Apparently the in-flight skincare routine is over.

Apparently in-flight skincare is over and we need to talk about it. 

Whether you're a person who frequents the air or just TikTok, you'll know that posting your in-flight skincare routine (beauty influencer or not) is a thing that a lot of us like to do. Why? Because flights suck for skin. And we all like not arriving at our destination looking like an actual prune. 

But also, it's fun. And sometimes we record ourselves doing it and share it with everyone?

And yes, I am one of these people. Just watch the video below of me en route to Paris.

Watch: street style at Australian Fashion Week. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Anyway, according to a recent article from PopSugar, in-flight skincare routine is actually quite... unsanitary and actually very gross.


As writer Renee Rodriguez shared in her article, "I can't count the number of TikTok videos I've seen where an influencer breaks down an in-flight beauty routine, which usually involves washing their face in the tiny germ-ridden bathroom, and then walking back to their seat to slather on products with their 'freshly washed' airplane hands. Yes, I put freshly washed in quotes. Oh, you didn't know? Airplane water is dirty as f**k."


Rodriguez goes on to explain that in a recent airline water study; it was found that numerous US airplanes were contaminated with differing levels of E. coli and coliform. 

This is extremely shocking and makes me cry inside. 

Because, is that just an American thing? Like, Australian airline water okay, yeah haha?? CAN SOMEONE TELL ME THE AUSTRALIAN AIRLINE WATER IS OKAY. 

In any case, all this talk of poo particles found in airplane water got me thinking... are in-flight skincare routines still as buzzy and popular as they once were? Are we all still doing serums and sheet masks mid-flight? Maybe some gua sha and facial rolling for inflammation? Or is a full airline skincare routine never really necessary? 

Speaking from my own personal experience, my in-flight skincare routine has changed over the years.

While I would once pack a hefty in-flight skincare kit filled with various travel-friendly scrubs, serums, mists, creams and masks (side note: travel-specific skincare has exploded), I've found myself downsizing and using a 'less is more' approach when it comes to what I put on my face mid-flight.

For example, on a recent long-haul trip to South America, instead of packing my usual slew of travel minis, I focused on the flight prep — that is, doing a solid skincare routine beforehand (where I used a chemical exfoliator, LED mask — the whole shebang). 

On the actual flight, I simply brought with me an SPF, moisturiser and multi-purpose balm (shout out to you, CeraVe Advanced Repair Balm) to top up hydration, as I wanted to pack light and streamline everything to the necessities. I was also squeezed between two massive men and couldn't move my arms let alone do a sheet mask. So.


Either way, I landed at my destination and my skin was in really great shape! No flaking, no pimples, no redness.

And look, as any skin expert will tell you, airplanes do a very good job of sucking every inch of water out of your skin, The air is extremely dry and damaging to your cute little face due to a combination of the humidity (the lack of it) and the whole recirculated air thing. Then there's also the bacteria getting around. (So many people. Such a confined space. ALL of the germs).

According to cosmetic doctor Dr Yalda Jamali from Epios Cosmetic Clinic, while we don't need 10 different steps, upping your skin's hydration while in the air is important if you want to minimise inflammation and dryness. 

"In my opinion, you don't need a thorough skincare routine for a flight. Skin can become dehydrated and dry on a flight due to low humidity levels and recirculated air so, I would generally recommend taking a super hydrating cleanser, moisturiser and SPF with you and reapplying. For a long-haul flight, it's worth taking a hydrating sleeping mask," she told us. 

See? It's okay to do a routine if it's tight, efficient and done properly. (Just obviously make sure you sanitise your hands before touching your face. See: germs). 

"I recommend taking a soothing/hydrating cleanser something simple like CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser — which can also be found in travel size — a soothing moisturiser and sunscreen. Make sure you pack your sunscreen, Airyday and Ultraviolette have many varieties that make it easy to find the right one for you. If you're looking for a new moisturiser, I absolutely love the new Medik8 Total Daily Facial Cream (489) or Avene Hydrance ($49.99) to lock in hydration."


"For longer haul flights, a sleeping mask and hydrating sheet mask is a great addition. Laneige has a huge range of sleeping masks to suit different skin types and I love hydrating sheet masks like La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Baume B5+ ($24.95), Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel ($35) or Go-To The Repair Shop, $50. These are great additions as they are usually drenched in a serum that contains soothing ingredients."

"If you're sitting on a window seat, be sure to wear SPF 50 and take enough to reapply, you want to be reapplying every two hours."

Now, read that last sentence again.

Instead of waiting until you're on the plane to boost hydration, Dr Jamali said you can also prep your skin before you getting on your flight.

"A day or two before your flight, I suggest gently exfoliating your skin to remove dead skin cells and allow better absorption of moisturising products"

"The night before, use a hydrating sheet mask the night before to boost your skin’s moisture levels. The morning of, consider using a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum to lock in moisture along with your favourite moisturiser and SPF after cleansing."

Tell us, are you a fan of the in-flight skincare routine? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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