Welcome to our new series, Travel Beauty Hacks, where each week we dish on the latest trends, the best advice and the most travel friendly products in beauty and wellness right now. Whether you’re island hopping in Southeast Asia, backpacking through Europe or preparing for a long haul flight, we’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need to ensure you look (and feel) your best.
This week, we’re going back to basics by focusing on the seven essential beauty and wellness hacks that most of you have heard before, but probably don’t abide by. From travel-friendly aromatherapy to the drink that helps with swollen joints (hint: it doesn’t contain alcohol), we’ve rounded up the most fundamental tips that every travel pro swears by.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Keeping moisturized mid-flight is just as important as putting on SPF when going outdoors, as the air inside a plane has much less humidity than what we’re used to. Before applying your preferred cream (you can also use a face oil), don’t forget to run to the bathroom and wash your hands free of all airport germs. If you’re comfortable putting plane water on your face, give it a quick wash, otherwise opt for cleansing wipes like these. Rule of thumb: Apply a layer of moisturizer for every four hours you’re flying, so if you have a 12-hour flight, that’s three applications. And if you’re feeling bold (or if you simply don’t care what people think), opt for the in-flight face mask, which you can read more about here.
Invest in a Hi-Tech Sleep Mask
Bringing a sleep mask along for a flight might seem like common sense (or a necessity) to some people—but there are many out there who have been blessed with the ability so sleep whenever, wherever—so sleep masks don’t exactly fall under the ‘priority’ category when packing. We’re not talking about the firm, non-fitting masks they hand out in Business class. Take this Skin Rejuvinating mask by Iluminage, which features unique copper technology that fights wrinkles and fine lines while you sleep (plus, it’s super plush and actually blocks out all the light.) Or, opt for this Binchotan Charcoal eye mask by Morihata, which claims to promote blood circulation and help relieve headaches.
For those of you who get stressed out when flying, bringing an aromatherapy fragrance along might help you relax. There’s an abundance of options out there (you can even mix up your own using your favorite essential oils), but we love Aromaflage’s Botanical Sleep Fragrance, which uses French lavender, Brazilian rose and Madagascar vanilla, and comes in a travel-friendly spray bottle. This Works’ Deep Sleep Pillow Spray is another wonderful option, coming in at 2.5 oz and featuring lavender, vetivert and wild chamomile essential oils. Sit back and spritz onto your travel pillow, eye mask, or right on your neck and face to feel both refreshed and calm.
Avoid Caffeine—and Alcohol
You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again: the key to looking good anywhere, anytime—especially when on a flight—is staying hydrated. That means saying bye-bye to caffeine and alcohol, which are both known to cause (and enhance) dehydration. We know that the thought of a 12-hour flight without a stiff drink is an unbearable thought (especially with those adorable cocktail kits they make these days). The reality is, coffee and booze are only going to make you look and feel worse. Instead, opt for water—at all times. Pro tip: ask the flight attendant (or room service) for a hot cup of water with lemon upon waking, as the citric properties help aid digestion, fight infections, and even reduce the swelling in joints, a common side effect from flying.
Whether you’re kicking back at 40,000 feet or trekking through humid streets, spritzing yourself sporadically with a face mist is an excellent tip for staying refreshed. We love thermal water sprays, as they’re full of minerals and empty of any harsh toxins. Avène’s one-ingredient formula is our go-to, but Evian’s does the job just as well, and is sold at most drugstores. Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is another industry favorite, but unlike the other two, which contain solely water, this spray features essential oils that give it an invigorating scent. Mist as often as you feel necessary—especially after using wipes or before applying moisturizer—to really give your skin a boost.
Lip Balm and Eye Drops Are Your Best Friends
Just like moisturizers and face mists, lip balm and eye drops will aid in keeping you refreshed while traveling. That’s why every carry-on kit should contain a bottle of hydrating eye drops and moisturizing lip balm, as it’s common to develop chapped lips and irritated eyes at high altitudes. When it comes to eye drops, we love Rohto Cool, which both lubricates and relieves redness. Go for a product on the thicker side when choosing lip balms: you can’t go wrong with Vaseline and Aquaphor’s formulas, though Glossier’s Balm Dotcom is another excellent choice (plus it’s pretty, too).
Get Some Literal Beauty Sleep
Don’t underestimate the value of a travel friendly pillow. Take it up a notch (and put a whole new meaning behind the phrase ‘beauty sleep’), with Nurse Jamie’s Beauty Bear Age Delay Pillow, which uses delicate materials to “fight wrinkles while you sleep” and boasts a U-shaped design that caters to both those who sleep on their backs and on their sides. Say goodbye to pillow face and hello to a comfortable, restful sleep—even on that twelve-hour flight. Don’t forget to invest in a travel blanket to really amp up your comfort game. You’ll never be able to travel without one again.