Flying has never felt more instinctive. Albeit only a recent reality for most of us since the pandemic settled down—whether it jet-setting for business or for pleasure—as we humans typically do, we adapt. A few flights in and out after and it starts to feel like a natural exercise. We slip into the alienness of boarding an aircraft, strapping in and remaining put in our seats for an average of eight hours. Of course, those aren’t the only conditions that occur while in airplane mode. We deal with exceptionally dry air while losing easy access to our vanity drawers back home. As a result, flying on an aircraft might not be the most comfortable thing—especially for our bodies.
Mainly, our skin feels the most vulnerable in flight against the odds of extreme cabin pressure coupled with the lack of moisture. From dry skin, chapped lips to limited access to freshen ourselves up in a bathroom, these are the fixed circumstances that coincide with the freedom of travelling. Perhaps in some ways, surviving a flight with effortless ease might pose as a challenge to the bulk of us and the only way to cushion that would be to pack wisely. Carry-ons have never been more instrumental, especially when they can hold your holy grails and skin saviours—to what we like to call in-flight beauty essentials—all abidingly bottled under 100ml of course. And while everyone’s personal needs and concerns prove to be different, not all travel beauty kits will be the same.
Take special heed below for your next flight out, with these handy in-flight beauty essentials, according to Vogue Singapore editors.
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Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive cream —Maya Menon, associate fashion features editor
As someone with eczema-prone and sensitive skin, I find that it gets especially irritated on flights. Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive cream is lightweight, emollient and free of synthetic perfume and mineral oils. It also forms a hydrating barrier and serves as a great base for make-up.
Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive cream, $12.85, available at Shopee.
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Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask —Maya Menon, associate fashion features editor
While my lip roster is fairly simple (red lipstick or nothing at all), Laniege Sleeping Mask has been a mainstay for good reason. A combination of hyaluronic acid and Vitamin C, it feels luxurious and intensely moisturising. It also gives my lips a healthy plump and rids the need for oils or glosses while on the go.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, $32, available at Sephora.
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K18 Leave In Molecular Repair Hair Mask —Maya Menon, associate fashion features editor
I’ve been on a hair health journey as of late and K18 Biomimetic Hairscience’s leave-in hair mask has played a pivotal role in bringing life back to my mane. While this isn’t necessarily an in-flight product, I find that it is the perfect mask to use for a pre-flight hair wash. Simply shampoo, skip conditioner, towel dry your hair and then use three pumps of the product. Rub your hands together to warm the product and then work evenly from ends to roots.
K18 Leave In Molecular Repair Hair Mask, $17.60, available at Woorailoora.
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Augustinus Bader The Hand Treatment —Alli Sim, beauty director
Being a complete germaphobe, I’m constantly washing and sanitising my hands which leads to dry and scaly skin. This rich hand cream is just the ticket for providing instant comfort and deep moisture.
Augustinus Bader The Hand Treatment, $73, available at Augustinus Bader.
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Aesop Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator —Alli Sim, beauty director
My skin loves this super soothing, hydrating gel-cream. It really calms redness and inflammation which my skin is more prone to due to dry cabin air and jet lag.
Aesop Seeking Silence Facial Hydrator, $80, available at Aesop.
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Fenty Skin Plush Puddin' Intensive Recovery Lip Mask —Alli Sim, beauty director
This keeps my lips super nourished and hydrated and I’m never without it.
Fenty Skin Plush Puddin’ Intensive Recovery Lip Mask, $35, available at Sephora.
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Facial cupping tool —Alli Sim, beauty director
To combat puffiness and fatigue, I like to do lymphatic drainage massage on my face pre- and post-flight. These affordable and cheerful cupping tools really get my blood circulating and help to restore a healthy glow to the skin.
Facial cupping tool, $3.80, available at Shopee.
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Lush Refresher Toothpaste Tabs —Emily Heng, associate beauty editor
Solid toothpaste tabs are a recent—but invaluable—addition to my regime. They are a lot more convenient for travel in the sense where I’m less anxious about potential leakages in my carry-on. Simply nibble a single tab between your teeth, and brush through the residue with a damp toothbrush. Beyond ease of use, I find that it also helps lift stains and whiten my chompers more effectively than other toothpaste options in the market, with its fruity citrus flavour granting an extra hint of rejuvenation to my routine.
Lush Refresher Toothpaste Tabs, $18, available at Lush.
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Sekkisei Clear Wellness Watery Shield Cream —Emily Heng, associate beauty editor
As someone with combination skin, I find that I am constantly fighting fires on two fronts. What this means is that I have to find a formula that is able to provide heavy-duty moisturising without clogging my pores, and also grant my complexion a healthy, radiant sheen without it devolving into a greasy mess throughout my flight. Luckily, the Sekkisei Clear Wellness Watery Shield Cream ticks all the boxes, where it is crafted to condition the water balance of the skin while also enveloping my visage in a weightless, comfortable veil that helps protect from environmental aggressors.
Sekkisei Clear Wellness Watery Shield Cream, $50, available at Guardian.
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Christian Dior Le Baume —Emily Heng, associate beauty editor
This highly-nourishing balm is a godsend for parched complexions. Available in a travel-friendly format that fits into the smallest of purses, I like to slather on a few coats of this on my pout to help prevent flaking and peeling—what’s more, it can also be utilised on other parts of your skin and body as well, where it is actually developed to hydrate dry patches as well as shield thinner, fragile areas that are oftentimes exposed to the harshness of the elements and environment.
Christian Dior Le Baume, $88, available at Dior Beauty.
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Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask —Janice Sim, digital editor
A double dosage of hydration is just what the doctor ordered, especially on flights. First comes the gel essence followed by a water-based cream that really seals in the moisture, which saves my skin from drying out. I also appreciate its leave-in application, which means no extra trips to the cabin’s bathroom. We all know how cumbersome it is to wait in line.
Fresh Rose Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask, $85, available at Sephora.
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Caudalie Beauty Elixir —Janice Sim, digital editor
Sure, this provides extra hydration, but the added benefit to this is freshening up my mien, especially after a red-eye. Made of 100% natural origin ingredients and plant extracts, this elixir helps to brighten up my complexion, while also serving as a handy setting spray on work trips where I need to do my make-up right after landing.
Caudalie Travel Beauty Elixir, $75, available at Sephora.
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LilySilk Ideal Silk Sleep Eye Mask —Janice Sim, digital editor
There is no beauty without quality sleep. It’s a task I typically struggle with especially on red-eyes but there has been progress, since shielding my peepers with this silk eye mask from LilySilk. It’s a pillowy, comfortable fit and the black-out coverage helps to deter any in-flight ambient disturbance from other passengers.
LilySilk Ideal Silk Sleep Eye Mask, $32, available at LilySilk.
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Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump in Lotus —Chandreyee Ray, associate lifestyle editor
This is my holy grail moisturising lippie that I’m never caught without. On the plane, it’s perfect for a quick touch-up whenever you need hydration alongside a pinch of colour. The sheer and blendable formula also means you don’t need a mirror to apply.
Tarte Maracuja Juicy Lip Plump in Lotus, $39, available at Sephora.
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Origins Ginzing™ Energizing Gel Cream —Chandreyee Ray, associate lifestyle editor
Long flights can be drying, but thick, occlusive moisturisers don’t work for my oily skin. Instead, I like slathering on a big dollop of this Origins gel moisturiser pre-flight. It sinks in quickly, but still keeps my skin hydrated. The delicate citrus fragrance is a welcome bonus.
Origins Ginzing™ Energizing Gel Cream, $68, available at Sephora.
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Rare Beauty Positive Light Under Eye Brightener in Medium —Chandreyee Ray, associate lifestyle editor
I generally prefer being bare-faced on flights, but when I do need to feel a little more presentable, I’ll pair a brow gel and cream contour with this eye brightener from Rare Beauty. It offers very little in the way of coverage—but is very hydrating and soothing while smoothing the under-eye out.
Rare Beauty Positive Light Under Eye Brightener in Medium, $41, available at Sephora.