Travel Beautifully · Perform Confidently
Travel Beautifully · Perform Confidently
in-flight facial skincare tips

The In-Flight Facial

Humidity in the air cabin can be roughly a third of what it is on the ground

As if having to sleep in a space the size of a mailbox isn’t bad enough, the effects of flying can also take drastic toll on our skin, leaving us arriving at our destination not only feeling shattered but potentially not looking so fresh. Since you will be seat-bound for a long period of time, maybe think about using air time as facial time too. Here we talk to top skincare experts about their suggested in-flight facial tips…

1. Cabin Clean-up

After a potential early start/ a tube ride/ traffic jam en route to the airport/ delay in the departure lounge, nothing is quite as luxurious or refreshing as giving your skin a good clean. Whether you wash your face onboard or in the departure lounge is up to you, but one product I would recommend taking in your hand luggage is a good do-it-all Micellar Water. My favourite of all time is Bioderma Crealine H2O, $6.43 which you can get in a 100 ml travel size. Suitable for even very sensitive skin, it removes everything from waterproof mascara to heavy duty foundation. Alternatively, if you are a fan of natural products one of my favourites is Absolution L’Eau Soir et Matin $35.86 which is a certified organic cleansing water.

in-flight facial cleanser bioderma
Pack a travel sized version of Bioderma Sensible H20 which will remove will remove all makeup and refresh skin

If you prefer a wash-off cleanser then try Tata Harper’s Refreshing Cleanser, $84 which cleans skin gently but slightly exfoliates at the same time (plus the dreamy scent is the perfect aeroplane pick-me-up), but you will need to decant it into a travel-size bottle.

2. Sky High Scrub

If you are really serious about achieving a mega-watt glow then you may want to think about exfoliating your skin which will not only leave it silky smooth but will slough away dead skin cells so products can penetrate the skin better. A great product you can travel with without the fear of spillages is a dry or powder exfoliator. One of my favourites is Bobbi Brown’s Buffing Grains for the Face, $42.04 which contains Japanese Adzuki beans. Just put a bit in the palm of your hand and add water. Gently buff skin with circular movements and wash off.

3. Mid Air Masks

Humidity in the air cabin can be roughly a third of what it is on the ground, so it’s no surprise that your skin can look positively parched on landing. The dehydration is such that your normal skincare won’t cut it and therefore it might be worth investing in a hydrating face mask to wear on the flight. If you don’t have anyone to chat to for a few hours (and if you don’t mind looking like a Halloween extra) you can dose off with a sheet mask on. One of my favourites is CremorLab Aqua Tank Water-Full Mask, $37 for 5 which is full of hyaluronic acid (which holds 1000 its weight in water), as well as marine collagen and mineral water. Whilst it advises to leave it on for an hour, there’s no harm in doubling that time for maximum effect.

4. Mile High Hydration

Teresa Tarmey is one of London’s most sought-after facialists and regularly perfects the pores of a wealth of celebrity clients from Kate Moss to Sienna Miller. In order to counteract the effects of flying she is a huge fan of products containing Hyaluronic Acid. If you don’t fancy using one of the masks above, she recommends a serum instead to boost your skins hydration levels. We also love  Hyaluronic Marine Hydration Booster from Dr Dennis Gross, $84.08  or SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifer, $111.28  both of which can be worn under your moisturiser to as a mega hydration boost.

in-flight facial skincare mile high hydration
Skinceuticals H.A. Intensifier will help put intense hydration back into parched skin
5. Airborn Aromatherapy

Anastasia Achilleos, is one of the world’s most in-demand facialists, who travels all the time to plump celebrity’s skin on film sets and backstage at fashion shows. For her, it’s extremely important that her skincare products treat her senses as well, “I need to hit the ground running straight into work and usually there’s a time difference, so for me it’s all about wellness before I can take care of others” she says. Anastasia therefore says she will use aromatherapy products wherever she can weave them into her flight. “Aroma rollers are the easiest way of using aromatherapy in-flight and are the least offensive way of using them to anyone sitting close to you.” Anastasia is a huge fan of the Speak the Truth roller, $34.62 from Ilapothecary.com which contains rose and sandalwood for a comforting and uplifting scent. And for anyone slightly fearful of flying, then “Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax RollerBall is genius,” she says which contains peace inducing vetivert, patchouli and wild camomile, $34.62. Roll onto wrists, or temples and drift away on a cloud of aromatherapy heaven.

in-flight facial skincare tips wellbeing
Anastasia keeps the Ilapothecary Speak Your Truth Aroma Roller on hand for in-flight pick-me-ups
6. Facial Massage

Queen of facial massage, Anastasia says it should be non-negotiable during a flight. “We puff up, get sluggish circulation, and then there’s the dryness,” she says, “I apply face oils a lot  (almost every hour) and I massage the circle around the eyes upwards and downwards with firm pressure,  and massage my cheeks from the nose outwards toward the ears. I also spend time massaging my own shoulders.” One of her favourite oils to massage skin with is Le Prunier Plum Beauty oil, $94.82. Others we love are Aurelia’s Glowing Face Oil for its disappearing, non greasy texture and Votary’s Superseed Facial Oil, $29.67 for 15ml. The great thing about facial oils is also that they are nearly always under the 100ml liquid limit.

Facialist Lynn Rae uses facial Pilates techniques and suggests some of the following for keeping your complexion alive through a long flight:

Release the forehead by placing knuckles in centre, apply light pressure and glide out towards hairline.

Massage around back of head and neck

Release tension in your temples by placing finger pads on temples and slowly moving upwards and outwards. You should feel an easy movement with a slight grip but not so as to pull on the skin.

Massage the ears, and gently pull them in different directions

Gently squeeze the cheeks and lift

Massage around jaw with fingers or knuckles

Press or squeeze inner corners, middle and finally outer eyebrows 

Place thumbs under chin, curled fingers on top and squeeze, repeat below corners of mouth and squeeze, corners of jaw and squeeze, press under ears and glide down sides of neck.

To finish, rub palms together and place hands over the eyes feeling the energy and warmth.

7. Balmy Flights

Teresa Tarmey says she is never without a lip balm because she says ,”My lips get dry but also my nostrils do! I know it’s quite gross to share but I put a tiny bit up my nose to stop the feeling of dryness.” One of our all-time favourites is The Lip Balm from Crème de la Mer, $64.29,for super soft lips but it is also worth investing in a do-it-all multitasking balm which you can use on cuticles, lips, elbows, brows (or even nostrils! )We would highly recommend  travelling with Weleda’s Skin Food, at just $13.54. A rich blend of calendula, chamomile, natural oils and beeswax, it’s a mask, moisturiser, and balm all in one. With one sold worldwide every 23 seconds, no in-flight bag should be without one.

in-flight facial lip balm
The Lip Balm from Creme de La Mer is a firm beauty editor favourite
And finally…

Drink as much water as you can throughout the flight, and as every facialist I know says, don’t drink alcohol. Remember the state of your skin is as much about what you consume as what you put on it.

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