Beauty

Your In-Flight Beauty Survival Kit

Take after Naomi Campbell's long-haul flight regime with these skincare heroes

by Joanna Fu

by Joanna Fu

20 Aug 2019

Preparing an in-flight beauty kit is crucial to ensuring that your skin isn’t a mess by the time you arrive at your final destination. Dehydration, breakouts, redness, and inflammation are common skin woes that result from spending several hours in arid, recycled cabin air. Frequent flyers like Naomi Campbell have honed their in-flight rituals with an entire cleaning process — complete with disposable gloves and disinfectant Dettol wipes — followed by an arsenal of hydrating skincare and masks. “I do not care what people think of me,” the supermodel says in her now-viral video.“It’s my health and it makes me feel better.” And indeed we agree — for your skin and overall wellbeing, turn your long-haul (or short-haul) flight into a mini spa treatment to nourish and protect your complexion. Ahead, we’ve laid out a detailed in-flight skincare routine and the best travel beauty products to stash in your carry-on.

Cleanse

It’s crucial to cleanse your skin before you take off. The recycled air in the cabin will dry out any moisture left on your face, meaning that makeup and debris from the day could be absorbed into your skin. Make sure your hands are clean before touching your face: use a hand sanitizer if you can’t access running water. Facial wipes and micellar cleansing pads are ideal for their no-rinse ease and gentle exfoliation, while cleansing creams and balms are good for a thorough, non-drying wash.

Aēsop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash 50ml; HK$70 at aesop.com
Byredo Suede Hand Sanitiser 30ml; HK$203 at mrporter.com
Susanne Kaufmann Purif-i Sanitizing Hand Spray 75ml; HK$170 at beyorgbeauty.com
Lauren Napier Beauty Facial Cleansing Wipes x 15; HK$140 at net-a-porter.com
Omorovicza Peachy Micellar Cleansers x 60; HK$283 at lanecrawford.com
Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea; HK$228 at net-a-porter.com
Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser; HK$340 at lanecrawford.com
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm 50ml; HK$240 at cultbeauty.co.uk
Aēsop Resurrection Rinse-Free Hand Wash 50ml; HK$70 at aesop.com
Byredo Suede Hand Sanitiser 30ml; HK$203 at mrporter.com
Susanne Kaufmann Purif-i Sanitizing Hand Spray 75ml; HK$170 at beyorgbeauty.com
Lauren Napier Beauty Facial Cleansing Wipes x 15; HK$140 at net-a-porter.com
Omorovicza Peachy Micellar Cleansers x 60; HK$283 at lanecrawford.com
Neogen Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea; HK$228 at net-a-porter.com
Pai Skincare Camellia & Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser; HK$340 at lanecrawford.com
Farmacy Green Clean Cleansing Balm 50ml; HK$240 at cultbeauty.co.uk
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Hydrate

The key to combatting airplane skin is staying hydrated. On most commercial flights, cabin air is exceptionally dry with an average of 20% humidity (Hong Kong has an average 70-85% humidity on the ground), which means you’ll have to hydrate from the inside out by drinking lots of water and doubling-up on skincare to penetrate different cell layers. Start with a hydrating serum like Hyaluronic Acid, which has an ability to hold on to 1,000 times its weight in water, and then layer with a rich moisturizer or facial oil to ensure the hydration is locked in rather than evaporated into the air. Your skin will do well with thicker, antioxidant-rich formulas that act like a barrier against environmental elements.

111Skin Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster 20ml; HK$895 at lanecrawford.com
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum 10ml; HK$789 at net-a-porter.com
Susanne Kaufmann Hyaluron Moisturising Serum 30ml; HK$1,265 at beyorgbeauty.com
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream 30ml; HK$1,430 at net-a-porter.com
Avène Eau Thermal Hydrance Optimale Aqua Cream-in-Gel 50ml; HK$220 at watsons.com.hk
Aēsop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream 60ml; HK$415 at aesop.com
Rodin Luxury Face Oil - Geranium & Orange Blossom 15ml; HK$705 at net-a-porter.com
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil 15ml; HK$315 at sephora.hk
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defesnse Barrier-Boosting Essence Oil 30ml; HK$475 at origins.hk
111Skin Hyaluronic Acid Aqua Booster 20ml; HK$895 at lanecrawford.com
Dr. Barbara Sturm Hyaluronic Serum 10ml; HK$789 at net-a-porter.com
Susanne Kaufmann Hyaluron Moisturising Serum 30ml; HK$1,265 at beyorgbeauty.com
Augustinus Bader The Rich Cream 30ml; HK$1,430 at net-a-porter.com
Avène Eau Thermal Hydrance Optimale Aqua Cream-in-Gel 50ml; HK$220 at watsons.com.hk
Aēsop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream 60ml; HK$415 at aesop.com
Rodin Luxury Face Oil - Geranium & Orange Blossom 15ml; HK$705 at net-a-porter.com
Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil 15ml; HK$315 at sephora.hk
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defesnse Barrier-Boosting Essence Oil 30ml; HK$475 at origins.hk
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Mask

If you’re going to commit to using a mask in-flight, make sure to choose the right one. Clay masks are irrelevant when your skin is already thirsty. Some sheet masks with watery serums can evaporate too quickly, resulting in dehydrating your skin rather than quenching it, while others may slide down your face or be too messy. Cream or gel hydrating masks are straightforward and ideal for their thicker texture, which can be left on longer for full absorption. We encourage masking throughout the flight, but the prime time is an hour or so before landing to quench fatigued skin and give your complexion a glow.

Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defesnse Barrier-Boosting Essence Oil 30ml; HK$475 at origins.hk
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask; HK$420 at cultbeauty.co.uk
La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask 75ml; HK$1,650 at lamer.com.hk
Kypris Beauty Cerulean Soothing Hydration Recovery Mask 46ml; HK$1,645 at net-a-porter.com
Saturday Skin Quench Intense Hydration Mask x 5; HK$250 at sephora.hk
Verso Deep Hydration Mask x 4; HK$710 at lookfantastic.hk
Skin Inc Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask 50ml; HK$620 at sephora.hk
Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins Mega-Defesnse Barrier-Boosting Essence Oil 30ml; HK$475 at origins.hk
Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask; HK$420 at cultbeauty.co.uk
La Mer The Intensive Revitalizing Mask 75ml; HK$1,650 at lamer.com.hk
Kypris Beauty Cerulean Soothing Hydration Recovery Mask 46ml; HK$1,645 at net-a-porter.com
Saturday Skin Quench Intense Hydration Mask x 5; HK$250 at sephora.hk
Verso Deep Hydration Mask x 4; HK$710 at lookfantastic.hk
Skin Inc Pure Deepsea Hydrating Mask 50ml; HK$620 at sephora.hk
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Mid-Flight Top-Ups

Long-haul means topping up on hydration mid-flight. Keep facial mist, lip balm, hand creams — and all multi-tasking balms — nearby to refresh and keep the dryness at bay.

Eve Lom Radiance Face Mist 48ml; HK$300 at net-a-porter.com
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 50ml; HK$565 at sephora.hk
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator; HK$350 at cultbeauty.com
Colloidal Earth Colloidal Silver Spray 50ml; HK$219 at colloidalearth.com
Jouer Cosmetics Essential Lip Enhancer; HK$126 at beautylish.com
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy; HK$220 at fresh.com
Lanolips Everywhere Multi-Cream; HK$110 at cultbeauty.co.uk
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream 75ml; HK$110 at sephora.hk
Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream; HK$124 at net-a-porter.com
Eve Lom Radiance Face Mist 48ml; HK$300 at net-a-porter.com
Tata Harper Hydrating Floral Essence 50ml; HK$565 at sephora.hk
Josh Rosebrook Hydrating Accelerator; HK$350 at cultbeauty.com
Colloidal Earth Colloidal Silver Spray 50ml; HK$219 at colloidalearth.com
Jouer Cosmetics Essential Lip Enhancer; HK$126 at beautylish.com
Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment Advanced Therapy; HK$220 at fresh.com
Lanolips Everywhere Multi-Cream; HK$110 at cultbeauty.co.uk
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream 75ml; HK$110 at sephora.hk
Grown Alchemist Vanilla & Orange Peel Hand Cream; HK$124 at net-a-porter.com
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Relax and Rest

Some of the best flights are ones spent catching up on beauty sleep — but cramped seats and noisy neighbours can make it difficult to relax. Dab some essential oil under your nose or on your pulse points to calm and soothe your senses, and pop on an eye mask for some well-deserved shut-eye.

De Mamiel Altitude Oil; HK$400 at net-a-porter.com
Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Roller Ball; HK$166 at net-a-porter.com
This Works Stress Check Breath In; HK$140 at sephora.hk
BYNACHT Perfect Nacht Sleeping Balm 15ml; HK$578 at net-a-porter.com
May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon; HK$1,413 at beautylish.com
Slip Beauty Sleep Collection; HK$940 at net-a-porter.com
De Mamiel Altitude Oil; HK$400 at net-a-porter.com
Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Roller Ball; HK$166 at net-a-porter.com
This Works Stress Check Breath In; HK$140 at sephora.hk
BYNACHT Perfect Nacht Sleeping Balm 15ml; HK$578 at net-a-porter.com
May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoon; HK$1,413 at beautylish.com
Slip Beauty Sleep Collection; HK$940 at net-a-porter.com
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De-Puff

Changes in air pressure, staying seated for hours, and eating sodium-heavy airplane food can leave you puffy and bloated. Soothe inflamed skin and water retention with a cooling eye mask and boost lymphatic fluid draining with a jade roller. Use a circulation-boosting body lotion to fight swollen legs and consider taking probiotics or supplements to de-bloat.

Herbivore Botanicals Jade Facial Roller; HK$240 at sephora.hk
111Skin Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask x 8; HK$598 at net-a-porter.com
Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm; HK$320 at nordstrom.com
Ilia Cucumber Water Stick; HK$460 at net-a-porter.com
Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs; HK$395 at net-a-porter.com
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 30ml; HK$61 at lookfantastic.com.hk
Welleco The Super Elixir Alkalizing Formula; HK$510 at lanecrawford.com
Herbivore Botanicals Jade Facial Roller; HK$240 at sephora.hk
111Skin Sub-Zero De-Puffing Eye Mask x 8; HK$598 at net-a-porter.com
Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm; HK$320 at nordstrom.com
Ilia Cucumber Water Stick; HK$460 at net-a-porter.com
Legology Air-Lite Daily Lift for Legs; HK$395 at net-a-porter.com
The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG 30ml; HK$61 at lookfantastic.com.hk
Welleco The Super Elixir Alkalizing Formula; HK$510 at lanecrawford.com
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