Air Travel & Skincare

By Kate Riley February 7, 2018

As you know, I love to travel and on average I take one plane trip a month either for business or vacation, sometimes near, sometimes far. Last year I wrote about my airplane travel essentials, today the focus is on skincare.

Most of us ladies take our skin seriously. Traveling adds an extra layer of difficulty because (at least for me) I want to maintain that glow but I can’t bring all my full size favorites. I’ve learned a few tricks in the past few years, and I’ve come up with a few tools for great skin even when I’m halfway around the world.


1. Airline Regulations. Sometimes I check my suitcase if there is no fee, but sometimes not. I’ve traveled for 3 weeks with just a carry-on suitcase and tote bag, so I memorized the TSA rules for carry-on liquids. They must be in a resealable container that is 3.4 ounces or less and all containers must fit in one clear, plastic, resealable 1-quart-sized bag.

Sometimes they will make you take this bag out of your carry-on luggage when passing through security, it’s happened to me a lot in European airports. Knowing this, I always have my liquid skincare or cosmetics inside plastic Ziplock bags and I carry extras for the ride home. Liquids can leak so this is just an extra precaution for you too, there’s nothing worse than your favorite skin serum leaking out all over your outfits, ick.

2. Mini Everything. My favorite tool are these little containers. I squeeze just enough of the moisturizers and lotions I need and tuck them inside my skincare bag. This saves a little money too because I don’t have to buy miniature versions of all my favorite skincare products that back home are more than 3 oz.


I do buy travel size dry shampoo, texture spray, etc. and keep them stored in my zip up skincare case. I also hoard mini skincare samples and store them up to use when I travel as well.



3. Sun Protection. I noticed some discoloration on my face about a decade ago due to too much unprotected sun exposure. I had to use a hydroquinone product to even it out and now I’m religious about sunscreen on my face (and usually wear a hat).



There are a ton of skincare products out there, the one I found works best for my face is Dermalogica Broad Spectrum SPF 50 skincare recovery. On my body I use Alba Botanica Sensitive Sunscreen SPF 30 Fragrance Free for protection then follow it up with Alba Botanica SPF 15 skincare oil on top because it makes my skin glow and smells amazing.



4. Hydration. Airplanes are not kind to your skin, they are incredibly dehydrating so the one thing I always do before I fly is drink a ton of water. I’m a window seat girl and don’t like to bother my row neighbors unnecessarily so I won’t drink as much ON the plane but I’ll drink a ton before and when the plane lands and that always helps.

I like to hit the ground running when I travel somewhere I’ve never been, and staying hydrated keeps my energy up and helps with jet lag too.



For my face, I have used these sheet masks (find them at Target) but I prefer to carry a mini hydrator for spraying on my skin just before landing. In the past, I’ve used the Mario Badescu facial spray and it’s really nice, but my newest favorite is Dermalogica AntiOxidant Hydramist, wow it smells and feels so good after a long flight, or a really long day :)



5. Storage. I have a GREAT cosmetic bag, this one is my favorite, not too big and not too small, it’s the perfect size for makeup. (Skincare products get their own separate case). Also I wanted to mention I recently discovered these fold up nylon tote bags on Amazon. I love them!  They are much less expensive than the popular Longchamp versions.The medium and large are great for taking with you on a trip, they fold up really small for transport and come in so many colors , I highly recommended them! When unfolded, they can be used as a beach tote, for an overnight, or to hold your souvenirs on the way home.



Happy travels friends! Stay safe out there and have fun!

Share any travel tips you may have too!




  1. Huuuuge disclaimer – I am a consultant – but the Rodan + Fields Active Hydration Serum is a must for airline travel. I fly from Australia – Canada regularly over the past decade and have never come across something that soaks in an keeps my skin hydrated through a flight. I’ve spritzed, sprayed, wiped, masked and dabbed other products but this has been a game changer! Thanks for highlighting those nylon totes. Off to choose a colour now… so many to choose from!!

    • I’ve heard it’s good, pricey though right? A friend of mine is also a consultant and likes it a lot. :)

  2. Thanks for the helpful hints! I am terrible at packing! Going on a 3 week trip in the summer and my husband wants to take just a carry on….cant even imagine! Maybe you can write about jet-lag on one of your posts.

    • Hi Anne, the way I get through jet lag is whenever I land I get my sleep cycle on track by staying up that first day until sunset or dinner then going straight to bed and sleeping for a good 8-10 hours then I wake up and have a relaxing morning before heading out. On the way back again once I land I force myself to stay up until dinner time then I’ll go to sleep. Also lots of water as mentioned.

  3. Thanks for sharing. I was curious what was the hydroquinone product you used to even out discoloration. After our trip to India, my face had never been the same :(

  4. My favorite product for hydration on long flights is Josie Maran Argon Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil. We’ve traveled all over and I’ve tried a bunch but it is BY FAR the best thing I’ve ever used on my face while on a dry airplane. I also use Oribe Cleansing Cream for my hair while traveling (and at home). It’s a Co-Wash so I only need that instead of a shampoo and conditioner. Neutrogena Ultra Sheer liquid is our favorite sunscreen. We always travel with a roll aboard and tote or backpack. It’s pretty easy to wash undies and socks in the sink. Febreeze Garment spray freshens up teenage boy clothes. Mixing and matching of outfits keeps variety.

  5. Loved this post! I ended up getting the containers, facial spray, and the bag from Amazon. So ready for my Europe trip next week now! Thank you for the awesome suggestions.

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