The Ultimate Guide to In-Flight Skin Care

In-Flight Skin Care - Cosmetic Composition.jpeg

I’ve flown twice in the past month and I have another flight later in September so I knew it was time to start taking my in transit skincare seriously. How did I begin my journey of glowing up this routine? I turned to Instagram and stalked every story & post Peach & Lilly founder Alicia Yoon had made about her in-flight skin care routine and products. After obsessively watching, I packed myself a little kit of goodies for the flight and began experimenting. The goal here is to protect and hydrate your skin before, during and after the flight.

Carry On Kit

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cleansing makeup wipes
  • Hyaluronic acid serum
  • Hydrating moisturizer with SPF 30+ or hydrating sunscreen
  • Primer (optional)
  • Hand lotion
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Eye mask


That time between security and boarding is typically spent browsing magazines, spending $7 on a coffee, and is the ideal time to prep your skin for this upcoming flight. Head to the bathroom or prop up your phone camera and with clean hands take a cleansing wipe to your makeup free skin (eyes are okay! but keep that skin naked) to clear off any dirt or excess sebum. Follow up with a hyaluronic acid serum (optional as it is hard to find a travel friendly hyaluronic serum) and a hydrating moisturizer or primer that will give your skin a good base.

Pre Flight Skin Care - Cosmetic Composition

Boarding Process

Now that your skin is prepped, chug that $7 coffee before you have to carry your oversized personal item between the tiny aisles and get ready for the next step. Once seated get your kit out, throw some hand sanitizer on and give your face and neck a good coating of sunscreen or a moisturizer with at least SPF 30. I’ve previously written about how higher altitudes can make you more susceptible to sun damage so sunscreen is extremely important on airplanes. The average flight heads 35,000 feet up into the air so think about all those high exposure UV rays beating through the little windows. Which brings me to my next point – close the window near you. If you don’t have window seat or know the people sitting next to you make sure that you’re re-applying your sunscreen if your flight is over 2 hours.

Flight attendants start making their rounds to take off, only a few things left and you’ll be set for this flight. Apply a small amount of a petroleum jelly to the inside of your nostril… Petroleum jelly is an occlusive, which is a moisturizing ingredient that creates a protective barrier trapping any moisture in and letting nothing out. This little trick helps keep your exposed mucus membrane (the inside of your nose) hydrated so that it doesn’t dry out and potentially crack during flight. Doing this can dramatically lower your chances of catching a nasty cold from all those plane germs. Throw on some hand lotion, applying some of the petroleum jelly to your lips and you’re all ready to go!


Prep for Landing

Ultimate Guide to In-Flight Skin Care - Cosmetic Composition

When you’re about 30 minutes out from the destination it’s about time to start the landing procedure. Every Instagram Influencer seems to rock a sheet masks on their flights, but for those of us not quiet confident to do the same I have a potential solution. Eye masks! They’re smaller, more subtle and easier to fit into your carry on bag. Sanitize your hands and place the eye masks on your under eye area for ~15-20 minutes. Once the masks are ready to be removed, dispose of the little sheets and apply another coating of sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF 30+ all over your face. This allows your skin to be protected and hydrated for your destination!


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