Chapter 16: Travel Skin Care Routine

Beauty Book

Have you started planning for the summer holidays? I know it’s still three months away but summer happens to be my favorite season, and I’m already dreaming of beach holiday destinations! Excitement aside, traveling can take a toll on your skin, especially if you’ll be going on long-haul flights. Cabin air is the skin’s worst enemy! To tackle that, here’s a guide on how to take care of your skin while you’re thousands of feet up in the air:


Curating your travel skin care routine is simple, but before you start packing your products, it’s vital to prep your skin for the flight. Cabin air leaves skin feeling extremely parched, so unless your flight is shorter than two hours, I would avoid wearing makeup. For those who are going to get on a 12+ hour flight, save the makeup and instead focus on prepping your skin. Moisturizing is key here – you want to make sure your skin is super hydrated before boarding the plane.


Although tempting, it’s not necessary to bring your entire skin care collection while traveling; just bring the essentials. Choosing what products to pack in your carry-on luggage can be tricky as most airports restrict the amount of liquids you can bring, so make sure to check the rules.

You wouldn’t want any of your items to get confiscated at security! Opt for travel-sized skin care products if they’re available. Otherwise, you can always get little containers to store your favorite products.


Step 1: Cleansing wipes

I wear foundation daily but never when flying, because wearing a full face of makeup in the air dries my skin out. I always stick to just eyebrow and lip makeup, and I bring a pack of makeup wipes on board to cleanse my face.

Always start with clean skin before applying products on the plane. If you can’t bring your cleanser or micellar water, substitute it with cleansing wipes. They help remove all traces of makeup and dirt, plus they’re light enough to pack in your carry-on bag!

What to pack:

Step 2: Toner/Mist

Whether I’m at my work desk or on a plane, I always have a hydrating mist handy. It’s important to keep skin hydrated when flying so always pack a hydrating toner or mist. Spritzing your face with a fine mist helps remove tightness and dryness throughout your flight. It’s also a great mid-flight refresher!

What to pack:

Step 3: Sheet Mask

You might not be able to bring your entire tub of face mask, but you can always make room for a sheet mask. Just like the cleansing wipes, they’re light enough to fit in your carry-on. Sheet masks are perfect for giving you a much-needed surge of hydration, especially during a long-haul flight.

If you’re on a long international flight, try applying a sheet mask a few hours before landing – you’ll step out with hydrated, glowing skin as if you were never on a plane to begin with!

What to pack:

Step 4: Serum

A serum is a must-have when traveling so be sure not to skimp on it! My go-to serum is, hands down, one that contains hyaluronic acid. This potent ingredient is a powerful humectant that attracts and retains moisture, leaving your skin plump, dewy, smooth and, of course, hydrated. The Plant Base’s Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100 is not only great for long-haul flights, but also perfect for your daily morning and night routines.

What to pack:

Step 5: Moisturizer

Pack a heavy-duty moisturizer to lock all that moisture in. If you’re looking for something that isn’t too heavy but still keeps your skin hydrated, go for a lightweight gel-based moisturizer like Dr. Jart+’s Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel. This Dr Jart+ gel cream contains a blend of Aqua Minerals that help maintain balanced moisture levels while improving water absorption. It’s also an ideal moisturizer for summer vacation as it instantly cools and soothes the skin, leaving it fresh and energized.

What to pack:

Step 6: Sunscreen

You may not be outdoors but it doesn’t mean you can hide from the sun’s UV rays, especially if you plan to book a window seat. When in the air, you’ll be a lot closer to the sun so it’s best to protect your skin with some SPF. If you’re taking a red-eye flight, you don’t have to worry about applying sunscreen until the next morning.

What to pack:

Step 7: Lip Balm

The one thing I can’t leave my apartment without is lip balm. Naturally, it’s the first thing I pack in my carry-on. The dry air in the cabin dries your lips out, just like the rest of your skin, so you need a lip balm that keeps your lips nourished and moisturized throughout your flight. For extremely dry and chapped lips, top it off with a lip sleeping mask like KLAVUU’s Nourishing Care Lip Sleeping Pack. It’s packed with nourishing oils, including avocado, apricot and sweet almond oils, that help prevent lips from drying while smoothing out dead skin cells.

What to pack:


After packing your travel skin care essentials, you’re ready for takeoff! For maximum relaxation, treat yourself to a Heating Eye Mask from Etude House; this gentle mask warms up and soothes tired eyes, ensuring a good night’s sleep even on a plane.

My final tip to staying hydrated is simple – drink your H2O! I once made the mistake of asking the flight attendant for way too many wine bottles instead of water, and I ended up with not only dehydrated skin but also a dry throat and a massive headache. Apparently, drinking alcohol on a flight makes you dehydrated way faster than you would on land. So drink up on water and bon voyage!

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