When you live in Australia, travelling almost anywhere requires a long-haul flight. Gone are the days when I’d hop on a plane from England and be drinking sangria under the Spanish sun in 3 hours time. Nowadays it’s all about developing a personal attachment to my seat, mastering the art of body contortion and eating an unprecedented number of meals in 24 hours. Whilst my body might arrive feeling worse for wear, I like to ensure my skin feels nourished and radiant thanks to a trusty in-flight skincare routine. Hey, I’ve got time.
For any flight over 7 hours, I’m cranking out a full team of skincare helpers. When it comes to product selection, I have 3 criteria:
- They have to be travel-sized (or easily decanted): Partly due to airport restrictions, mostly because I’m lazy and don’t want to lug a heavy bag around.
- In-seat application and removal: With the exception of a face wash at the start of the flight, I don’t want to be running to the loo to get the job done. Hovering over a sink in a plane bathroom doesn’t quite evoke the tranquillity I’d imagined from an in-flight skincare regime.
- Long-lasting effects: Given the gale-force air conditioning blasting in my direction, I’m not expecting miracles. I do expect to notice a marked improvement in skin texture that only requires reapplication 1-2 times.
Flying provides the perfect opportunity for me to test new products, but whilst I might mix up the products themselves, I try to stick to a specific regimen for my in-flight skincare routine.
In-flight Skincare Routine:
1. Makeup Remover
Once I’ve settled in, it’s time to remove my makeup. In years gone by I used to use makeup wipes, but found the residue accelerated the drying of my skin. These days I use a trusty Face Halo dampened with a bit of water. They’re lightweight, inexpensive, and most importantly can be used in the comfort of your seat. Ten points to Gryffindor.
Facial serums claim to counteract the oxidative stress that recycled air can place on your skin. Don’t understand that either? Great. In simple terms, serums have small molecules that can penetrate deeply, delivering powerful moisturisation to the deeper layers of the skin. Applying a serum as the first step of your in-flight skincare routine provides is a perfect way to lock in moisture early in the flight. A couple of go-tos include the Ole Henriksen Truth Serum and the wonderful Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair.
3. Face Masks
The next step of the in-flight skincare routine is a good ol’ fashioned face mask. The type of face mask I select is influenced by my skin type, the length and time of my flight. If it’s a daytime flight, I find a sheet mask provides all the benefits of nourishment without the lasting residue. Formulations vary between mud to gel, but some firm favourites of mine include the Patchology Milk Peel Flash Masque (claims to work in 5 minutes! But you’ve got longer, so go for it), the Dr Jart Rubber Mask Moist Lover, or for something a bit different and luxurious, the Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask.
During night flights my skin is facing lengthy exposure to air vents, and I’m more likely to be getting a bit of shut eye- so I can afford a thicker mask. Not only are there the obvious benefits of longer moisturisation, but the masks act as a barrier cream against the air hurtling towards you from every angle. As a huge Origins fan, I was delighted to find their coveted Origins Drink Up Intensive Mask in a handy ($5!) single-use package from Mecca, making it the perfect handbag companion. It smells beautiful, is not too thick, and doesn’t have a ridiculous colour (always helpful for not scaring travel companions mid-flight). It absorbs pleasantly into the skin over several hours, or you can simply remove it with a damp cloth if you’ve had enough.
It goes without saying that at some point during this journey, an actual moisturiser might be handy. Once I’ve awoken from my slumber or it’s been a few hours since my sheet mask, I like to freshen up with a moisturiser. I find quick-drying gel formulations work best with my skin, and have really been enjoying the Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream (smells like cucumber, divine!) Another firm favourite is, of course, the wonderful Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief. If my skin is feeling particularly dry or sensitive, I’ll often turn to my trusty Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream for more lasting nourishment and protection.
4. Facial Sprays
I’ve never been particularly swayed by the concept of facial sprays, neither as a makeup rejuvenator nor as a form of skin nourishment. That being said, if you’re on a shorter flight, or would like a bit of temporary relief between moisturising, then I can recommend the Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Chamomile and Lavender. The scent is wonderfully comforting, it mists a nice amount and doesn’t make my skin feel tight. Plus for $17 AUD, I’m not complaining!
5. Under Eye Care
Once absent from my in-flight skincare routine, as I’m travelling more (and approaching 30) I’ve become greatly aware of how my under eyes feel. Mix a 24-hour flight with broken sleep and poor hydration, and my under eyes become a puffy mess. Whilst readying myself for landing, I love to pop on some Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. Not only do they significantly reduce my under eye swelling, but the ‘cool’ sensation under the eyes is both soothing and awakening, leaving me feeling as fresh as possible in time for landing. If you prefer a liquid formulation, the Ole Henriksen Uplifting Transformation Eye Gel is a beautiful gel formulation with a winning cucumber scent.
6. Stay Hydrated!
I must admit, I’m a water drinking novice- but the best place to start if you want hydrated skin is within! My husband drinks gallons of the stuff while we’re up there. Me? I’m working on it…
Perfecting your in-flight skincare routine is essential for looking and feeling your best during your travels. Taking the time to luxuriate whilst binge watching TV? What a pleasure!
What are some of your in-flight must-haves?