If there’s one thing I’ve learned about travelling, it’s that a tiny carry-on sized cosmetic bag will go a LONG way to making you feel fresh and new after a flight, or even as an in-flight pick me up. They’re my travel skincare essentials. I’ve put together a short list of my picks that I absolutely refuse to travel without, and I hope this is helpful to you too.
The In-Flight Routine
First, there’s no point trying to put moisturiser on over dirty skin. Just thinking about it squicks me out. The best way to clean your face in an airplane bathroom is with a cotton pad and some micellar water. That’s right, put away the baby wipes!
But, the 100ml limit…
My favourite travel bottles to use for bringing all of this on board are some airless pump ones that I scored at Daiso.
They come in 15ml and 30ml sizes, and I’ve never had an issue with something being too thick to come through the pump, plus anything under 30ml won’t be a problem going through airport security.
However, it’s absolutely worth sanitizing them after every use, even if you plan to refill it with the same product – my travel pump of moisturiser recently spoiled because I didn’t clean it between refills!
I usually clean them by filling them with rubbing alcohol, letting it sit for a day or so then pumping all of the alcohol out so it cleans all of the mechanisms of the pump and container, then it’s ready for my next trip!
Freshen Yo’ Face
The best travel-hack I’ve heard for micellar water is popping a few cotton pads in a ziplock bag and adding enough micellar water to saturate them – this is best done with a CLEAN ziplock bag, obvi.
Or depending on the airline you’re taking, your flight attendants might hand out some lush steamed towels just before takeoff. I’ve never asked for another one mid-flight, but if you ask nicely you might get lucky!
A bonus step that I might do on a particularly long-haul flight is whip out a sheet mask to really add a moisture punch to my skin. I recommend doing this after the lights have gone out and when most people will be sleeping to reduce the funny looks that you might get (but if you’re ballsy then by all means, go ahead!)
Because airplanes are such dry environments, it’s important that you add moisture to your skin and make sure to keep it there. I usually take both a hyaluronic acid lotion plus a thicker moisturiser to help lock all that moisture in my skin. If I don’t take these steps, my skin becomes both drier and oilier, and both combined is an absolutely disgusting feeling.
I’ve found that while I’m definitely genetically oily, keeping my skin at an optimum level of hydration dramatically helps with excess oiliness. I don’t bring any actives on the plane because my priority is keeping it clean and hydrated – skipping your regular treatments for one night won’t hurt, IMO.
Nourish Your Lips
I always find my lips become extremely dry, peeling messes on airplanes, so I never travel without a tube of Papaw Ointment. I know it’s basically glorified fruity Vaseline, but I much prefer the texture and smell of Papaw. I also really appreciate the fact that it comes in tubes, I really hate sticking my fingers in tubs! It’s also great for adding a light layer on top of your moisturiser to stop your skin from drying out, and I know some people like to put it in their noses to stop dry noses and nosebleeds from happening.
These remaining ones aren’t necessarily skincare, but they will make your travels slightly more comfortable: toothbrush + toothpaste, wet wipes (absolutely not for your face!), and hand sanitizer. Just brushing your teeth goes such a long way to make you feel fresher, and honestly I would hate to be stuck with smelly breath after eating plane food with no way to get rid of it. Skin friendly anti-bacterial wet wipes are great for freshening up yourself and wiping down your tray table and arm rests.
Also… Do I really need to explain the purpose of hand sanitizer?
Another thing I’ll never travel without, but have never had to use it yet is a change of clothes in my carry-on. Let’s say you arrive at your hotel at 9am, but check-in isn’t until 3pm – you’ve got everything you need, right in your carry-on for a quick freshen up before you’re ready to head out and explore your new city. Or maybe you need it even earlier than that – an irritating seat mate accidentally spills her orange juice all over your lap…
In any case, packing a full, mini-sized set of skincare plus these handy extras are guaranteed to come in handy on the road.