Normally when I fly in the United States it only takes a couple hours to reach the destination so I never understood the consequence of not having a flight routine. On shorter flights, I got away with drinking coffee, not sleeping, and pretty much dehydrating my body as much as possible. I found out the hard way on my trip to Ireland that 13 hours of recycled air and lack of sleep are exceptional assets to dulling skin.
As a result, one year later I made sure to learn from my mistakes and take care of my skin to-and-from Australia. An unexpected challenge came my way when hormonal acne started to appear six months ago. As a preventative action, I did extra research on ways to reduce further inflammation and scarring on my face.
It’s never a good feeling to leave a flight with irritated skin.
Below you’ll find my successful personal routine that anyone can alter to fit their skin needs.
Products used in carry-on
No. 7 makeup remover wipes
Eminence Moisturizing Lotion
MAC’s Prep + Prime Mist
Miss Spa paper facemask
Patchology undereye gels
After taking my seat I immediately remove all makeup with makeup remover and cleansing clothes. Once my face is clean I follow with a generous application of moisturizer.
First hour of flight
In my carry-on, I stash two giant bottles of water and my skincare supplies. Within the first hour, I’m making sure to drink water constantly. Typically, I shoot to use the restroom every 2 hours or less.
5 hours into the flight
My face started to feel dry about five hours after my initial moisturizing. So I sprayed my face lightly with my MAC spray and then moisturized again with Eminence. I made sure to work the lotion into my skin and give my face a relaxing massage.
I always look forward to this part of the flight. I love using my fuzzy cat sleeping mask and fluorescent orange earbuds, but I thoroughly enjoy using a paper face mask while sleeping. I looked like a scary gremlin, but it was totally worth it.
Carefully, I apply the moisturizing paper facemask and smooth it flat on my face. I then place the sleep mask over the serum soaking into my face. Once the mask drys I take it off and massage the rest of the serum into my face and neck. This is a great way for me to get ready for sleep because it’s a self-pampering and tranquil session.
Few hours from landing
After sleeping an adequate amount, I wake up and moisturize again. My rule of thumb is that whenever I feel like my skin is flaky or dry, I moisturize.
One hour before arrival
I prep for my about-to-land makeup routine by using eye gel patches. The Patchology brand I use is either for crow’s feet or eye baggies. I personally love using the wider ends closer to my nose to rid of the dark puffy circles under my eyes. Once the gels are set, I remove and pat in the rest of the gel serum. The final step is to apply my priming moisturizer and then start applying makeup.
- Don’t accept drinks that will dehydrate your body. ie. alcohol, coffee, and soda. It is a temptation, especially with a full bar in business class but unfortunately, your skin will hate you for it. Try to stick with hot water, bottled water, and tea.
- Drink one bottle of water every hour (16.9 oz/500 ml). Going to the restroom seems tedious on a plane, but you’ll thank yourself later for being hydrated.
- Use Antibacterial wipes to clean your area and hands. Remember that the air is recycled.
- Bring a sleeping mask and earplugs. Sleep is essential for our bodies to function and stay well. I personally am an advocate for sleep because as my name suggests, I am no different from a normal cat. Just give me a warm spot and I’ll knock out for a catnap.
- Bring food you know you’ll eat in case the flight doesn’t have edibles. It’s good to have a backup plan in case you don’t like your options for a long flight. I brought Paleo bars that were filling and delicious (Lara bars–check ’em out). They were perfect for satisfying tummy grumbles.
I’ve never felt this flawless and on fleek after a flight.
I definitely recommend a skincare routine to anyone seeking a flight refuge plan. The right face masks are worth looking like a gremlin for a little while and the best part is that nobody cares what you are doing in your seat. The flight attendants have seen far weirder things than a 20-minute mask. What have you got to lose when it’s a self-pampering session?
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About the blog
Kenzie is based in Minneapolis, MN and works as a writer, reiki practitioner, and administrative assistant. To connect with her, please use the contact page.