I'm a terrible flyer. Regardless of the fact that I travel fairly frequently, I can't shake the stress, fear and anxiety that creeps up on me the second I step foot in an airport. But of the many strategies I've enlisted for a smoother experience (to wit: meditation apps, books, movies, chugging a stiff drink), there's really only one thing that eases my mind most: I use the flight as an excuse to leisurely apply my favorite skin-care products.
But creating an in-flight skin-care routine isn't just for nervous flyers or skin-care obsessives. As anyone who's spent even a minute in an airplane knows well, the dry, recirculated cabin air can wreak havoc on your skin, and leave you feeling generally dehydrated and icky. "Unfortunately, a lot of damaging and irritating things happen to your skin while flying," says dermatologist Dr. Rachel Nazarian of Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. "Cabin air contains only 20 percent humidity, which is nearly half the amount that skin operates at best. That means flying can be incredibly dehydrating to the skin and can even inflame sensitive skin conditions like eczema or rosacea." Translation? It's crucial to take care of your skin in-flight.
As a general rule of thumb, Dr. Nazarian suggests cleansing your face before take off (makeup will have to wait until you land) and upping your dose of moisturizing ingredients, like hyaluronic acid and ceramides. "Before, during and after flying, I recommend repairing and rebuilding the skin barrier, both by minimizing aggressive cleansing techniques and by increasing barrier repair mechanisms," she explains.
Ahead, 14 products that deserve a spot in your carry-on — including discrete face masks, skin-brightening serums and crazy-hydrating moisturizers.