Fabulous at 30,000 Feet: Eleven Beauty Travel Essentials

Despite the traumatic nature of a flight I recently took—I was on a prop plane flying from Oregon over the Rockies into Denver—upon exiting the aircraft I looked in the mirror and realized my nerves were the least of my worries. My skin looked like it had aged about a decade in a three hour–plus journey. With a long-haul international trip on the horizon, I can feel my shoulders tensing up just thinking about how dry and wrinkly I'll look when I land. It's a fact: the parching effect of high altitude and dry cabin air can leave even the most supple of us looking parched by the time we begin to descend. So how do you stop a plane trip from turning into a beauty nightmare? Stow the following secret weapons in your carry-on. (But make sure they're 3.4 ounces or less and fit in a zip-top bag.) By the time you land, you'll be fresh, dewy, and ready to enter vacation mode—pictures and all.
Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizer
Olay Regenerist Recovery Moisturizing Treatment
Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask
Coconut Milk Eye Anti-Puff Cream
Earth Therapeutics Fire and Ice Eye Compress
Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Rose Water
Ole Henriksen Fresh Lips
GoSmile Jet Set Kit
Rohto V Arctic Eye Drops
Benefit Boo Boo Zap
Bobble Filtered Water Bottle
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Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizer

The most important potion to tote on board is an über-hydrating facial cream to lock in moisture. And because you’re thirty thousand feet closer to the sun, the cream you pack should also provide sun protection. The lightweight formula of Kiehl’s Ultra Moisturizer with SPF 15 absorbs easily (no greasy-face look) while hydrating, improving overall texture (none of that in-flight flakiness), and protecting your skin from the rays coming through the windows. ($19, Kiehl’s)

Olay Regenerist Recovery Moisturizing Treatment

Flying at night? Forget the SPF and put your skin to work while you snooze with a regenerating moisturizer. Olay’s Regenerist is formulated with an amino-peptide complex, meaning it not only moisturizes but also firms and smoothes overnight. You’ll be soft and supple when the coffee cart rolls through in the morning. ($16.99, Amazon)

Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask

Fifteen minutes with Bliss’s fast-acting eye mask will reduce any crow’s feet and dark circles caused by dehydration. The kit includes a de-puffing cucumber extract and pads that infuse under-eye areas with oxygen and antioxidants. ($54, Sephora)

Coconut Milk Eye Anti-Puff Cream

Give the delicate under-eye skin some extra love with a separate cream, massaging it around the entire eye—lid and all. Feeling ambitious (or bored)? Ask the flight attendant for some ice cubes and put the gel in them for a few minutes before applying for extra soothing power. ($14.99, Amazon)

Earth Therapeutics Fire and Ice Eye Compress

Spending some quality time with a travel eye compress can decrease puffiness under the eyes as well. This bright, gel-based mask syncs with the body’s natural temperature fluctuations to soothe, relax, and invigorate tired eyes. ($3.79, Amazon)

Shea Terra Organics Moroccan Rose Water

Splashing a little rosewater on skin helps maintain moisture and keeps you looking fresh. This spray bottle’s all-natural ingredients feel silky when applied, leaving a fresh and dewy glow—unlike plain water, which can strip skin of moisture. ($17.49, Amazon)

Ole Henriksen Fresh Lips

This wonder balm will likely remain in your handbag long after the flight is over. With all organic ingredients and protective SPF 15, it nourishes dry, chapped lips as it plumps them. ($15, Ole Henriksen)

GoSmile Jet Set Kit

Brush that overnight, watered-down coffee–induced grimy feeling away, and enter the airport with a fresh mouth and pearly whites. ($12, GoSmile)

Rohto V Arctic Eye Drops

Eyedrops are a must-have for anyone suffering from sensitive or dry eyes. Emerge from the plane with bright whites by squeezing in a few drops as needed. ($6.99, Rohto)

Benefit Boo Boo Zap

You’re just sitting there, so you might as well put your skin to work zapping away blemishes. This daytime zapper blends salicylic acid and camphor, which sabotage breakouts fast. All it takes is a little dab every few hours, then … let the disappearing begin. ($16, Benefit)

Bobble Filtered Water Bottle

That’s right, agua is the most important beauty accessory of all—and it’s available for free out of the nearest fountain. Come prepared, stylish, and green with a reusable, filter-equipped bottle. It’s extremely light, and all you have to do is fill up after clearing security to start hydrating. ($10, Let’s Go Green)

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