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How to Keep Your Skin Hydrated and Healthy on a Long, Intercontinental Plane Flight

portrait of a woman applying moisturizer to her face looking into a mirror

Air travel, while exciting and often necessary, can take a toll on your skin. The dry, pressurized cabin air can leave your skin dehydrated, dull, and lackluster. However, with just a few simple tips and tricks, you can maintain a radiant complexion and keep your skin hydrated throughout your journey.

How and Why Air Travel Impacts Your Skin?

Before diving into remedies, it's essential to understand why air travel affects your skin. The low humidity levels in the airplane cabin, typically hovering around 20%, can lead to moisture loss from your skin. Additionally, the recycled air in planes may contain impurities that further dehydrate your skin, making it appear tired and parched.

  • Pre-Flight Skincare Preparation

The key to combating the adverse effects of air travel on your skin begins before you board the plane.

Hydration is Key: Begin with the hydration from within. During all those days leading to your long flight, drink a lot of water. Staying well-hydrated internally helps maintain your skin's moisture levels.

Cleanse and Moisturize: Before your flight, cleanse your face thoroughly to remove any impurities. Follow up with a lightweight, non-comedogenic moisturizer to create a barrier that helps lock in moisture during the flight.

Consider a Hydrating Mask: Apply a hydrating mask or a sheet mask the night before your flight to boost your skin's hydration levels. Opt for masks containing hyaluronic acid or glycerin for maximum moisture retention.

collage with woman's hands holding moisturizing serum and face cream in front of a mirror

  • In-Flight Skincare Routine

Once onboard, adapt your skincare routine to counter the drying effects of the cabin air.

Stay Hydrated: Refill your water bottle after the security check and keep drinking water throughout the flight to prevent dehydration. Avoid excessive caffeine and alcohol (or skip them while traveling), as they can further dehydrate your skin.

Facial Mist or Hydrating Spray: Pack a travel-sized facial mist or hydrating spray in your carry-on. Spritz it onto your face whenever your skin feels dry to replenish moisture.

Moisturize On-the-Go: Keep a travel-sized moisturizer readily available to reapply throughout the flight. Look for products containing ingredients like ceramides or natural oils to maintain skin hydration.

Protect Your Lips: Apply a nourishing lip balm with SPF to prevent your lips from becoming dry and chapped due to the cabin air.

Try to Get Some Rest: I know that for some of us airplane and a night of restful beauty sleep can't be used in the same sentence. Still, you shouldn't give up and try to get some rest on a long flight. Your skin will thank you later for this!

  • Mid-Flight Skincare Refresh

During longer flights, consider refreshing your skincare routine midway through to keep your skin feeling hydrated and rejuvenated.

Use gentle facial cleansing wipes to remove any oil buildup or impurities that may have accumulated on your skin. Skip your heavy-duty oils (they can also dehydrate your skin), instead pick sulfate-free cleanser and water-based peptide skin mist to support your skin's water balance.

Apply an eye cream to keep the delicate skin around your eyes moisturized and reduce puffiness. If your skin feels swollen, don't hesitate to use a sheet face mask to help you reduce the consequences of a long plane flight.

  • Post-Flight Skin Rejuvenation and Recovery

Upon landing, dedicate some time to rejuvenate your skin after the flight.

Cleanse and Rehydrate: Cleanse your face to remove any impurities accumulated during the flight. Follow up with a hydrating serum or moisturizer to replenish lost moisture.

Facial Massage: Gently massage your face to stimulate blood circulation and revive your skin's natural glow.

Hydrate and Rest: Drink plenty of water and ensure you get sufficient rest to help your body and skin recover from the travel stress. Give your skin some time to recover, it won't look fresh and youthful the next day of flight!

collage with a woman's hand holding soap and a woman drinkng water from a cup

Additional Tips for Skin Health

Apart from having a travel bag filled with all the necessary skincare products and miniatures and planning your skincare  during the flight, you should also consider these additional beauty tips for overall skin appearance and feel:

Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for loose, breathable clothing to avoid skin irritation and allow better air circulation.

Humidifier Usage: Consider using a portable humidifier in your hotel room or at your destination to restore moisture to the air and aid skin hydration.

Healthy Diet and Sleep: Maintain a balanced diet and get adequate sleep to support your skin's overall health and hydration levels.


Long flights don't have to equate to dry, lackluster skin. By adopting a proactive approach to skincare and following these simple yet effective tips, you can ensure your skin remains hydrated, radiant, and healthy throughout your journey. Prioritize hydration, adapt your skincare routine, and give your skin the care it deserves to arrive at your destination looking refreshed and glowing. Remember, a little self-care goes a long way, even at 30,000 feet above the ground!
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