The Ideal Pre, In, and Post-Flight Beauty Routine

I live between Tel Aviv and New York meaning I fly often – and most often in Coach. Not that I’m complaining. I feel blessed to be able to live between these two amazing cities and, in the words of Jay-Z, dodging rain drops in the process. On the flip side flying does take a toll, especially because I’m prone to bloat (thank goodness for fiber crackers!) and dry skin. I need to be very conscious about my beauty routine before, during, and after boarding. You probably already know the basics: DRINK WATER!!! In-flight humidity is less than 20% which is a surefire way to cause dehydration if you’re not properly equipped. But there’s so much more and it’s really not difficult to implement. To lay it out in clear form I reached out to three top skincare experts – no one should get off a plane feeling anything but excitement, even if it’s after 12 hours in Coach!


“As flying is so dehydrating, I always like to hydrate before I get on a plane. I always drink green juices to detoxify,” says Kat Rudu, celebrity skincare expert and founder of Kat Rudu. She also suggests getting a Thai massage to get your circulation running and, if you have time, to do a hot yoga class. “Take Vitamin C packs before and an extra for the plane. My clients also really like Liquid Lift Amino Acid Serum. I recommend massaging your face with it to give an instant plumping and glowing complexion.”

If you don’t like green juice, good old water is always great. Ditto for the hot yoga and Thai massage – if they’re not your thing just opt for anything that will get your blood flow moving. While all the beauty experts recommended applying a pre-flight serum it’s best to go one step further. “Post serum, apply a moisturizing cream appropriate for your type of skin. In addition, I recommend applying a hydrating mask approximately 15 minutes before your serum, cream and makeup application,” says Natalya Rachkova from The Better Skin Co.


“Because of the low humidity levels when you’re in flight one of two things happen to your face: it either gets extremely dry and tight (causing flakes or increased wrinkling) or gets so dry it overcompensates by producing oil, and you get greasy skin and clogged pores,” explains YouTube skincare guru, Cassandra Bankson. “Instead of reaching for a moisturizer, reach for a night mask. These are much more hydrating and are usually infused with more potent and beneficial ingredients to balance skin, plump to prevent wrinkles, and even facilitate the skin’s natural repair.” And, don’t forget your lips! Bankson suggests opting for products that provide omega oils for hydration and oily ethers to act as a shield against the elements like the natural and soothing coconut and jojoba oil-based lip balms from Pacifica Beauty.

I love Blistex. I’m totally addicted, but using a cheap balm like Blistex will only make your lips more dehydrated. It provides a quick-fix, not a solution. (Even though, like I said, I’m addicted and can’t help myself from using it!).

Something that people often forget is how dangerous the UV rays are if you’re sitting by a window. They’re much stronger due to the altitude so if you’re by a window seat, wear SPF! Rudu also suggests wearing loose clothes, incorporating some stretching exercises, rotating your neck, stretching your arms, or walking threw the plane several times. “I also love to bring menthol essential oil that I apply on my wrists throughout the flight. It awakens your soul and calms you down,” says Rudu.

Lastly, staying hydrated is key and so while many will hate hearing this, especially on long flights, do not drink alcohol! In tandem with that try loading up on foods that are rich in water like fruits and vegetables and avoid processed, salty, and sugary snacks.


“After flight, it’s crucial to clean your face and use a hydrating mask with Vitamin C and Hyaluronic acid followed by a serum and moisturizer,” says Rachkova. “If the skin still feels dehydrated, a moisturizing sleeping mask is a nice way to end the day.” Bankson adds that using a toner can be very beneficial at this point. “Toners true purpose is to balance the PH of your skin – especially post flight, after hours of dehydration and now stepping into the different air of a new country or city, hit the reset button on your face with a toner.”

Just make sure your toner – and any skincare product you use post flight – doesn’t have alcohol in it.

Lastly, if you can, book a facial post flight! At-home skincare products can work magic, but there’s nothing like being in the hands of a professional you trust. This is especially true if you’re traveling for a big event and/or are prone to breakouts.

Images: Vogue

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.