The Ultimate Airplane Skincare Routine: Keep Your Skin Glowing on Long Flights

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Ever stepped off a long flight feeling dehydrated, with your skin looking dull and lifeless? You’re not alone. Airplane cabins have notoriously low humidity levels, which can leave your skin craving some TLC. But fear not, our in-depth guide will help you create the perfect airplane skincare routine so you can touch down with glowing, refreshed skin.

Discover our airplane skincare routine to keep your skin looking and feeling its best during your journey

TL;DR: Key Takeaways

  • Airplane cabins have low humidity levels, leading to dehydrated skin
  • A solid airplane skincare routine can help combat dull, dry skin
  • Stay hydrated, cleanse, moisturize, and protect your skin during flights
  • Pack travel-friendly skincare products in your carry-on
  • Adapt your skincare routine to your skin type and individual needs

Also check out: Airplane carry-on packing tips

The Importance of Airplane Skincare

According to Dr. Debra Jaliman, a board-certified dermatologist, “Flying can wreak havoc on your skin, but with a little preparation, you can arrive at your destination looking and feeling refreshed.” The humidity level in an airplane cabin can drop to as low as 10%, causing skin dehydration and a lackluster appearance. In fact, a survey by British Airways revealed that 55% of women and 38% of men said they would never go on a long-haul flight without their skincare products[3].

Step-by-Step Airplane Skincare Routine

1. Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before, during, and after your flight to keep your body and skin hydrated. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine, as they can dehydrate your skin further.

2. Cleanse

Remove any makeup and cleanse your skin with a gentle, hydrating cleanser before boarding. Avoid using wipes, as they can be harsh and drying. Instead, opt for a micellar water or a cream-based cleanser.

3. Apply a Hydrating Serum

After cleansing, apply a hydrating serum to your skin to help lock in moisture. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and niacinamide to boost hydration and plump your skin.

4. Moisturize

Seal in the serum with a rich, nourishing moisturizer. Consider using a heavier cream or oil than you normally would, as the dry airplane environment requires extra hydration.

5. Protect Your Skin

Even though you’re inside an airplane, UV rays can still penetrate windows, so applying a broad-spectrum sunscreen is essential. Don’t forget your lips and hands – use a lip balm with SPF and a hand cream to keep them moisturized and protected.

6. Refresh and Revive

Keep a facial mist handy to spritz your face throughout the flight. This can help maintain your skin’s moisture levels and provide a refreshing pick-me-up when you need it.

7. Post-Flight Care

Upon arrival, cleanse your skin and apply a hydrating mask to restore moisture and soothe any irritation. Follow up with your regular skincare routine to maintain healthy, glowing skin throughout your trip.

Travel-Friendly Skincare Products

Pack travel-sized skincare products in your carry-on to save space and adhere to TSA liquid restrictions. Consider decanting your favorite products into smaller containers or purchasing travel-sized versions.

Adapting Your Routine to Your Skin Type

Your airplane skincare routine should cater to your specific skin type and individual needs. If you have oily skin, opt for lightweight, oil-free products, while those with dry or sensitive skin may benefit from richer, more nourishing formulas.

Kevin’s Personal Tips and Tricks

As an experienced traveler, I’ve picked up a few insider tips for maintaining great skin during flights:

  • Consider using a silk or satin travel pillowcase to reduce friction and prevent skin irritation
  • Apply an overnight hydrating mask during long flights for an extra moisture boost
  • Bring along a small, battery-operated facial massager to stimulate blood flow and reduce puffiness
  • Take breaks to stretch and walk around the cabin, promoting healthy blood circulation and reducing swelling

In Conclusion

A solid airplane skincare routine can be the difference between stepping off your flight looking refreshed or fatigued. By staying hydrated, cleansing, moisturizing, and protecting your skin, you can combat the dehydrating effects of airplane cabins and arrive at your destination glowing and radiant.


What are the main factors affecting skin during flights?
Low humidity levels and UV exposure can cause skin dehydration and dullness.

How can I keep my skin hydrated during a flight?
Drink plenty of water, use hydrating skincare products, and spritz your face with a facial mist.

Do I need to wear sunscreen on an airplane?
Yes, UV rays can still penetrate airplane windows, so apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen.

What skincare products should I pack in my carry-on?
Pack travel-sized or decanted versions of your favorite cleanser, serum, moisturizer, sunscreen, lip balm, and hand cream.

How can I adapt my airplane skincare routine to my skin type?
Choose products that cater to your specific skin type and individual needs, such as oil-free formulas for oily skin or richer creams for dry skin.


  1. Dr. Debra Jaliman, board-certified dermatologist
  2. Federal Aviation Administration
  3. British Airways survey

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