Do you dread flights because you usually step off the plane with frizzy hair, bloodshot eyes, and flaky skin? When you can’t find it in you to embrace your skin au naturale, there are things you can do to better your situation. Following these five steps in the days leading up to your trip, as well as during your flight, can help you make sure you don’t derail the benefits of your beauty routine in one redeye:

 1. T-minus 7 Days: Hydrate

Woman drinking water

A flight can make your skin lose any semblance of the snap it had before your trip. At least one week before you travel, add an extra 8 to 16 ounces of water to your daily consumption. Add more if you typically drink fewer than six glasses of water a day (shame on you). Buy a bottle of water in the airport on the day of your trip and sip on it during your flight, and avoid sodium-laden foods and drinks. This will help your skin stay moist even when confronted with dry air and sketchy airplane food.

 2. T-minus 2 Days: Exfoliate

Girl washing face

Give your skin a little boost a few days before the trip by exfoliating with a gentle scrub. Don’t use this time to get a chemical peel; traveling can irritate sensitive skin. Stick to a gentle wash or brush, making sure to hit your hairline and your neck as well as the skin on your face for an additional beauty boost.

 3. T-day: Moisturize

Girl Moisturizing face

Use a hefty moisturizer the day you travel. After your morning cleansing routine, massage a rich lotion, or even your night cream, into the skin on your face and neck. Yes, you’re going to look a little extra dewy on your flight, but the moisture barrier will protect your skin from exposure to dry air. Plus, you can use oil-blotting sheets or tissues to soak up some of the excess shininess once you leave the house if your nose is reflecting the TSA agent’s face. Don’t load up on the makeup, either. It will either slide off your lush skin or look caked on by the time you reach your destination. Instead, apply some sheer, shimmery color before your plane lands and emerge like a made-up butterfly from its airborne cocoon.

4. T-plus 1 Day: Go Phantom

Girl putting on face mask

Of the Opera, that is. Put on a mask. Not the kind that’s going to hide your dry skin (or allow you to lurk in the theatre’s shadows), because your skin should still feel amazing after your flight. Keep it looking and feeling its best by using a hydrating mask when you get to your hotel. Even better, partake in a mini-facial or a mud mask in your hotel’s spa–you are on vacation after all.

 5. T-plus 2 Days: Protect Yourself

Girl putting on SPF


Don’t forget to pack all of your skincare essentials to use during your trip. Washing your face with the hotel soap will rob your skin of the benefits from your recent routine. Include sunscreen or makeup with SPF in it even if you’re not heading to the tropics, because UV rays are always lurking about.

Don’t forget that you have a return flight to make. Overindulging on alcohol during your trip can dehydrate you (although it does make for interesting stories), leaving you at risk for dry skin on your return home. Hopefully you’ve planned a vacation from your vacation…that will give you time to hide out and recover.