Skin care routine at 35,000 feet above the ground

Recently, I watched a video about having a skin care routine while flying on a plane. I have heard of people who either indulge in a masking session or reapplying moisturizer on the plane, but I myself have never done either. As the plane climbs higher up into the atmosphere, the air gets colder and dryer and will dry out our skin; so I think it is helpful to moisturize and pamper your skin when on the plane, especially for people who travel often. But I think it requires quite a bit of courage to do that while sitting that close to a stranger who might think you’re a vain bimbo that looks annoyingly stupid while masking.

Drying of skin in the higher atmospheres
I don’t travel that often so I find it redundant for me to be particular about my skin when on a plane. Plus, most of my flights are direct flights. I don’t wear any makeup onboard planes but I do put on my contact lenses. Even though it’s terrible to be wearing contact lenses on a plane because of the dryness, I dislike wearing glasses unless necessary. So apart from dryness in my skin, I also have to deal with dryness in my eyes. The condition of my skin can be quite contradicting on planes. It gets dry and flaky, but at the same time, if I were to touch my face, it feels slightly oily. It helps to wash my face after a couple of hours, but it gets even dryer faster after that and I don’t like to keep getting up to go to the toilet.

Hydrating on plane rides
Because of the regulations on the quantity of liquids we are allowed to bring on the plane, it would be good to bring smaller containers and plan in advance what you will need. I think it’s easier to bring a leave-on moisturizing mask sheet, or a simpler routine such as moisturizing your face and eye area regularly on the flight. In fact, you can repeat the routine as many times as you like depending on how long your flight is, as long as you have skin thick enough to ignore the stares and looks you will be getting. After making sure your skin is well moisturized, it is important that you hydrate yourself from inside out. Drink more water as far as 5 hours before your flight, and try to avoid alcohol, coffee and tea on the plane and substitute it with more water or fruit juices instead.

Skin care is the last thing on my mind
I doubt I will go through the extensive routine of moisturizing my face externally. Unless I’m lucky enough to get the seat next to the walkway, I think it’s quite inconsiderate to keep bothering the person next to me just so I can go to the toilet, not to mention look like a crazy, annoying person with my mask on. Besides, I doubt I will be on a flight that is more than 10 hours as I cannot bear sitting down and being confined for so long! Being concerned about the hydration level of my skin is the last thing on my mind when I have to be seated for many hours at a go, so I think I’ll be sticking to drinking lots of liquid instead.

Your say
How about you? Are you particular about skin care routines when you are on long flights, or even direct flights? Please do share your routines!


  1. Miss Ayo Délé says:


    I’m taking a plane today and I’m so tired that I won’t do anything particular.
    When I take a plane I try to moisture my skin well but with a lihght texture like a serum (I’m using L’Oréal code jeunesse this days) and a bit of cream (the same). I wear a very light or even no make up (only powder and/or blush). I put a big attention to my lips. I use a Carmex balm for months, it’s excellent. I also try to hold a water spray but it has becamed quite difficult. If I can’t take one with me I use the water offered in the plane plus a tissue or I go to toilets to put some fresh water on my face.


  2. EcoBeauty says:

    I wrote a previous article on how I dared to be vain while on board a plane. It was quite embarrassing doing an eye mask ’cause it was something I’ve never done before and I had odd stares from other passengers

    But I think I’ll try to go a step further next time and try applying a full facial mask. My skin can get really dehydrated and dull during flights and when there’s something important waiting for me upon touchdown (eg. a business meeting or a friend I haven’t seen for the longest time waiting), I owe it to myself to look presentable ?
    EcoBeauty last post is: Wash Your Hair Backwards and be Silly…NOT!

  3. Emily Chia says:

    I doubt I will do anything too. Kinda of hard especially if one is taking economic flight.
    Emily Chia last post is: To that special one

  4. Ana says:

    Oh, you’ve got to be talking about Lisa Eldridge’s video. That video was a complete revelation to me. I’m going to travel long-distance this summer, so I’m definitely going to take her recommendations to heart. And strangers be damned, I’m not going to see them again anyway!

  5. Ana says:

    And by choosing to drink lots of water so you don’t disturb your plane ‘neighbours’ by going to the toilet for beauty purposes seems kind of a paradox to me. Oh you’ll be going alright, maybe not to wash off a face mask, but to pee for sure! LOL

  6. Swati says:

    oh my skin got dry completely that it got stretched on my last flight of just 2 and half hours and I was wondering what should I do for it. but, seriously, I can never put on a mask or anything. in fact, I don’t even have the courage to take out a moisturiser and apply it in front of strangers. it just feels like I am doing a private routine too publicly. drinking water is the only thing I can do and I use a good amount of sunscreen and simply pray that the skin wouldn’t get dry. it happened just once so I feel kinda fine. but, a proper moisturising routine before the flight can help. especially, applying some hydrating essence or serum under the moisturiser. and, carrying a spritzer is a good idea as well.
    Swati last post is: My Latest Haul

  7. xin says:

    havent really been on any really long haul flights before, longest was only about 12 hours. i drank so much of water on tht flight, almost felt like i was some camel. for skincare, i tried applying mask on board before! but tht was when i was on my way for wedding photoshoot. other than that, usually i just bring little facial oil, which can be a do it all.
    xin last post is: Your Say: Inner beauty…worth splurging for?

  8. Jesslyn says:

    I thought of applying facial mask on the plane too, but somehow till today not a single time I did..Apart from being awkward, I will consider hygienic reason too.

  9. stella says:

    for long haul flights, i will put on have my skincare on (toner-serum-moisturizer) before i board and once i can go to the washroom, i’ll go and put on an overnight mask like laneige’s water sleeping pack–it’s hydrating and you don’t get odd stares ‘coz it’s transparent. about an hour before landing, i’ll go wash it off and put on the routine products again

    i’ll also carry on a hand cream and a lip balm

  10. Jyoan says:

    No. I normally would have done all my skincare before leaving house, then I would just sit with it till landing. My flights have at most been 5 hours, so I never found the need to have an in-flight routine.

    I do bring along contact lens eyedrops and hand cream as I do in my handbag everyday.
    Jyoan last post is: What I snack on – Almonds

  11. Cassie says:

    That sounds simple and fuss free. I do pretty much the same minus the light makeup and lip balm.

  12. Cassie says:

    Yes, the economic seats are a little too close to each other to be comfortable doing too much to the face, maybe the business class would be better.

  13. Cassie says:

    I watched that video in that post on your site – MY GOODNESS. She is so brave!! An eye mask sounds alright to me, but you still got stares?? Masking on flights is definitely not for the self conscious, such as myself. ?

  14. Cassie says:

    Yes! It was the video by Lisa Eldridge! I found it really interesting and the way she described it, it sounds like your skin will feel much better after doing all that moisturizing and masking on flight. But I doubt I will try it though, seems too much of a hassle.
    And yes, drinking a lot of water will make you disturb your ‘neighbours’ when you use the loo, but won’t cause as much of a commotion as going to the toilet to wash your mask off, I think. Hehe.

  15. Cassie says:

    I agree with you totally on it feeling too much of a private affair if I were to moisturize in front of strangers. And with the strict regulations on bringing liquids in flights nowadays, I really think it’s too troublesome to transfer just a little amount to bring onto the flight.

  16. Cassie says:

    I drink way too much water on flights too, hehe. Did you get any weird stares or unwanted attention when you had the mask on?

  17. Cassie says:

    It could just be me, but there seems to be more dust speckles floating in the air on planes and I’d imagine my mask to be ‘collecting’ the dust speckles as I walk from my seat to the toilet to wash it off.

  18. Cassie says:

    Ahh yes, the overnight leave-on mask is a great idea! I’ve tried some leave-on mask like the Laneige one before, but I’m quite confused by it because to some extent it feels like just a moisturizer, so for purposes like these I think it would be ideal.

  19. Cassie says:

    Sounds simple and it works!

  20. Ana says:

    To me it’s going to be therapeutic I think, I fly long distance once or twice every year and my skin always gets dehydrated. I think it definitely affects my mood and confort. And I’ll be putting a clear mask like she recommended! Haha

  21. Brownies says:

    This has reminded me to keep a routine for inflight dryness. I notice that my face is always oily after a flight. I never thought that the cabin will be that dry and cause my face to produce more oil.

    I guess I will drink more water or to carry tiny amount apply-on mask as I travel on plane and wash it off, apply my sunblock and moisturiser, before I land.

  22. Carrie says:

    I find I actually moisturise my lips more than my face during flying LOL But I guess it also depends on the duration of the flight. Say from New Zealand to Taiwan or vice versa it’d be 11 hours of direct flight then I’d definitely be moisturising my face a lot. And with such a long flight I really can’t put on my contact lenses so it will have to be glasses only =P
    Carrie last post is: An Educator’s Guide to Creating Learning Spaces in Small Places…

  23. Kookith says:

    I only bring moisturiser and lip balm, and I keep putting thin layers on periodically. If I go to the washroom, I’ll splash my face with water, dab it dry with a tissue, then reapply. Does wonders for my skin and keeps it normal!

  24. vivavoomz says:

    Lisa Eldridge’s video gives really good tips. I think it’s actually fine to mask on long flights or else the skin will get dried out. In fact, I heard air stewardesses on duty also make use of their resting time to remove their makeup and mask , especially so if they are working on long flights.

    I once caught a video of a woman being spotted with a face mask in a MRT train (in China). That is totally ridiculous. She even exited the train with the mask on her face. lol.
    vivavoomz last post is: Gmarket Hauls: Zara Lace Dress

  25. hazel says:

    I’ve never tried a sheet mask because it would be terribly embarrassing ;p I’ve made use of several products to hydrate my facial skin while onboard a plane and they all work well to keep my skin hydrated.
    1) Mac Fix+
    2) SK2 Celluminance Mask In Lotion
    3) Naruko sleep mask
    hazel last post is: Sally Hansen Not a Peep! and Mad for Plaid

  26. Raelynn says:

    For inflights, i usually insist on drinking water for the trip and only indulging in the coffee/tea during meals. on my last trip to melbourne, i asked for water and honey, and found it to be really soothing for the throat, not to mention it keeps you hydrated as well. it went on to the point that the air stewardess had to inform me that it was the last jar of honey they had in the entire cabin. LOL. now that i am planning an euro trip, i just might have to pack my own honey….

    for skincare routine, i remember that i had applied a rich moisturizer before i leave home, wipe off the excess with the warm towel that they give at the start of flights, keep hydrated with water, use sheet masks on the face (if it is a short haul within 7 hours), use leave on masks or really rich moisturizers (if it is a long haul), pack facial cleansing wipes so that I can wipe my face clean without going to the toilet, then move on with the toner, moisturizer and sunscreen before touchdown (dry cabins means rich sunscreens dry fast). voila~

    oh, and i dont apply any make up at all when i am going up and off a plane. it does far too much damage.

  27. Cassie says:

    Ahh… such a long flight! I can’t imagine being stuck in a plane for so long, not to mention the dryness!

  28. Cassie says:

    Sometimes the simplest method is the best. ?

  29. Cassie says:

    Putting mask on a train is really over doing it, isn’t it? Hahaha! I can’t imagine how the air stewardesses must feel with all that makeup on long flights..

  30. Cassie says:

    Yes, a sheet mask would be too attention grabbing. Haha! Did you transfer the products into smaller bottles? Was it troublesome?

  31. Cassie says:

    Facial cleansing wipes are a brilliant idea! Did your face look shiny when you leave home with the rich moisturizer? I can’t seem to slap on rich creams on my face even if the air is dryer or colder without looking really shiny and feeling oily.

  32. Raelynn says:

    Hi Cassie,

    It’s usually okay on my face because my skin is on the dehydrated side… how much of the rich moisturizer do you apply?

  33. Two Chicks says:

    Great Post! We completely agree – travelling can wreak havoc on your skin. We recommend using a richer moisturizer for the face, and around the eye area (this is where dehydration shows), as well as packing an water mist spray (like Evian or Avene) which helps hydrate the skin and ‘re-activate’ the moisturizer.
    We actually recently tried Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask. It helps ‘quench skin’s thirst’ so bring it with you and treat yourself to a relaxing mask after your long travel day.
    Two Chicks last post is: MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

  34. Sesame says:

    Wow, sounds like a treat but do you use it on the plane or after you arrive in the hotel? Cos if I’m not wrong, the mask is a cream based mask?

  35. Jane W. says:

    Hi, great information for frequent flyers. I heard that Korean ladies are really big in using facial mist/spray. Do you know what are the popular brands they use?

  36. Grette says:

    Hello Sesame, Probably the best source for the right info on inflight skin-care would be from Air Hostesses as this being their career I am sure they would have the correct knowledge & it would be incorporated into their training as they are required to look good, and if they didnt do some sort of routine they would end up looking like prunes. Perhaps Sesame would you be able to inquire regarding this I hope so, Best Regards Grette

  37. Alex says:

    I fly over 14 hours 3-4 times a year. Always overnight, dont wear or need makeup but I religiously moisturize during the flight and also wear a hydrating sleeping mask. Technically I’m not disturbing anyone and if someone finds it odd or has a problem with it they can suck it. Air on planes is horrible for your skin.

  38. Sesame says:

    I think using a mask is quite normal especially for long flights…unless someone is really a hillybilly, it should not be too odd.

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