How To Keep Skin Hydrated On An Airplane When The Cabin Air Is Doing You Wrong

Whether you're traveling home for the holidays, or going to a tropical location to escape the cold, if you plan on flying, keeping yourself hydrated is a must. But it can be hard to stay hydrated on a long flight. If you've flown before, you're probably familiar with that awful, dry, recycled cabin-air. No bueno. So one of the best things you can do for your skin and body during a flight is to drink a lot of water (and try to skip the booze and coffee). While it's best to also bring a treatment specifically for your skin even on a shorter flight, longer flight-times can require something a little more intensive to stay properly hydrated.

I'm no stranger to long flights — most of my family lives in Japan and I love visiting. But I often become so swept up in the excitement of traveling that I forget to prepare an in-flight system for my skin. The result is not cute. I'm talking dry, flaky skin that is totally covered in a slick of oil that my face produced trying to battle the dehumidified air. (My apologies for the graphics.) So I vowed on my most recent overseas trip that I would NOT subject my face to the worst of both the dry and oily-skin worlds. This time I came prepared.

Armed with oils and creams, I began my (11 hour) journey ready to take on the cabin air. As soon as the seatbelt-light went off after takeoff, I scuttled over to the tiny lavatory to slather on my products. Despite the limited counter space, I was surprised at how easy it was to actually go through a skincare regimen on the plane. After completing my routine, I returned to my seat and let the recycled air do its worst. Oh, and spoiler alert: after arriving at my destination, a security worker in the airport actually told me my skin was glowing and asked for my secret. Here it is.

Step 1: Hydrating Mist

Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray, $31, Sephora

Hydrating sprays are the perfect first ingredient for an in-flight skincare cocktail. Oily-skinned ladies especially will love this prep spray that absorbs oil and minimizes pores while still offering hydration. And don't worry if your bottle is too big to get through security — just transfer your desired amount into a little travel spray-bottle like this one.

Step 2: Eye Cream

By Terry Hydradiance Eye Contour, $75, Amazon

It's so important to take care of the delicate skin around the eyes. And I don't know about you, but my under-eyes can become kind of puffy when I travel. This eye cream (along with its cooling, metal applicator) helped tackle both the swollen and dehydrated nature of my eyes in one shot.

Step 3: Face Oil

Clarins Blue Orchid Face Treatment Oil, $36, Amazon

Even though I have naturally oily skin, I still love using oils. Not only does this one protect against dehydration, but it also provides radiance, elasticity, and even anti-aging properties. In addition to applying this all over my face, I also used it on my hands to prevent the dryness and cracking that I usually experience.

Step 4: Moisturizer

Bliss Triple Oxygen Ex-glow-sion Moisture Cream, $64, Amazon

To really lock in the benefits of everything I already put on my face, I made sure to apply a thicker moisturizer last. Charged with oxygen and Vitamin E, this one delivered its own moisture surge while imparting, as the name suggests, a nice glow to the skin.

Step 5: Lip Oil

Clarins Instant Light Lip Comfort Oil, $26, Amazon

I'll be honest: I'm obsessed with this stuff. This is my go-to fix for dry and cracked lips, so of course I had to bring it with me. If you feel like you constantly have to reapply lip balm to keep your puckers moisturized, give a lip oil like this one a go. It'll change your life.

Overall, this combination of products worked amazingly to keep my skin hydrated for over 11 hours. No flakiness here. And while they're all great to use on a long flight, they would also make great additions to your skincare regimen. Especially in the winter when we all need a little extra moisture, using any or all of these products can really help step up your skincare game, and keep your skin from drying, chapping, and cracking. So whether you're braving the cold or stepping off a plane, having the right combination of moisturizers will ensure that you're not too dry (or some awkward combination of too dry and too oily), just glowing.

Images: Miki Hayes