By Sarah Bruning
April 05, 2019
Sunday Riley Skincare for United
Credit: Courtesy of Sunday Riley

Nothing throws skin out of whack quite like the dry, recirculated air inside a plane. It’s why you’ve probably seen a fellow flier busting out a sheet mask or eye patches mid-flight (or whatever you consider your own travel self-care essentials), and it’s why airlines have increasingly sought to develop relationships with luxury skincare brands who can help their customers feel their best during long flights.

When United Airlines decided to overhaul its amenities offerings, it turned to Houston-based indie skincare favorite Sunday Riley. “We look to partner with brands that have the same values we do,” says Marc Krolick, vice president of marketing for the airline. “With Sunday Riley, we were also excited that it was a women-led business in one of our largest hub cities.”

To appeal to the airline’s diverse global customer base, Sunday Riley — the brand’s founder and namesake — created three tiers of all-new products that target fliers’ most common skin issues. “The main problem most people have is the air is really dry, so they need to make sure they’re constantly hydrating their skin,” says Riley. “But for people with oily skin, by the time you land, your skin might feel slick and dirty.”

Her solution: three tiers of products that directly target those common issues.

Polaris business class customers will receive a moisturizing lip balm with pomegranate-seed oil and shea butter; a lightweight, gel-cream moisturizer infused with botanicals; a rich hand cream with shea and cocoa butters and rose hip seed oil; and a balancing toner cloth with peppermint extract.

Premium Plus fliers will be given the lip balm and hand cream, while Premium fliers on transcontinental flights will get the lip balm. In premium cabin bathrooms, there’ll also be a refreshing facial mist to spritz on for extra hydration. And since frequent fliers are always looking for variety, says Krolick, the product lineup will be refreshed as time goes on.

Sunday Riley Skincare for United
Credit: Courtesy of Sunday Riley

In Polaris lounges, Arrivals lounges, and United Clubs with shower facilities, fliers will also find hand wash, hand cream, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.

When conceptualizing the line, Riley wanted to ensure all the personal-care products were unisex, so she chose scents that felt universal, such as lemongrass and mint. So while it may not feel exactly like home, the new experience will be as close to stepping out of your own shower as you’ll get in an airport — or 30,000 feet.