Skin Care at 30,000 Feet

When you're airborne for an extended period of time, your skin has to deal with all kinds of unfamiliar stressors. You'll want to adjust your skin-care routine to look and feel your best when you land. So, before you make your in-flight playlist, take notes on the skin-saving tips that will help you before, during, and after your journey.

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Flying pretty much anywhere is extremely fun. However, the combination of the high altitude and air conditioning are damaging to skin—they rapidly deplete moisture, leaving your face dull, tired, and flaky. However, adding a few steps to your flying routine will prep your skin for a smooth landing.

Add these travel must-haves to your carry-on, and enjoy your trip!

Before the Flight

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Start Drinking

Water, that is. This one is pretty simple. It's recommended that you drink four glasses (or one liter) of water before boarding. Health website Greatist suggests sipping eight ounces for every hour on the plane, and to eat water-rich fruits for an extra hydrating boost.

Staying hydrated from the inside will help keep your skin moisturized throughout the trip.

Skip the Makeup

Because of the aforementioned dryness, makeup can crack mid-flight, which means it will either look bad for a lot of the time you're in the air or you'll have to keep reapplying it. Before boarding, remove any traces of makeup with a remover wipe or just show up to the gates without it.

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Dissolve the Drama Longwear Makeup Remover Wipes by The Estée Edit, $15,
Micellar Water Makeup Remover Wipes, $14,
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Take a Little Extra Care of Your Skin

You should keep up with your regular skin-care routine, but also add another layer of moisturizer before you leave the house. If you're on a daytime flight, make sure to wear your sunscreen, just in case! 


Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer by Dr. Jart+, $36,
Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost, $32,

During the Flight

For Extreme Dryness, Pack a Mask

A hydrating mask might potentially frighten fellow passengers, but it will do serious wonders for your skin. If you're brave, sit back and relax with a sheet mask (they are travel safe), but any formula will suffice. (With sheets, you can also just rub in the product and then toss the sheet if you don't want to wear it.)

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Moisturizing Moon Mask, $22,
Hydrating Face Mask by Nügg, $4,
Travelmate Sheet Mask by When, $7,

Spray, Spray, Spray 

Every half-hour, spritz your face with an essence or mist that has moisturizing ingredients such as aloe, rose, and essential oils. Although you will be applying moisturizer before and during the flight, the altitude and air conditioning will make the under layers of skin soak in as much moisture as possible, potentially leaving the outer layer dry and patchy. Regular spritzing will keep skin refreshed without the need to rub on additional layers of lotion. 

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Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48,
Rose Moisture Plus Rosewater Balancing Mist by Jurlique, $24,
Grape Water, $13,

Apply the Bases

30 minutes before landing, take some time to freshen up your face. Add a layer of sunscreen (you're going somewhere warm and sunny, right?) and put on your concealer and foundation. By this time your face will be prepped for immaculate makeup application, so take advantage of that!

After Landing


Despite your valiant efforts to keep skin healthy and happy while in the air, your face will still need to go through a recovery period once you've landed. After washing off your makeup at the hotel, apply a restorative mask that hydrates, brightens, and balances the tone of your skin. Then follow up with a cooling, vitamin-rich night cream. 

Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing Face Mask by Shiseido, $63,
Turnaround Overnight Revitalizing Moisturizer, $40,
Seaweed Night Cream, $22,
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