my hobbies include skin-care

The Products I Use In-Flight to Make My Skin Just a Little Less Miserable

Photo: Christian Anwander

Airline cabins are confined cesspools of microbial creatures in giddy delirium at the sight of all those humans sinking ever-deeper into their seat cushions. The air feels fetid and stale because it is fetid and stale, any attempt to twist those plastic udders above to get some circulation only making it worse, whatever it is that spews out definitely not air

Domestic air travel in general is miserable these days. First class is like the old coach, coach is like the new steerage, and those in basic coach would be better off flying kamikaze to at least put a quick end to the misery. Maybe you can handle it on a short domestic flight. But if you are flying cross-country, as I do frequently, your skin becomes pasty and pallid as the process of decomposition (bad enough in your sixties) advances exponentially, while those microbial creatures laugh their microbial laugh as they stuff their microbial mouths.

So what is a vain, narcissistic, craven skin-care addict to do?

I take in my carry-on a small kit with a few of what I consider essentials to keep me feeling fresh and clean to the extent that anyone can during a long plane ride. None of this completely removes the curse of Airplane Film from your body. My hair stands on end as if it was dipped into a vat of chicken fat, and I have yet to find a dry shampoo that is quick and easy and actually works (I am open to all recommendations). But I also don’t feel like I belong in the nearest dumpster.

I take several of these wipes. Containing caffeine, they are nice for both the face and body. Alcohol-free, sulfate-free, and animal cruelty-free, the ice-crystal side is used for exfoliation and the removal of dirt and sweat from the face, while the other side is for the arms, legs, and chest.

I take this small jar for my lips, which was given to me by my dear friend Lynn, the most stylish person I know. Yes, I know you should apply it just before you go to bed, but it’s sooo velvety and smooth and pampering. It has a multi-berry scent and contains hyaluronic acid to truly protect the skin.

I follow with this mist for added hydration. It is cool and bracing, enriched with floral water, leaving me feeling awake and refreshed. Use it as many times as you want.

I pack a hand cream, and there are about a billion to choose from, but my favorite these days is Chanel No. 5 L’eau Hand Cream, with lemon and orange top-notes and the body of rose and jasmine. It’s an admitted indulgence but it smells wonderful and, once again, is divinely pampering. Speaking of Chanel skin care, I consider the No. 5 L’eau All-Over Spray indispensable not only for travel but everyday use. I use it at least once during a flight, spraying it on hair and face and clothing. The smell is unmistakably Chanel with light subtlety.

I used to brush in the airline lavatory, until it finally got to me that between the floor drippings and the bits of toilet paper clinging to the seat and the sad trickle of water in the sink even more ominous than the air udders, I would be better off at Chernobyl. So once I deplane I head straight to the restroom and repeat the entire regimen in order: cooling wipes, facial mist, hand cream, lip balm, spray, and a brush of the teeth with Sensodyne True White in mint flavor.

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The Products I Use In-Flight to Make My Skin Less Miserable