With pressurized cabins and recycled air, flying is notoriously bad for our skin. Low humidity on board is a particular issue, as this lack of moisture can make dry skin even dryer, while oilier skin types may overcompensate by producing excess sebum leading in turn to blocked pores and breakouts. Once you factor in the dehydrating effects of that in-flight gin and tonic, you could be left with dull, sensitive skin that feels far from vacation-ready.
Fortunately, with a little preparation and a cleverly-packed carry-on, these air-travel essentials can help you to look great when you land.
Aesop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream
A rich moisturizer is vital when it comes to counteracting dry cabin air. Not only is this luxurious cream intensely hydrating, it also contains ingredients such as ginger root and copper salts to protect against harmful irritants in the environment.
Available at www.aesop.com, $60
Caudalie Beauty Elixir
Providing much more than a simple spritz of moisture, Caudalie's Beauty Elixir promises to boost radiance and tone the skin while also reducing the appearance of pores. It can also be used to set makeup.
Available at www.sephora.com, $18
Charlotte Tilbury Revolutionary Instant Facial Dry Sheet Mask
Applying a sheet mask is as close as it gets to an in-flight facial, as long as you don't mind looking silly for 15 minutes. This one by Charlotte Tilbury is ‘dry', so it won't drip or leave a sticky residue on your face. The mask can be used three times, making it perfect for a two-week vacation.
Available at www.charlottetilbury.com, $22
Simple Micellar Make-Up Remover Wipes
It's always best to avoid wearing make-up when travelling, particularly if you're on a long-haul flight. Remove any traces of it with these easy-to-pack micellar cleansing wipes. Soap-free and extremely gentle, they won't dry your skin.
Available at www.ulta.com, $7.99
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick
Elizabeth Arden's legendary Eight Hour Cream has long been a favorite among jetsetting beauty editors for its hydrating and soothing qualities. In this handy – and hygienic – lipstick form it will protect delicate lips from drying and chapping.
Available at www.elizabetharden.com, $22
As unpleasant as it is to think about, airplanes are covered in bacteria and grime that can cause sickness, as well as skin breakouts. To keep germs at bay, use a hand sanitizer regularly, particularly before eating or touching your face. This one by Jao is less drying.
Available at www.jaobrand.com, $10
100% Pure Bright Eyes Mask
Like the sheet mask, this one might attract some stares from fellow passengers, but you'll have the last laugh when you alight from the plane looking like you've had a great night's sleep. The cooling, jelly-like material moisturizes and de-puffs the eye area to reduce the jet-lagged look.
Available at 100percentpure.com, $7