DIY In-flight Spa Facial Treatment

by  Melisse Gelula | Sep 7, 2010
Plane / Biletskiy_Evgeniy/iStock

All kinds of beauty products bill themselves as travel-worthy. But that often just means they’re packaged in small enough jars to not get confiscated by TSA. Or they include what you need once you arrive in your destination (shampoo, etc.) rather than what you need in flight to keep your skin from tightening up like drum or looking ashy and lackluster like you’ve been at sea for months.

My ideal in-flight travel kit has five hydrating skin-care products (plus toothbrush and toothpaste) and is super low on scent: It’s not nice to besiege your fellow passengers with heady perfumes, so I stick to natural-leaning lines with products that smell no stronger than a cup of herbal tea.

1. A hydrating face mask
My most radical tip: Just before I board the plane I slather on a hydrating face mask – one that’s gel- or cream- based that sinks right in like a moisturizer. (You need to test this out at home first.) So while everyone around me is shriveling, I’m starting my journey with a moisture-boosting treatment. And no one’s the wiser. (I like Susan Ciminelli Hydrating Gel Mask, pictured above, but I dispense it into a smaller container first.)

2. A hydrating cleanser
A few hours into the flight I’ll wash off the face mask and apply the following products listed below. I’ll typically wash up at least one more time before landing. Right now I’m using ESPA Hydrating Cleansing Milk.

3. A hydrating moisturizer (ideally one that can double as a hand lotion)
I pack whatever I’ve got around that promises to load my skin up with juicy adjectives. I tend to look for hyaluronic acid, which draws moisture from the air, what little there is, and use the cream generously on my hands, too. I’m about to put Tata Harper Rebuilding Moisturizer to test on a flight to Miraval Spa in Tucson soon. We’ll see how it holds up in both dry environments.

4. A hydrating eye cream
I tend to get dark circles when I fly, so I like an eye gel or cream with vitamin K and light reflecting particles in it, like Naturopathica Vitamin K Brightening Eye Serum. If you tend to swell up in flight, look for one with caffeine, since it helps move trapped fluid, like First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller (shown at left).

5. A hydrating mist
 I’m not convinced that Evian works. I think my water needs to be tempered with antioxidant skin-calmers like chamomile or lavender. And because you can use a mist at your seat without a mirror, I love them. (They also work as great air-freshener, which is perfect for stale flights.) I’ve been draining a bottle of Living Tree Botanicals Blue Chamomile Facial Tonic.

Bonus item:
6. Dry shampoo
Both Klorane and Lulu Organics make non-aerosol oil-absorbing hair powders for matted, limp locks. You simply shake them into your part, and brush them through, and your hair looks like it hasn’t been tangled in a synthetic pillow for 12 hours.

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