Unless you’re one of the blessed few who book business class for every trip, flying can be a real pain. Sure, you can buy the fluffiest neck pillow there is. You can even bring your own snacks — but that won’t necessarily make your journey all that enjoyable. To make matters worse, all that recycled airplane air can take a serious toll on your skin. The result: a complexion that looks lackluster and fatigued post-flight. In fact, New York dermatologist Dr. Matthew Lin asserts that “cabin pressure and reduced humidity can damage, dull and dehydrate the skin,” which obviously isn’t preferable for us skincare aficionados.
In an attempt to avoid this, countless bloggers, models, and celebrities have turned to sheet masks mid-flight, documenting their airplane skincare routines on social media for all to see. We’ve also noticed a different, in-flight skincare trend taking off: ultra-hydrating, leave-on masks. “A good face mask for flights will moisturize, protect, and rejuvenate the skin, allowing you to disembark with a healthy and restful glow,” says Dr. Lin. “Even if you end up with jetlag, your skin won’t show it.”
So, how did this “skincare in the air” trend begin? Long before sheet masks became popular in Western culture, the go-to, in-air hydrater had been none other than the french cult classic, Embryolisse® Lait-Crème Concentré ($28). This shea butter- and aloe vera-infused lotion is known to be a triple threat, working as a primer, cleanser, and face mask. It’s also been an old standby for makeup artists backstage during Fashion WeekTM. As a result, it’s become a top choice for many models looking to keep their skin healthy as they jump from a designer’s runway to an aircraft’s runway.
This new trend of jet lag-fighting face masks is certainly a movement that us travel enthusiasts can get behind. After all, these no-rinse formulas take minimal effort (which is vital when stuck sitting on a crowded plane) and boast some serious skin results. But in order to help prevent you from getting these products confused with your run-of-the-mill face masks, we broke down exactly what makes them different from all those that have come before them. Ahead, five skin-transforming face masks that will leave you looking radiant straight off the tarmac.
LanoTM is the most recent brand to create a face mask specifically targeting frequent fliers. The Lano Face BaseTM Aussie Flyer Mask ($24) is a leave-on formula that uses emollient lanolin to hydrate and energizing caffeine paired with ginger to jolt your skin awake. Simply swipe on a thick layer of this cream and let it soak in for 10 minutes. Then, wipe off excess product — if any, as it absorbs easily! — with a towel and let the mask work its magic.
Another great option for a mid-flight skin boost is the Volition® Jetset & Protect Leave-On Mask ($35) since it uses marine hyaluronic acid to instantly hydrate the skin. According to Dr. Lin, this ingredient is vital for fending off the drying effects of airplane air. “A key ingredient in masks is hyaluronic acid, which binds more water molecules to moisturize the skin,” he explains. The hyaluronic acid paired with watermelon extract and coconut oil makes this mask a top performer when it comes to soothing a stressed out complexion.
Other than hyaluronic acid, Dr. Lin says another important ingredient to seek out is vitamin C. “Some masks also contain antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which can give the skin a boost of energy and radiance,” he explains. Because of this, the Wander Beauty® Extended StayTM Hydrating Mask ($38) is a top option for many who naturally tend to suffer from dull skin. With a high concentration of vitamin C, vitamin B complex, and phytonutrient flavonoids, skin is brightened and protected from free radicals — which are known to speed up the aging process.
Finally, Dr. Lin says to also keep ceramides at the front of your mind when shopping for a no-rinse mask. “Ceramides help to restore the natural skin barrier and seal in moisture,” he explains. The Summer FridaysTM Jet Lag Mask ($48), which was created specifically with travelers in mind, is thankfully jam-packed with this skin-protecting ingredient. It also contains hydrating hyaluronic acid, skin-brightening niacinamide, and shea butter for an extra dose of nourishment.
Now that we’ve outlined all the benefits of these anti-jet lag face masks, it’s easy to see why the trend is suddenly taking off. So, make a little extra room for them in your carry-on suitcase and collect those passport stamps with glowing, healthy skin.
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