How to Keep Your Skin Looking Fresh and Healthy When Flying Long Haul

Whether you’re seated in first class or economy, airplane travel can wreak havoc on your skin. The combined effects of in-flight air conditioning and jetlag when you land makes your skin dry, irritated and intensely dehydrated (and yet somehow, also, puffy).

The low humidity in the cabin can irritate your eyes, while at the same time causing oily skin to produce more oil, making it prone to blemishes after landing.

And long travel days, coupled with the stress of potential delays, only adds to the toll on your complexion.

So what’s the best way to counteract these effects and arrive at your destination looking your best?

Below, we’ve listed 9 simple, effective things you can do before, during and after your flight to make the experience of crossing time zones more bearable on your skin.

Don’t forget to check out JetSet LifeStyle Blog!

Since no one wants to be dealing with tired, dry skin whilst travelling, let alone a freshly erupted blemish, the best defence is to plan ahead, and give your skin some much-needed TLC when you’re on board.


It starts with some pre-emptive action before you leave for the airport:

TIP #1: PACK WELL: Hardly anyone loves packing for trips, but it pays to be organised with your skincare beforehand.

The first thing to remember is to pack decent-sized skincare: a travel size is fantastic for a weekend but no more.

All of the products from Otis Skincare were designed for travel and their Hydrating Daily Moisturiser is the perfect size to keep in the cabin with you. At exactly 75ml/ 2.53oz it’s TSA proof and allowed in hand luggage, but also large enough for everyday use. So there’s no need to worry about running out of product.

You don’t need to travel with a lot of products in your carry-on either. Many can do double-duty during your trip. However, it’s best to stick to your usual skincare products rather than risk something new when you travel.

Whether you’ve managed to get everything into a lightweight carry-on or you’re putting some items in the hold, these are the skincare essentials to have with you in the cabin:

  • Moisturizer – that can also double as an eye cream
  • Hand Cream
  • Lip Balm
  • Wash Cloth
  • Travel-sized Hand Sanitizer (to avoid getting sick)

Sleep is super important to maintaining a great complexion, so also include:

  • a comfortable Eye Mask
  • Earplugs
  • and/or Noise Reducing Headphones

in your carry-on luggage for some peace and quiet on the plane. And you’re good to go.

TIP #2: GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP: Before you fly, it’s always important to get a good night’s rest to ensure your skin is able to rejuvenate itself.

TIP #3: PREP YOUR SKIN: Ensure your skin is in the best condition before you take off to minimise the effects in the air. So moisturise your skin well the night before your flight.

TIP #4: NO DIURETICS: Stay away from diuretics such as alcohol and caffeine to prevent your skin from losing moisture unnecessarily. And try to increase your water intake for sufficient hydration.


Not everybody is happy to slap on a hydrating sheet mask but there are other more effective (and discreet) ways to nourish your skin on a flight so that you land looking fresh-faced.


The NUMBER ONE most important thing you can do to keep your skin hydrated is to drink plenty of water.

Flight attendants and other frequent flyers swear by drinking two litres of water before, during, and after long flights as a way to keep both skin and body fully hydrated.

Coffee, alcohol, and soda will dry out your skin, so avoiding these three is a good rule of thumb, and try to limit any salty airplane food as this only encourages water retention and puffiness.


Moisturizing is also vital to counteract the effect of the dry cabin air.

And if there’s one ingredient to focus on in low-humidity conditions like these it’s hyaluronic acid.

It pulls in water to keep the skin well hydrated. But hyaluronic acid is also occlusive, meaning that it doesn’t only draw water in, but obstructs it from leaving as well. It’s well worth looking for a moisturizer that includes this ingredient.

HANDS – Your hands will also feel the effects of the dry cabin air and can become painfully dehydrated. Make sure to restore that lost moisture by using a good hand cream.

LIPS – Your lips will have a tendency to feel drier and more chapped than normal on a flight, so always have your favourite lip balm handy and re-apply regularly to keep them soft.


The skin around your eyes is often the first to show strain mid-flight. When you’re dehydrated, tired or stressed (all probable on a long haul flight), the skin tissue near the eyes fills with fluid and becomes puffy. To minimize, pat a tiny amount of moisturizer below each eye. It will hydrate and refresh the skin, thus minimizing these outward signs of flight fatigue.

If you packed a fresh wash cloth in your carry-on, you can use it with some drinking water to clean and freshen your face. Applied cold it will also help to relieve any puffiness.


Maybe no one ever got their best night of sleep on a plane, but try to doze off anyway— it helps keep your skin fresh and looking good upon arrival.

The best ways to make it easier to fall asleep on board:

  • Noise-cancelling Headphones – the best ones will reduce unwanted background noise, so you can hear what you want to hear and silence the rest.
  • Sleep mask – A comfortable sleep mask will also improve the quality of your sleep on a long flight. Try to choose one that doesn’t press against your face. The Good Night Sleep Mask is designed to sit away from the eye to allow for deeper, more restful REM sleep.



When you reach your destination always use a moisturiser on your face and body after your shower, and before sleeping, to counteract the dehydrating effect of the plane.

Follow these steps and you’ll be arriving at your destination looking like a well-travelled pro.

Bon Voyage!


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