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In-Flight Skin Care: The TLC Your Skin Needs Whilst Travelling

Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert12 months ago
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
clouds outside an airplane window

The countdown until your next getaway is on. Your bags are finally packed (and just about under the luggage allowance), you’ve managed to fit your full skin care, hair careandmake up routine into one case, and you’ve spent the last month prepping your complexion for that all-important holiday glow. But…. have you considered what your in-flight skin care routine will be? 

Yes, plane skin care is a thing – and something we all need to get on board with, STAT Thanks to the reduction of oxygen and increase of UV exposure on an aircraft, flying can cause havoc upon our complexion.  Whether travelling to the other side of the world or popping to a neighbouring town, the cabin’s recycled air wastes no time in sucking the moisture out of your skin, resulting into dullness, dehydration and an increase of break outs – and that’s all before the plane’s even landed.  

But, luckily for us, short and long-haul flight skin care routines have become more luxurious and accessible than ever. Gone are the days where a pack of cleansing wipes was enough to keep you rejuvenated during your journey. Today, your skin deserves a lot more TLC.  

With plenty of time to spare during the flight, there’s no need to cut no corners when it comes to your in-flight routine. Simply follow the steps below and your skin should survive every flight. 


woman moisturising her face


SET THE SECNE: Once seated and before take-off, transform your cabin into a mini spa with a spritz of essences to relieve the tension that comes with traveling (we’re talking the lack of leg room, interesting menu choices and the dreaded…delays). A couple of sprays at each pulse point and the stress should melt away. 

CLEANSE: Once the seatbelts signs are off and you’re cruising in the clouds, it’s time to begin your routine: starting with cleansers. Travel-friendly and no rinsing necessary, cleansing pads set your plane skin care routine up right. The easy-to-use pads smooth, resurface and exfoliate for an instant pick me up. 

HYDRATE: With around 20% humidity in cabin air (compared to the 40-60% found on the ground) it’s vital to quench your skin’s thirst when flying. The trick here is to seal in your hydrating face masks with a face oil that isn’t phased by altitude. Slap on a sheet mask to relieve those tired eyes from the early morning departure, then rub in a light serum to lock in the moisture making you feel tangibly firmer, refreshed and radiant. 

PROTECT: Boost your defences with the ultimate skin care saviour. Yes, we’re talking about SPF. As you’re closer to the ozone layer mid-flight, the UV rays can be pretty potent (especially when sitting in the window seat). Apply your face SPF all over to give your skin the protection it deserves. 

SOOTHE: The final step to your in-flight skin care routine is to de-puff before you land. Massage your face with a facial roller to give it a boost of freshness while helping hide those tired eyes.  

The reality is, how your skin is looking during the flight, will be an indication of how it will behave for the rest of your holiday. So, it’s important to get it right (first time). With that in mind, we’ve enlisted some extra help from our Cult content crew to share how they make their skin look and feel fresh at 30,000ft – and beyond… 



“Dry, parched skin (thanks cabin air!) is my ultimate in-flight fight... but what better skin saviour than Weleda’s Skin Food? I literally lather this all over my face, like a hot greasy mess. But once I’ve arrived at my destination, my complexion is moisturised, dewy and doesn’t look dehydrated at all! I love it.”  – Rina, Junior Copywriter  




SPF is non-negotiable – especially during a flight. With the sun’s UV rays significantly stronger when soaring in the sky, I can’t board a plane without my trusted bottle of Thank You Farmer’s Sun Project Water Sun Cream SPF50+. Once I’m all checked in and waiting to find out what gate to go to, I take the time to apply the serum all over my bare face. But that’s not the last I see of the lightweight formula. I make sure to keep the bottle close by so that I can reapply during the flight. And then again once we have landed…and then again throughout the entire holiday. I basically can’t go anywhere without it.” Trifonia, Senior SEO Copywriter  




“Although my skin suffers the consequences of short and long-haul flights (hello dryness), it’s my lips that make the true sacrifice – they quickly become cracked and chapped. So, you won’t find me without an on-the-go lip saviour (one that abides by all the airport security rules, of course). My must-have?  COOLA’s Hydrating Lip Oil; the organic hydrating hero is not only infused with a blend of camellia, jojoba oils and vitamin E for a protective layer against drying cabin air but it’s also SPF-friendly so perfect for days by the pool...”  – Alice, Senior Copywriter 





As if dry skin wasn't enough of a concern on the ground, it becomes even more of a task flying thousands of feet in the sky. To save on time and overall faff, I love using a hydrating facial mist, especially the LANEIGE Cream Skin Mist. The formula is lightweight, the spritz is super-fine and most importantly, it feels incredibly hydrating! It's perfect for a quick perk-me-up without having to go to town on moisturising every five minutes. – Nas, Midweight Copywriter 



Now, you’ve got your in-flight skin care routine on lock,it’s time to house your holiday haul into the Cult Beauty's Travel Organiser Bag. Packing in more than meets the eye, the compact carrier is fitted with plenty of pockets to store everything from your sunscreen and serums to your blushers and bronzers.

Holiday pending in T-7 hours… 

Trifonia Asmar
Writer and expert
View Trifonia Asmar's profile
Cult Beauty’s Senior SEO Copywriter, Trifonia started out in the industry when bold brows were just becoming a ‘thing’, and shares a passion for all things fashion and beauty. Currently embracing her curly girl journey (after endless years of straightening her strands), she is finally reverting to her natural ways! When Triffy isn’t busy testing out the latest curl-saving solutions, you’ll find her binging the latest reality TV show or on a long walk listening to her ever-evolving country music playlist.