Your Skincare Guide for Long-Haul Flights

© Gabe Morales / Pexels
© Gabe Morales / Pexels
Photo of Esme Benjamin
Wellness Editor21 December 2017

You board peppy and rested, beaming at the prospect of the vacation ahead, and alight many hours later with skin that’s pallid and parched. That’s all thanks to the humidity level on flights, which hovers at 20% as opposed to the 40-70% we’re used to, but with an on-board skincare regimen locked down, you’ll still arrive at your destination with the dewy, travel selfie-ready complexion you hoped for.

Step 1: Pre-flight prep

Ever noticed how your skin gets ashy and scaly on flights? Patches of dryness get so much drier at 30,000 feet, so a thorough exfoliation before you take to the air is a good place to start.

Try dry-skin brushing—an Ayurvedic technique that stimulates blood flow as it removes dead cells. Work from the feet towards the heart to mimic your natural circulation, then hop in the shower and follow up with a hydrating scrub, like Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish from Herbivore.

Post-shower it’s time for, you guessed it, more moisture. Slather on The Honest Co.’s Face & Body Lotion, which uses olive, shea, jojoba and safflower oils to leave skin soft without being greasy.

© Gabriel Brandt / Unsplash

Step 2: Just before boarding

While you’re waiting at the gate, pull out a tube of Origins’ Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask and apply liberally to your face, paying extra attention to your T-zone. This rich formula is made with avocado and apricot kernel oil to replenish dewiness, and Japanese seaweed to help repair your skin’s natural barrier, preventing further moisture loss.

And make sure you buy a big bottle of water or two. Staying hydrated is essential if you want to arrive fresh (not to mention avoid jet lag), and you don’t want to have to rely on occasional cabin crew refreshments for water top-ups.

Step 3: In the air

It won’t be long before that overnight mask gets soaked up by your parched pores. Reapply whenever needed and add a couple of pumps of Jojoba oil for an extra moisture boost, plus a hit of vitamins E and B.

If you have space in your carry-on, bring a jade roller—a dermatological tool used in Asia— to increase circulation and lymph drainage. Roll it in long strokes from the midline of the face to the hairline, working tender areas to loosen muscles and bring blood to the surface of the skin—giving you a naturally glowy appearance. P.S. it can also double as massage tool for achy shoulders and legs.

Step 4: Before landing

An hour before landing, rip open a sheet mask packet, smooth it over your face, and ignore the slightly startled looks from fellow passengers. Keep it on until the fabric is virtually dry, then, after discarding the sheet, scoop out any excess silky formula from the packet and massage it into your skin. Apply some soothing Lucas’ Pawpaw Ointment to your lips and you’ll be ready to disembark looking unfeasibly flawless.

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