11 Beauty Products For Air Travel Because Surviving 8 Hours Or More On An Airplane Is No Easy Feat

On every flight I've ever been on, travel sized beauty products have been a godsend. Between the long hours on the plane and the layovers in between, airplane travel can be exhausting.

It's also not easy on the skin. The cabin air is dry, and the hours spent traveling cause your makeup to fade and give you an overall unrefreshed feeling. Unfortunately, there's not plenty of opportunity to wash your face, brush your teeth, or any other general grooming you're dying to do, either.

Last summer, I went to India and spent over 24 hours straight on planes and buses. By the time we finally arrived at our destination, I felt absolutely icky and in need of a shower/facial/massage. This was my first international flight. I was grossly underprepared, and ended up packing more books and magazines in my carry-on than some much needed beauty essentials. Since then, I’ve been on many mini-vacations and road trips, and have established a pretty solid list of beauty essentials I never go without.

Included in this slideshow are some of the beauty products I consider my “essentials,” as well as products I wish I had with me during those many flights to and from India. Take notes, you’ll thank me later!

Image: Fotolia

by Sebastian Zulch

Facial Wipes

Kara Facial Cleansing Wipes in Aloe & Mint, $5, Ebay

Facial wipes are a must for so many reasons. They’re perfect for a quick little wipe over for an instant clean feeling (as close as you can get to washing your face). Wipes are also a great pick-me-up for your face, and are perfect for removing the remnants of yesterday’s makeup.

The Kara brand is great for cleaning and toning, and the wipes come in so many scents! I came across this Indian skincare company at the New Delhi airport, and its rose-scented wipes saved my tired skin. I even felt them toning and tightening my skin, preparing me for the next 12 hours of travel I had ahead of me.

I would recommend getting the Aloe and Mint wipes. The aloe effectively soothe dry skin, while the mint revitalize. The smell of mint is also a great antidote for any nausea you may experience on the flight.

Eye Mask

Instant Depuffing Eye Mask, $4, Sephora

On long flights, it’s in everyone’s best interest to just sleep through the whole trip. However, between turbulence, anxiety, and hunger, it never manages to happen. If you’re in and out of sleep, or have given up on it altogether, use a depuffing eye mask to brighten and soothe tired eyes.


Rimmel ScandalEyes Mascara in Black, $6, Target

After you de-puff on the plane, spruce up those tired eyes a little. Before you get off your flight, swipe on some mascara to give the illusion of wide-awake eyes, and to make you feel a little more put together. I love this brand because it really gives my lashes the extra lift they need.

Minty Gum

Trident Gum in Spearmint (Pack of 12),$7, Amazon

Chewing gum is an absolute must on a plane ride, yet I so often forget it. Some minty sugarfree gum like Trident would be super handy to stash away in your bag. Pop a piece in right before take off, and your ears won’t pop so much thanks to the constant chewing and swallowing gum requires. Added bonus is fresh breath and an alternative (albeit not a very good one) for tooth brushing.

Your Favorite Lipstick

Wicked Lippie in Trickery, $6, NYX Cosmetics

There’s nothing that picks me up or gives me a shot of confidence like a bold lip does. Not only does it make up for a face devoid of makeup, it also encourages me to stay motivated throughout the rest of the trip.

I love NYX and my absolute favorite shade is its Wicked Lippie in Trickery. It also goes on super easily, lasts, and is pretty moisturizing. If crazy-colored shades aren’t really your thing, NYX has plenty of neutral offerings as well. And if you’re not a lipstick kinda girl, chapstick works as a great lip pick-me-up!

Travel Sized Scents

Spring Into Summer Petal Pack, $24, Pinrose

Between the stale air of the flight and hours on end without moving or washing, you might smell a little gross by the time you step off the plane. If you still have a ways to go, either by car or bus, freshen up with these perfumed wipes. These one-time use wipes are super portable, and don’t require you to litter the air around you and everyone else with your favorite bottle of perfume. Scents that are super cheery and sunny, like these, also double as a mood-booster.

Mini Hairbrush

Mini Hairbrush, $5, The Body Shop

You don’t need a sink or mirror to spruce up your ‘do a little. Pack a travel-sized brush, and you can take care of those knots mid-flight. Having a few hair ties and bobby pins on hand would be awesome, too. Or don’t give your hair another thought, and throw it up in a bun.

Dry Shampoo

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo, $13, Sephora

If you’re on a longer journey and are killing time during a layover, you’ll be happy to have some dry shampoo tucked away in your carry-on. Spray all over and massage into your scalp to get rid of any excess oil, and comb through to lock in shine.


Crystal Essence Mineral Deodorant Roll-On in Lavender & White Tea, $5, GNC

You never know when your pits will get a little damp. You might sweat from stress, your destination may be of a way warmer climate than you’re used to, or maybe you just happen to sweat more than others! Regardless, as long as you have sweat glands under your arms, it’s great to carry deodorant with you on your flight just in case. Pack your usual, or try to opt for a more natural alternative, like crystal deodorant.

Blotting Papers

e.l.f. Essential Shine Eraser, $1, E.L.F.

I personally don’t wear much makeup on my skin, and I usually don’t have to deal with shininess. But if you’re wearing a full face of makeup getting on your flight, or you just want to avoid grease and shine, pack away some blotting papers with you. These e.l.f. papers are effective and super cheap.

Facial Moisturizer

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense, $12, Sephora

Hours on a plane usually dries my skin out, and by the end of each one, my skin is practically dying for a drink of moisture. Avoid this feeling by bringing along a mini facial moisturizer. The more hydrating and repairing the formula is, the better.