggage, and what should go in your carry on. This way you know you won’t forget lifesavers like your sunscreen and hydrating mist, and the whole packing process will be much more relaxed.

Bon voyage!

Photos courtesy of Vogue, @kristinabazan

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Written by Maya Adivi
Maya is a makeup artist and skincare expert based in Yerevan, Armenia. She eschews buzz words, in favour of giving accurate and science-based advice. A citizen of the world, she was born in Israel, and has also lived in the US, Canada, and, of course, Armenia. Aside from beauty, she is also passionate about literature, beer, politics, and playing the ukulele.