We’re busy planning our next trip to Hong Kong which involves two airplanes and about 24 hours of door-to-door travel time. It’s tough on the body, that’s for sure. Skin is our largest organ and critical to overall health so it pays to implement a healthy in-flight skincare routine at any age. Here are tips that work for us that my daughter and I have both been using with success lately at home and on the go.

1. Carry Skincare in Your Bag

I pack a small cosmetic bag to keep within arm’s reach of my seat. I hate digging through carry-on bags while in-flight plus you never know when access to overhead bins might be restricted by turbulence. It also serves as a reminder to moisturize. Must-have skincare for flying includes:

The first four things can make the difference between dry, peeling skin the next day or waking up looking relatively refreshed, especially on long haul flights. Honestly, good old travel-sized Aquaphor goes a long way and the healing stick comes in handy for an emergency for cracked heels, lips, you name it.

2. Make Sure Liquids Meet TSA Requirements

First, the size must meet TSA requirements of 3.4 oz or 100ml per item. And, you’ll have to carry them in a Ziploc bag to present during security screening if you don’t have TSA Precheck or Global Entry.

Aquaphor lip balm and travel hand cream meet these size requirements. If you buy a larger size of say the cleansing oil wash, just pump some into a small container for carry-on. I do this all the time.

3. Don’t Rely on In-flight Amenity Kits

I do love a good in-flight amenity kit, typically given out in business or first class on long-haul flights. But, they are always subject to change and don’t always include everything you need. In fact, Japan Airlines now simply passes around a basket of toothbrushes, eye masks, and other simple amenities in business class… there is moisturizer only in the bathrooms. Pack your own skincare products and be grateful for anything extra they give you.

4. Board with a Clean Face

On a flight to Maui on Alaska Airlines wearing no makeup but lipstick

If you must arrive at the airport with make-up on, take a few minutes in an airport lounge or bathroom to wash your face and reapply moisturizer. I will tell you that every time I leave make-up on, I arrive at my destination with clogged pores and breakouts. I fly, even to Hawaii as pictured above, with a good moisturizer and lipstick only and forget the rest.

Just bring a little bit of make-up in your carry-on to apply right before landing, if needed. See the next tip.

5. Wash Your Face on Board, Too

Even if I board with a clean face, I still feel better when I take a few minutes to wash my face in the airplane bathroom. While disposable face wipes are better than nothing, my sensitive skin does better when I bring my a cleanser ome.

By the way, when you feel better… you sleep better. And, when you sleep… your skin looks better.

6. Stay Away from Greasy Products

A greasy-feeling face is one of the worst things for personal airplane morale. Stay away from products that leave a heavy residue. Go with something that absorbs quickly without leaving skin feeling slick or that you need another application immediately.

I’m a late adopter of regular hand cream use, but I love how immediately moisturized my hands feel after one application. If my hands get dry on the plane, they also get exponentially colder in the recirculated air.

 7. Drink Lots of Water

Let’s just say that I like my onboard wine… a lot. But, I make sure to drink about two glasses of water per glass of wine on a long haul flight, especially. Allowing yourself to become dehydrated is bad for your skin and leads to headaches as well as jet lag.

8. Flying With Kids: Pack Skincare for Them

Your kids need skincare on the plane as well. My daughter packs her own lip balm in a little purse, but it’s nice to know that she can share hand cream and moisturizer. With all of the gear parents have to juggle when flying with kids, the more we can leave at home (like specialized kids’ skincare), the better.

And, when we’re at home, if the dog licks one of us (yes, we allow it)… we don’t have to worry about what he’s ingesting either.

What are your tips for taking in-flight skincare?

Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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