Pre-flight essentials: products to help you manage dry airplane air


Airplane air is well-known to be dry and wreak havoc on the skin. I’ve been flying a lot in the last year and I’ve noticed that my skin becomes drier and harder to manage with each flight. Hydration is key, and layering products to ensure maximum moisture penetration has been the most effective way for me to manage skin dryness, both on the face and the body. This week I’m travelling again for work, so I wanted to share some of my go-to products for hydration and fighting in-flight dryness.


On my face, I use a combination of several hydrating products that have different textures to penetrate the skin and provide the maximum level of moisture. Before a flight and after I cleanse my skin, I use a hydrating toner such as Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion (reviewed here). This watery lotion is the first step to my hydrating regime; it is super light and absorbs quickly and deeply into the skin in order to provide a quick boost of moisture. It provides the perfect base for other products to layer on top.

Next, I use a hydrating serum, such as Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum. This serum by Biotherm has been renamed and reformulated a few times over the last few years, but remains one of my favourites by the brand. It is light in texture, yet it packs a whole lot of moisture in just a pea sized amount. I use this all over my face (avoiding the eye area), and it helps to visibly plump up my skin. It is lightly scented with a fresh, ocean-like fragrance, which is very refreshing to my nose. On my eyes, I use a hydrating eye cream, such as Lise Watier Age Prevention Supreme Eye Cream. It helps to even out the fine lines in my eye area and also prevent it from drying out.

Lastly, I use the product that I absolutely adore when my skin needs a boost of moisture, and that is the Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask (reviewed here). This product is my absolute favourite hydrating mask as it is super effective and low-hassle. I squeeze out an amount about half the size of a quarter, and slowly massage it onto my face, focusing on my forehead and my cheeks. While it is labeled as an overnight mask, you can use this during the day as well, granted you don’t apply makeup on top because it stays slightly tacky (which will also help to protect your skin from the dry cabin air). My skin feels protected and plump the entire way to my destination, and once you arrive at your destination, just wash it off and you’re good as new.


During my shower, I use a creamy exfoliator like L’Occitane Aromachologie Revitalizing Body Scrub. It is oil and sugar based, which means it removes my dead skin cells (to help later products penetrate the skin better) and also leaves a soft silky layer of oil on top like an in-shower moisturizer. It doesn’t feel greasy, and isn’t hydrating enough on its own, but it makes my skin feel smooth and helps to act as a barrier to protect the skin from dryness.

After my shower, I like to use a rich, slightly greasy body lotion, such as Korres Body Butter and apply it copiously on my body. While this body butter takes a while to absorb, its rich texture means that not only is my skin hydrated on the inside, there is some leftover “film” on top of the skin in order to protect it from the dry air.

On my hands, I use my trusty L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, which I reapply multiple times throughout a flight (and while on the ground). The 30mL mini sizes are perfect to bring with you everywhere – I have one in each handbag – and also come in various delicious scents and textures. My current favourite is the new whipped formula, which feels lighter and fluffier on the skin but is equally moisturizing on the hands.


I don’t keep very many products on my when I travel; I’m just so used to traveling light. I do keep certain essentials for any airplane trip, long or short, and those include the L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, and a tube of emollient lip balm (right now that’s L’Occitane Shea Butter Lip Balm in Jasmine, reviewed here). I also always keep hand sanitizer, and sometimes I keep wet wipes on me depending on the length of the trip and destination.

For ultra-long haul flights, specifically those over 8 hours, I would freshen up about halfway through the flight, including using facial wipes or micellar water to clean my face, and then re-apply serum and a moisturizing mask. Usually by the 4th or 5th hour, my face is already dried out and needs replenishment so this is a good time to do so.

Lastly, the main thing to remember is that while you need to have a hydrating formula, you need your products to also form a barrier between your skin and the air in order to prevent it from further drying out in flight. I hope this was helpful!


2 thoughts on “Pre-flight essentials: products to help you manage dry airplane air

  1. These are such good tips, especially the masking one. If only I weren’t so vain that I could go makeup less on a plane haha I have this weird complex where I think by wearing makeup I’ll look less dried out and tired, but then I can’t actually use the products that would prevent that….

    • Have you tried using hydrating sprays? Shiseido recently released an Ibuki spray that’s great for hydrating, balancing, and setting your makeup. It smells amazing, and the small 50mL size is also travel-friendly 🙂

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