Cass Bird for Vogue
Let's be clear: Any model-approved skincare tips tend to grab our attention. Then there are those occasional nuggets that practically give us whiplash. Example: Soo Joo Park discussed her travel routine with The Cut last month and made a rather vivid analogy about what flying does to our complexion.
"If you drink half of a bottle, close it, and leave it there during your flight, upon descending to a lower altitude you'll see that the bottle has shrunk," she said. "You can imagine a similar thing happening to your skin." Uh, yeah, we can. And it doesn't look good.
We've flown enough to know that airplanes really dry out our skin, but this mini physics lesson puts it into glaring perspective, no? And here's the other thing: With the chaos of holiday travel and a full schedule of festivities, we simply don't have the time (or want!) to revive a dull complexion after landing. So with this and visions of crumpled water bottles in mind, we asked skincare experts for their must-know travel tips and products to keep our faces looking fly—so to speak.
See how to maintain a hydrated, flawless complexion from takeoff to touchdown.
If there's one ingredient to focus on for your travel beauty bag, it's hyaluronic acid. "It pulls in water to keep the skin well hydrated," explains Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care in Maryland. But that's not all: Hyaluronic acid is also occlusive, meaning that it doesn't just draw water in, but obstructs it from leaving, as well. This extra element of defense is key—otherwise, the climate-controlled air will just continue to suck out whatever extra moisture you're providing your skin.
A leave-on mask is a really great way to give your face an extra dose of super-saturated hydration. But since sheet masks might scare your neighbors and anything that needs to be rinsed off is just impractical, the trick is to choose a clear, leave-on formula: Look for anything that says "overnight" or "sleep mask."
A face mist is an easy, mess-free way to give your complexion a quick drink of water, says Dr. Donna Bilu Martin, consulting dermatologist for Clark's Botanicals.
The area underneath your eyes is one of the first to show evidence of any dehydration or travel fatigue, so you may want to target it specifically with a gel or cream, says Dr. Bilu Martin.
Of course, remember to hydrate from the inside, as well.
Yes, yes, our faces are important. But dried, cracked hands are never a good look either.
Even if it's a day flight, try to sneak in some shut-eye—it'll help you evade dark circles, under-eye bags, and a lackluster complexion in general. Besides, travel is exhausting, and naps are everything.
Though you should be in pretty good shape at this point, give yourself a post-flight treatment for good measure. Skincare guru January Olds recommends grabbing a matcha latte upon landing (for energy that won't dehydrate, unlike coffee) and using this peel to brighten and refresh any residual dullness. (Apply it in the cab from the airport.)
What are your travel skincare essentials? Any tips on pampering your complexion without disturbing your seatmates? Tell us in the comments below!