I recently flew across the country from Cleveland to Portland and found that it threw my entire beauty routine in a funk. Of course, this isn't groundbreaking or anything. Every woman has had the same thoughts about beauty on an airplane and in an airport as I have. It's really no surprise then when I say that flights, especially cross-country or international ones, really take a toll on your skin!
Here was my recent experience in sum: First, I had to wake up at the crack of dawn to make it to the airport with enough time before my flight, meaning that I had to forgo my usual makeup routine. Second, I almost missed my flight due to construction at the airport, leaving me with enough stress to produce a good breakout. Oh, and yes, there's a third reason: Dealing with the recycled, dry air inside not one, but two airplanes wreaked havoc on my skin and made me feel like I needed to use about ten bottles of moisturizer to compensate. Finally, I had to deal with the change in climate in Portland, which meant that my makeup products didn't work the same way in the Pacific Northwest as they do in the Midwest. Basically, being on an airplane made me think about beauty a lot, because I could see how this one day of travel could change everything for me.
Thanks to the power of Google, I've now discovered that I should be decked out in SPF and moisturizer before I fly and that carrying a spray-on bottle of water (which has to be under three ounces to be TSA-friendly, of course) is a great way to keep your skin looking and feeling fresh in-flight. But in the spirit of commiserating in our airplane-induced beauty hell together, I've rounded up a list of seven beauty thoughts we all have had on airplanes because let's be real — flying is your skin's worst nightmare.
1. "My skin is like a desert."
Airplanes are notorious for drying out your skin, thanks to the circulation of only recycled air for hours on end. Since there is no moisture to draw from, the air will literally start to extract moisture from your skin. So when you feel like you're skin is becoming sand paper, it's not just you, that's what's actually happening. Make sure to stay hydrated in flight and combat the dryness by using a night cream before your get on board.
2. "I need water!"
If I don't buy a bottle of water in the airport, I always regret it. Seriously, do yourself a favor and buy that freaking water bottle, even though we all know it's way overpriced and bad for the environment. If you're the planner type, bring an empty water bottle to the airport and fill it up at your nearest water fountain.
3. "This bathroom is way too small to apply anything."
Whoever designed airplane bathrooms should never be allowed to design anything, ever again, because they are the smallest, most cramped, and uncomfortable bathrooms in the world. There are so many beauty gurus and experts in fancy magazines who recommend using your airplane time to pamper yourself and apply every indulgent beauty product that you own. But let's be real — you aren't going to be applying anything in those bathrooms. You'll be lucky if you can even wash your hands.
4. "I wish I'd brought more moisturizer."
As seems to be the theme here, moisture is the biggest beauty issue that comes up when on an airplane. If you don't pack some lotion and/or moisturizer with you, you will be sorry. So do yourself a favor and put a generous amount into your carry-on the day before your flight, so that you won't forget it when you're rushing to the airport last minute. If you're not afraid to scare your seat mates, try putting on a sheet mask to lock in the moisture into your skin during your flight! They say you can have too much of a good thing, but when it comes to moisturizer on an airplane, you really can't.
5. "I feel like everyone is looking at me applying all of these products."
Since the chances are good you won't be able to apply any of your products in the "bathroom' of an airplane, you might try to do it while in your seat. While doing this probably looks effortless and even glamorous in beauty videos, in real life it doesn't really go like that. Chances are you're not seated in first class, which means your space is severely limited, and the people on the flight with you will be people who don't care much about highlighter and contouring. But really, who cares? Do your thang gurl.
6. "I got way too dressed up for this."
It can be easy to look at pictures of Kim Kardashian at the airport and think "I want to have full hair and makeup and a killer outfit the next time I fly!" But in reality, she has a private plane with all of the leg room in the world, while you, mere mortal, do not. So ditch the heels and false lashes, because you'll only be wishing you wore sweats when you settle into the flight.
7. "I have to get to a bathroom ASAP."
Not only does your bladder probably feel like it's going to explode, but you probably want to wash your face and at the very least, put some more moisturizer on before heading back into civilization.
Images: Ryan McGuire/Pixabay