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10 Beauty Hacks for Long Flights: Stay Fresh and Fabulous

Are you tired of arriving at your destination after a long flight with dull skin and crazy hair? Me too! In this article, I will share my favorite ten beauty hacks for long flights that will help you stay fresh and put together throughout your journey. Get ready to glow like a donut and look your best, even at 30,000 feet!

Traveling long distances can take a toll on your skin and overall appearance. Sitting in a seat for 5-13 hours at a time, trying to sleep, and bouncing your neck to get the right sleep angle does not do wonders for your hair or skin. I have learned that my skin does not appreciate cabin air for longer than a 4-hour flight. Recycled air circulation and lack of sleep? Now that’s a great recipe for dull skin and crazy hair. Over the years, with nearly 200 flights flown, I have perfected my pre and post-flight game to combat the effects of long flights and arrive at any destination looking fresh and fabulous.

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Pre-gaming is so important. Especially for flights. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to set you up for a long flight. Before you board the plane, try incorporating a few inexpensive beauty hacks into your routine.


One of the most essential beauty hacks for long flights is the pre-flight preparation: water! Drinking water not only helps you live but also helps moisturize your skin from the inside. Make sure to drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your flight. Have a goal of drinking at least 2 liters of water every day for five days before departing.

Don’t drink any sugary or alcoholic beverages leading up to your journey. Alcohol and sugar drinks might sound great, but these two have a nasty way of wrecking your liver and kidneys. Alcohol also leaves your body dehydrated, so if you are drinking tons of water and then drinking alcohol, then you are getting nothing.


Cleanse your face thoroughly before your flight and follow with a lightweight moisturizer. This will help create a barrier on your skin and prevent it from drying out during the flight. I suggest avoiding any exfoliates during this pre-flight routine.

The Kate Somerville Goat Milk provides deep hydration to the skin, helping to maintain your skin’s moisture balance. This cleanser also replenishes dehydrated skin, leaving it feeling soft, smooth, and nourished. The Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream Classic Moisturizer helps promote skin rejuvenation and renewal. It is rich in antioxidants that combat free radicals, which can contribute to premature aging.


This one is probably one of my most suggested beauty hacks for long flights: Opt for minimal makeup or go makeup-free on long flights. Wearing heavy makeup can clog your pores and lead to breakouts. Instead, focus on skincare and let your skin breathe during the journey.

I don’t wear any makeup on a flight as my skin is generally sensitive to makeup. However, I would choose good eyebrow gel and some mascara if I had to.


Your flight experience will drastically change based solely on the type of clothing you wear for your long flight. Choosing comfortable, breathable clothing for your flight is crucial for a successful flight. I suggest avoiding tight-fitting or restrictive clothes that will make you uncomfortable and restless. Instead, I would opt for loose-fitting garments that allow for easy movement.


Avoid wearing heavy fragrances as they can be overwhelming in the confined space of an airplane. Opt for lighter scents or skip perfume to be considerate of fellow passengers.


Now that we covered all the beauty hacks for long flights before getting on the plane, let’s look at some on the flight. Once you’re on the plane, it’s time to focus on your in-flight skincare routine. These simple steps will help keep your skin hydrated and refreshed throughout the journey.


Start by washing your face with a gentle cleanser and follow it up with a toner. This will remove any impurities and help balance the pH of your skin.

Inkey List Mini Oat Cleansing Balm from Sephora is a gentle and nourishing formula. This cleansing balm effectively removes makeup, dirt, and impurities from your skin while maintaining moisture and hydration. Since this is a balm, you can use it with or without access to water. I use the cream and wipe the balm off with the Shiseido Refreshing wipes. The Pietra kit comes with essence, a face mask, and toner, all for the same price as just buying the body as a stand-alone. The essence helps pull the moisturizer deeper into the skin, lasting longer.


A good hydrator will keep your skin plump and bouncy throughout the flight. Generally, a mask is thicker and lasts much longer than moisturizers.

I apply a generous amount of this mask to my face and an extra hefty amount underneath my eyes to prevent dark circles.


Throughout the flight, spritz your face with a hydrating facial mist. This will provide an instant burst of moisture and keep your skin refreshed. Choose a mist that contains ingredients like rosewater or aloe vera for added hydration.

Tower 28 has been the saving grace of my skincare. This is a great mist that I use then I feel like I have acne coming up. This is a great choice for anyone with sensitive or red skin. This spray is also fragrance-free, so feel free to spray as much as you need on your face. Additional beauty hack: if you put on moisturizer and you feel like it is starting to feel dry a few hours later, spray a little of this on top, and it will add some extra moisture.


Don’t forget to take care of your delicate eye area. Apply an eye cream or gel to keep the skin around your eyes moisturized and prevent puffiness or dark circles.

Another of my favorite beauty hacks for long flights is under eye patches. Some people are comfortable putting on full face masks on flights, but this is a happy middle if you are uncomfortable with doing so. Under eye patches keep your eyes happy and hydrated, relieving you from looking dull as you depart your flight.


Keep your lips hydrated by applying a nourishing lip balm regularly. The dry cabin air can cause lips to become dry and chapped, so a lip balm with ingredients like shea butter or coconut oil will help keep them soft and supple.

A common part of skincare that is skipped is lip care. Using some heavy-duty lip moisturizers will help your lips from being chapped and stay soft. My recent favorite has been the Glossier Balm Dotcom.


In addition to skincare, your hair can also suffer during long flights. Here are a few hair care hacks to keep your locks looking fabulous.


Tie your hair in a loose bun or braid to prevent tangles and frizz. This will also help you stay comfortable during the flight, especially when trying to rest. Another option is to try the heatless curls method while on the flight to help you get some gorgeous curls on arrival.


If your hair tends to get greasy, pack a travel-sized dry shampoo. It will absorb excess oil and give your hair a refreshed look without water. Spray a generous amount about 6 inches away from your hair and brush it out for a refreshed look.


Apply a few drops of hair serum to the ends of your hair to keep them moisturized and prevent them from becoming dry and brittle during the flight.


Drinking water is crucial during long flights. Remember to stay hydrated by sipping water regularly. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol or caffeine, as they can dehydrate your body.


Sitting for long periods can cause stiffness and discomfort. Take breaks to stretch your legs and move around the cabin when it’s safe. This will improve blood circulation and prevent muscle cramps.


Getting enough rest on a long flight is essential for looking fresh upon arrival. Use a neck pillow, an eye mask, and earplugs to create a comfortable environment for sleep. Consider bringing noise-canceling headphones to block out any disruptive sounds.


Once you’ve reached your destination, it’s time to give your skin some extra TLC with a post-flight skincare routine.


Start by cleansing your face to remove any dirt or impurities accumulated during the flight. Follow it with a gentle exfoliation to slough off dead skin cells and reveal a fresh complexion.


Apply a hydrating serum and a nourishing moisturizer to replenish your skin’s moisture levels. Look for ingredients like ceramides and antioxidants to restore vitality to your skin.


Continue using your eye cream to moisturize the delicate eye area and reduce any puffiness or dark circles caused by lack of sleep.


Pamper your skin with a hydrating face mask. Choose a mask that provides deep hydration and leaves your skin feeling plump and rejuvenated.


Lastly, don’t forget to continue drinking water to maintain hydration from within. Water will help flush out toxins and keep your skin radiant during your trip.


With these ten beauty hacks, you can stay fresh and fabulous throughout long flights. Caring for your skin, hair, and overall well-being means you’ll arrive at your destination feeling and looking your best. Remember to prioritize hydration, minimal makeup, and regular skincare routines in-flight and after landing.

10 Beauty Hacks for Long Flights: Stay Fresh and Fabulous

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Meet Priya

here to break societal norms.

In 2017, I quit my job and dropped out of school to set out on a path less traveled. Since then, I have ventured across the world, built a van and created a life that both scares me and fulfills me at the same time. And I’ve never looked back.

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