My skin has always been an issue for me. In fact, I’m still dealing with bad skin in my 30s. In the last few years, I’ve tried hundreds (seriously) of products and been fairly diligent about sticking to a routine, but every single time I get on an airplane, it all goes to shit. Especially those long-haul flights. Ten hours on a plane and I walk off looking like I just hit puberty. It’s a terrible way to start (or end) a trip.
So, by trial-and-error and some advice from a few estheticians, I found a travel routine that can stand up to longest of long-haul flights.
Drink water! Skip the booze during long-haul flights — you can drink when you land. It really is crucial to stay hydrated while you’re traveling, and not just for your skin — it’s also going to help you fight jet lag once you get on the ground.
Sleep in a sheet mask
You may look ridiculous wearing a sheet mask on a plane, but if it prevents your skin from looking terrible in all your vacation photos, it’s worth it. Make sure you get a moisturizing sheet mask and it will keep your skin hydrated and protected from the recycled plane air. My favorites are the Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Mask and the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask (if you want to splurge).
Wash your face and moisturize
You’re in a new time zone, busy exploring a new city, and probably exhausted. It’s so easy to succumb to jet lag and fall asleep as soon as you get back to the hotel. But don’t. Keep up your usual skincare routine with one exception: skip any treatments that might dry your skin out. I like to keep it simple and use my regular face wash (Kate Somerville’s ExfoliKate Daily Wash), and an oil-free moisturizer (like Kate Somerville’s Nourish Daily Moisturizer) or a sleeping mask for extra hydration.
Freshen up on the go
I keep a few extras on me at all times in case I’m feeling worn down. I absolutely LOVE Ko Gen Do’s Cleansing Spa Water Cloths. They are great for taking make up off or just generally making sure your skin stays clean. And they 100% make you feel like are in a spa. I also make sure to keep a hydrating mist on hand, like Jason Wu for Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir which are great to splash on mid-flight or during a hot travel day.
Skip the make up
As often as I can, I try to keep my skin naked. It’s great for my skin and saves space in my carry-on bag. But hey, we’re all human and sometimes we just can’t help it, so do what you gotta do.