Travel

10 Skin-Saving Products to Turn Your Flight Into a Spa in the Sky

Never step off the plane feeling icky again.

November  2, 2018

Over the years, I've come to enjoy the routine of flying. I go to the same restaurant in JFK (an Italian spot) and order a glass of wine with pasta, catch up on my latest Netflix show (currently, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina), and amble over to the gate just in time to board the plane (I'm in no rush to get on first). The one thing I've always hated about flying, though, is that no matter what I do—shower before heading to the airport, wear my comfiest athleisure—I always feel icky the second I land.

I don't know if it's the cabin pressure or germy tray tables that are to blame, but stepping on the plane without some extra backup leaves my skin feeling sluggish and in some instances, smelly. So I decided to adopt a new routine: a lineup of products to keep my skin bright and fresh no matter how many hours I'm stuck in the air.

The team here at Food52 travels a lot, so I polled my colleagues to find out what they always keep in their carry-on. From rejuvenating sheet masks to a hand sanitizer that kills germs and moisturizes, here are 10 of our favorite in-flight essentials:

1. Mario Badescu Facial Spray

"I always bring a travel sized toothpaste, face lotion, and facial mist like this Mario Badescu Facial Spray with aloe, herbs, and rosewater in order to keep my skin hydrated," says Megan Güntaş, Food52's digital designer.

2. Weleda Skin Food

This recommendation from Laura Wolfgang, our senior product manager, is an ultra-rich moisturizing option (it is called "skin food," after all) for anyone whose skin gets a little dried-out after flying. Plus, the formula's been around for almost 100 years, so you know it's good.

3. L'Occitane Shea Vanilla Bouquet Hand Cream

Your hands need moisture too! This luscious vanilla hand cream from L'Occitane (another favorite of Güntaş) is made with shea butter, which means it will nourish even the most parched palms.

Photo by Mario Badescu
Photo by Rosebud Perfume Co.

4. Rosebud Salve

I have been buying Rosebud Salve for as long as I can remember, and swear by it to treat anything from chapped lips to rough elbows. I prefer the original formula, but it also comes in sweet-smelling flavors like mocha rose and strawberry.

5. Bioderma Make-Up Remover Wipes

Every dermatologist and aesthetician will tell you never to fall asleep with your makeup on, so why would you do it on a flight? These gentle makeup-removing wipes from Bioderma (a French pharmacy favorite) not only get rid of makeup, but also any grease or grime you may have picked up schlepping around the airport.

6. Lavender Body Wipes

"Lavender body wipes for the win," says Liz Andrew, a senior retoucher at Food52. These individually packed wipes (they come in a pack of 24) are perfect for stepping off an overnight or long-haul flight smelling fresh as a daisy—actually, lavender.

Photo by Aesop
Photo by Bioderma

7. Manta Sleep Mask

"I'm a big plane sleeper, so I always have this Manta Sleep Mask, a Muji neck pillow (which can open up and double as a back pillow!), and Sennheiser Momentum headphones with me when I travel," says Wolfgang.

8. Dr. Jart+ Sheet Masks

The second I wipe my face clean with one of those makeup-removing wipes, I always put some moisture back into my skin with a sheet mask. These ones from Dr. Jart+ come in a variety of options, depending on your skin type, but I'm partial to the Water Replenishment and Brightening Infusion masks. Sure, you might look a little silly, but a fresh face is worth it in my book.

9. Aesop Rinse-Free Hand Wash

"I always have this fancy Aesop hand sanitizer and their travel essential oils on hand when I fly," says Victoria Maynard, Food52's director of finance.

10. Nuun Electrolyte Drink Tablets

"I don't travel anywhere without Nuun," says Sarah Yaffa, our data analyst. These little drink tablets, which come in pocket-sized packs, are loaded with hydrating electrolytes and vitamins that'll replenish you after a long flight.

Join The Conversation

Top Comment:
“OH I love this question. These essential oil towelettes are honestly great, they smell AMAZINGLY fresh and come individually wrapped so you can throw a few in your small carryon bag or even pocket before your flight without carting around a mondo pack of face wipes: https://shop.goop.com/shop/products/eucalyptus-towelettes I also love these tiny, 1 oz tubes of Yube moisturizer! Great for lips & cuticles and anything else the plane dries to a crisp during your flight: https://www.target.com/p/yu-be-moisturizing-cream-1-oz/-/A-51251937 When I remember, I also try to pack a small eye cream to help de-puff when I land (or use as face moisturizer in a pinch if I'm feeling all papery). As far as eye creams go, this Bioderma tube is relatively inexpensive and the size is definitely TSA-friendly. https://www.dermstore.com/product_Sensibio+Gel+Eye+Contour_72251.htm And last but not least, I save any small samples of things like face wash, moisturizer, and toner from beauty brands for flights. Glossier always includes some Milky Jelly cleanser samples when you buy anything, and places like Aesop will give you a whole handful of whatever you ask for, tailored to your complexion. Sephora will also make you a small sample of anything in the store. (Maybe there's one in your airport???)”
— Cory B.
Comment

What items do you always pack in your carry-on? Tell us in the comments below!

1 Comment

Cory B. November 2, 2018
OH I love this question. These essential oil towelettes are honestly great, they smell AMAZINGLY fresh and come individually wrapped so you can throw a few in your small carryon bag or even pocket before your flight without carting around a mondo pack of face wipes: https://shop.goop.com/shop/products/eucalyptus-towelettes<br /><br />I also love these tiny, 1 oz tubes of Yube moisturizer! Great for lips & cuticles and anything else the plane dries to a crisp during your flight: https://www.target.com/p/yu-be-moisturizing-cream-1-oz/-/A-51251937<br /><br />When I remember, I also try to pack a small eye cream to help de-puff when I land (or use as face moisturizer in a pinch if I'm feeling all papery). As far as eye creams go, this Bioderma tube is relatively inexpensive and the size is definitely TSA-friendly. https://www.dermstore.com/product_Sensibio+Gel+Eye+Contour_72251.htm<br /><br />And last but not least, I save any small samples of things like face wash, moisturizer, and toner from beauty brands for flights. Glossier always includes some Milky Jelly cleanser samples when you buy anything, and places like Aesop will give you a whole handful of whatever you ask for, tailored to your complexion. Sephora will also make you a small sample of anything in the store. (Maybe there's one in your airport???)