Flying long haul can leave your skin looking and feeling seriously dehydrated. On a flight the air lacks moisture, leaving your skin feeling dry, tight, and uncomfortable, and it often takes a few days to get back to normal. In order to really feel your best after flying long haul, spend some time on yourself during the flight – drink plenty of water, take care of your skin and replace the moisture lost during your journey. Here are your long haul flight essentials to keep you looking fresh when you step off the plane.
Since I started putting a bit more time into looking after my skin during a flight, I find that I feel a lot better when I land. You have so much time to kill on a long-haul flight so why not spend some of it pampering yourself? I now have a trusty kit of all of my favourite skincare bits that keep me looking fresh, even when I’m not feeling it after a 24-hour journey!
Clinique All About Moisture Kit (£39)
I picked up this kit in the London Gatwick duty-free last month and it’s my latest obsession! The box includes the cult favourite Moisture Surge daily moisturiser (75ml), the All About Eyes de-puffing eye serum (15ml) and a Moisture Surge cooling face spray (30ml). The moisturiser can also be used as a 5-minute mask if your flight is particularly long, and is great for the journey home when your skin is particularly thirsty after some time in the sun.
I’ve used Moisture Surge on and off for years and find it’s great when my skin is particularly dehydrated. It’s not the most affordable moisturiser so there is a cheaper alternative below if your budget doesn’t run to this. I don’t use this cream every day and I just leave it in my flight bag now so I have it when my skin really needs it.
You’ll probably find this in your next duty-free visit and it’s also available online on World Duty Free and FragranceDirect. The best prices are the duty free and Fragrance Direct ones. I found a cheaper, travel-sized version on Amazon too that’s only £17.
Simple Kind to Skin Facial Wash Moisturising 50ml £1.69 / €2.49
The first thing I do when the seat belt sign goes off is head straight to the bathroom and wash my face. I never use face wipes to remove my make up or clean my face – I know they’re convenient but they’re not very good for your skin. Read this article and this one if you need convincing and ditch the wipes for good!
My everyday cleansing wash is the Nip & Fab Glycolic cleanser (my skin has improved so much since using this!), but since there isn’t a travel sized version I either decant it into a travel-sized container, or bring this 50ml Simple Moisturising wash on board instead.
Most good brands offer travel-sized cleansing washes, and Boots is a great place to pick them up – try to find moisturising, creamy cleansing washes if you can!
Palmers Cocoa Butter Night Cream (£12 / €13.50 for 75ml)
I know we’ve all heard of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter body cream, but did you know they have the most delicious face lotions too? I originally discovered the range in Australia but if you’re based elsewhere you can buy them online from FeelUnique, Chemist Warehouse or Amazon.
Their night cream is the most intensive moisturiser I’ve ever used and I bring it on every flight and lather it on before I go to sleep! It’s thicker than the moisture surge so I tend to apply it a few hours into the flight on top of Moisture Surge in a thick layer. Then wash my face and reapply a few times during the flight depending on how dry my skin is.
The day cream is also really hydrating so I use this the morning after my flight, when my skin is still a little parched (also it has SPF15).
The day & night creams are 75ml and the cleanser is 150ml but there is a travel kit available with 30ml sizes of each. You can always decant the creams from the larger sizes into smaller pots to fit more into your liquids bag!
The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% £4.30 / €5.30 for 30ml
This exfoliating acid by The Ordinary improves the texture and look of my skin without leaving it looking red like some of the harsher Ordinary acids can do. I tend to use this once a week, and always use it when I fly. I tend to put it on once during the flight, after I wash my face for the first time.
The Ordinary have a selection of acids of different types and strengths which you can choose from depending on your skin type. I highly recommend them, and since they start at just a fiver they’re very budget friendly. Check out this page to read more about the different acids you can choose.
L’Occitane En Provence Whipped Hand Cream 30ml £8 /€9 & Carex Lip Balm £2.69 / €3
It’s not just your face that gets dry when you travel, the rest of your body suffers too. A good lip balm and hand cream are essential for your flight bag to make sure your hands and lips stay smooth during the flight.
These two brands are pretty easy to pick up online or in local shops, or find travel sized versions of your favourite moisturising lip balm or hand cream.
Spotlight £40 / €39 from Boots & Crest Teeth Whitening Strips £24 / €28 from Amazon
I usually bring a couple of whitening strips in my flight bag to use during my journey. It’s a great time to do those little beauty treatments that take a bit more time. These strips need to stay on for between 30 and 60 minutes so they’re perfect to pop on when you’re watching a movie, or between meals. They also stop you snacking as you can’t eat with them in (very handy if you’re a boredom snacker like me!).
Crest 3D Teeth Whitening strips are my absolute favourite strips, but they’re hard to find so I’ve started buying Spotlight strips when I’m home. I’ve found the Crest ones to be more convenient as you don’t need to leave them on for as long, but the Spotlight ones work well too.
Sheet Mask and Eye Mask from £1.99 / $2.25
Sheet masks and eye masks are like magic for your skin when you’re flying long haul – but other passengers might do a double take when they pass your seat! The Garnier Moisture Bomb sheet mask is my favourite, and I always bring one of these if I can buy it locally. Sheet masks take down puffiness on your face and leaves your skin looking dewy and fresh instead of parched. I tend to use these in the last hour or two of the flight, because the results are immediate.
I started using eye masks on flights recently and I find that it really takes down any under eye bags and leaves me looking a lot less tired. There are quite a few options out there for eye masks, but I usually pick up any that I can find in the airport.
Nip & Fab, Soap & Glory, and Yes to Cucumbers do some really good masks that are reasonably priced. If you’re in Asia you will find great face and eye masks in the airport or local beauty stores. I tend to go for Korean brands as they do great skincare.
Those are my favourite bits that I bring on my flights! Flying long haul can be really taxing on your body so it’s important to take the time to look after yourself and make sure you step off the plane feeling as good as possible.
While you’re here check out my tips on how to avoid jetlag when flying long haul!
Thanks for reading,