We love traveling — but we could do without the stress that goes along with it, and we could certainly do without dry, dull travel skin and blemishes. So this year and going forward, we’re vowing to take care of our skin while en route to various destinations. 

You’ve made it through the long Uber ride, checking in, and the snaking security line. Once you’re safely in your seat, cashmere blanket atop your lap, it’s time to prep your skin for your trip and relax!

Why not use the long, boring flight to do more than catch up on work emails and re-watch the entire first season of Big Little Lies? Consider airplane rides to be an allotment of time that you can devote to some self-care — hydrate, pack some healthy snacks, sleep, meditate, listen to your favorite Podcasts, and improve your skin!

Air travel is a skin nemesis. It’s incredibly drying. Not only that, but the sudden changes of altitude, paired with the artificial cabin air and pressure can reduce blood flow. Let’s also acknowledge the fact that airplane air is stale, exposed to chemicals (you’re so close to that jet fuel) and germs, and freezing. The end result? Unhappy skin. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Arrive with glowing, clear, and hydrated skin rather than a parched, dirt-ridden complexion. Your trip, visage and future self will be made all the better. Remember — because you’re traveling, you’ll need to make sure that everything is TSA-approved (3.4 oz or less, per bottle or jar). We also recommend traveling with a few cotton rounds, so that you’re not touching your face with your hands and don’t need to bring a washcloth or towel. Tons of great products already fit the TSA-approved bill, but if your necessities don’t, decant a few your favorite products into travel-friendly containers. We can’t bear the idea of being separated from our any of our favorite things — any of them — at security or ever!

Do you have travel anxiety? Thinking of airplane rides as trips to a spa may help to ease that. There are certainly more glamorous spas in the world, but sometimes we just need to make the best with what we can. You may also want to travel with some soothing essential oils.

Step 1: Sanitize

First things first. Do not touch your facial skin, ever, but especially after sludging through the contaminant and germ-filled airport, without washing your hands. On an airplane? The blue restroom hand soap is a little too sketchy and harsh to use before touching your face. Instead, choose a gentle, natural hand sanitizer. It’ll come in handy throughout the duration of your travels.

Step 2: Facial Wipes

Now that your hands are clean, it’s time to wipe the airport grime off of your face. No one wants to schlepp to the bathroom to wash their face in the sink, so wipe it thoroughly and gently with a facial wipe. If you have makeup on, a good facial wipe will remove it, because sitting amidst the stale air of the plane with foundation, concealer, or bronzer on your face can all too easily lead to clogged pores. Nervous to travel without a face full of makeup? Don’t be! People aren’t focusing on your bare visage — they’ll likely be admiring your devotion to self-care.

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Step 3: Essence

Next up, essence! If you don’t already use a facial essence, start now. It further cleanses the skin and preps your pores to soak in masks, moisturizers and serums. Try the Hydrating Floral Essence Mist by Tata Harper. It’s light, bright and delicately scented, so you’ll arrive smelling like a bouquet of flowers — and prep your skin for the next few steps.

Step 4: Mask It

Sheet masks are insane looking — but they’re a good, luxurious kind of insane. They’re also effective, fun to wear, and easy to do while traveling because they don’t require the scrubbing, peeling and washing off that other masks do. If you feel too self-conscious to wear one while in flight, skip this step. A great sheet mask for in-flight travel? The FlashMasque Hydrate 5-Minute Sheet Mask by Patchology. Travel is insanely dehydrating, and this one will help to give your skin a good dose of glowy beauty in just 20 minutes.

Step 5: Eye Cream and a Lip Mask or Balm

Sheet masks leave room around the eyes and lips for obvious reasons, but your eyes and lips deserve some TLC too. The solution? An eye mask and lip mask — or lip balm. Try the Bright Eye Firming Mask by Joanna Vargas. It’ll prevent you from arriving to your hotel with baggy, tired travel eyes. An eye mask can also help you to look more awake (no thank you, we’ll do without the dark puffy undereye circles) that you may acquire due to a shifted sleep schedule while traveling. As for lips? They’re most likely parched, so try Kosasport LipFuel. It’s designed to protect your lips from environmental aggressors, while keeping them deeply hydrated. 

Step 6: Serum

Again with the moisture, moisture, moisture! Take a sip from your water bottle, and then apply a few drops of a facial serum. A serum is more concentrated than a moisturizer, so it’ll help to keep your skin mega-hydrated and dewy. A great in-flight pick? The Rejuvenating + Hydrating Face Serum by Province Apothecary. It’ll take your skin from tired and dull to radiant in no time. You can continue to use the serum nightly while traveling, as climate change and the elevation in a lot of hotels can also have drying effects on the skin.

Et Voila! A six-step, super-simple way to arrive looking amazing.

And don’t forget to bring an eye mask and warm, comforting cashmere scarf, so that you can get some quality beauty sleep. Airplanes are a great time for catching up on much-needed sleep, and taking a few long cat naps can help you to adjust to the time difference. No one wants to fly from New York to Paris and arrive in the morning, sans a good sleep!

Follow these six steps and you’ll arrive feeling and looking as though you’ve already been on vacation — or, at the very least, much more glowy, rested, and hydrated. Bon voyage! 

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