Unless you’re traveling business class on a long-haul flight, you’re left to your own devices when it comes to in-flight grooming. It’s not like you’re planning a mid-air shave (razors and turbulence don’t mix), but it is the ideal time to give your skin extra hydration, your hair a pinch more lift, your breath a refresh and to check any eye baggage.
Mile-high grooming is a shortcut to landing on the right foot and rolling right into any scenario, be it a work meeting with added confidence, or a rejuvenating vacation mode.
Here are our favorite products to pack along — all carry-on friendly, and all water-less so that you don’t have to use that iffy airplane bathroom faucet.
Use them in this order, too.
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer
New to Dr. Bronner’s assortment, this lavender-oil hand sanitizer neutralizes germs without drying out the skin. Just as the brand is confident in its soap as an all-purpose cleanser, they tout this sanitizer as child-friendly — even for the kid’s dirty face. That seems a little like a stretch, for you or any child, so we’ll still include a facial cleansing device below. But be sure to start your mid-air regimen with a disinfecting dose of sanitizer, since you’re in essentially traveling inside a bacteria incubator.
Ursa Major Essential Face Wipes
For post-gym or mid-flight, Ursa Major’s face wipes are as essential as they claim to be. They have four functions, in fact: removing grime and dirt, cooling and hydrating the skin, balancing oil production and gently ridding of dead skin cells — thus brightening your complexion. They’re the easy solution to not splashing any sink water onto your mug, plus they take up little room in your dopp.
Jack Black Eye Balm De-Puffing and Cooling Gel
Now more than ever, your eyes need a remedy. When you combine the skin-dehydrating cabin with the exhaustion of travel, you land looking hungover and feeling every bit as groggy. Jack Black’s roll-on eye gel is a hydrating and vitamin-rich product that neutralizes puffiness and brightens dark circles within the first minutes. It cools to the touch, and you can feel your eyes firming up almost instantly, too.
Cardon Daily SPF and Moisturizer
After cleansing your face and applying eye gel, it’s time to moisturize. Cardon’s hydrator comes with SPF 30, so it’s doubly defensive, and the inclusion of cactus extract helps cool and calm skin; it’s terrific as a post-shave moisturizer, too, should you require that on your travels. This travel-friendly 1.2-ounce container goes a long way, and allows you to tote it in your day-time bag, too, for SPF or hydration re-apps on the ground.
Fenty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Concealer
The entire industry is in awe of Fenty, which offers 50 different concealer tones. Find the one that matches your skin using the brand’s digital shade finder, then tote it everywhere in the event of blemishes or irritation. A small dab, post moisturizer, blends right into your natural skin tone, and it gives you the certainty that nobody will study the red bump above your eye.
Alright, so this one technically requires water, but you’re 100 percent not using any from the tap, because you’d never put that water in your body. Instead, you can request a small cup from the service staff, or bring in your own water bottle.
And leave the brush-charging station at home, because Boka’s electric toothbrush lasts 25 days without a top off. Its heads are designed for 3-month use, for which you can enroll in automatic replenishment, too. I prefer to tote the head in a separate small baggie, to isolate it from everything else, then reattach it for use, and for air-drying in the hotel later. If there’s a line building up behind you, then the brush’s 2-minute timer might feel a little excessive tacked onto the rest of your regimen, but you could always stop it short once you get a good enough clean. Don’t forget to pack your preferred toothpaste!
DedCool Mint ChazStick Lip Balm
After hours in the sky, your lips are likely the first thing to feel dry; that’s because the skin there is thinner and more susceptible to these types of changes in their environment. DedCool’s oil-infused, aloe-packed, mint-scented, shea-butter lip balm is the post-brushing, post cleansing fix that restores them to their happy, hydrated state and shields them from further dry-air aggression.
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Body Builder
If your hair is of stylable length, then save the touch-up until after your face regimen, so that you don’t end up patting any hair product into your skin. Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day spray is like a reset on your style, which has likely turned greasy and limp through the long flight. It adds volume and texture, kind of like a hair paste or fiber in any other setting. Simply spray it on, massage it into place with your fingers or a comb, and walk off the plane with soft, touchable, textured hair, unlike every other passenger who is desperate for a shower.
Byredo Eleventh Hour Hair Cream
If you’ve got that face wipe on hand, then now’s the time to remove any excess product buildup from your mitts. You can leave the bathroom and follow it with another hand sanitizing, before sitting in your seat and applying Byredo’s scented hand cream. This one has subtle notes of bergamot, cashmere woods, fig and tonka beans, but it won’t overwhelm your seatmates. Instead, it gives your dehydrated and product-slogged hands a chance to recover, with the added benefit of a cooling, uplifting tingle.