Flying is all fun and games until you walk off the plane looking like you haven’t slept for days. Your skin is dry, your eyes are irritated, and your hair? Let’s just say those overhead fans and uncomfortable sleeping positions don’t do it justice. Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can keep up your sleeve to combat all the not-so-flattering parts of traveling.
Whether you’re heading straight to your hotel room and have some time to freshen up or have about 5 minutes to kill before you need to run off to a business meeting, there are a handful of items you should always have on hand to make sure you’re looking and feeling your best post-flight. You might head into the bathroom looking groggy and disoriented, but when you come out? You’ll have people turning their heads wondering what secret potion you got your hands on.
The secret to looking fresh after a long flight is easy: add some items into your dopp kit that are not only great to use over the course of your trip, but also when you need a quick fix. Since you’ll be carrying these items on board with you — either in your carry-on or in your backpack or briefcase — just make sure your kit doesn’t contain anything more than 3.4 ounces (rules are rules!) and you’ll be golden. And to prevent a real disaster, splurge on a dopp kit that will keep all your items nice and neat so you don’t have to dig through your stuff to find what you’re looking for. Or, deal with a bunch of leaky products that spilled everywhere. Because when you only have a few minutes to make yourself look presentable, the last thing you’re going to want to deal with is scraping toothpaste off your laptop.
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Be prepared, and you’ll be rewarded: the next time you exit your flight, you’ll be set thanks to these 10 life-saving products that will take you from tired-guy-drooling-on-the-airplane to confident-man-ready-to-take-on-the-world.
1. Face Wipes
After hours of traveling, your face is going to need a little pick-me-up, and having some face wipes on hand is the perfect way to get exactly that. These cleansing towelettes are infused with white tea, cucumber, and aloe that will calm and smooth your skin. Plus, a few quick swipes will remove any dirt and oil in seconds, preventing any flight-induced breakouts down the road.
“I love Burt’s Bees wipes; they’re available everywhere and don’t need to be in your dopp kit. You probably rushed your way to the airport, and depending on how long your flight is, that’s the first thing I’d use to refresh,” says celebrity men’s groomer Diana Schmidtke, who has worked with many of Hollywood’s leading men, from George Clooney to Bradley Cooper.
Stock Up: Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Wipes, $5.12 at Walmart.com
Even if you put deodorant on before your flight, you’ll definitely need to apply it again afterward. Being crammed in a small space with way too many people in your personal bubble can get a little hot, and swiping a soothing formula like this Clean Comfort antiperspirant from Dove is the easiest way to banish any odors.
Stock Up: Dove Antiperspirant, $8.42 at Amazon.com
3. Face Mist
Face mist might not seem necessary, but hear us out: this grape water in particular immediately hydrates skin the second you spray it on. And considering it helps retain water, spraying some on after your flight will combat the ultra-drying effects of being thousands of feet above ground.
“It has the perfect sheer mist you can put on your neck, down your shirt on your chest, and your face,” Schmidtke says. “It’s super hydrating, it’s not heavy, and you can even use it in the airplane if you want to — it won’t spray onto the person next to you.”
Stock Up: Caudalie Grape Water, $13.00 at Sephora.com
4. Eye Booster
Walking off an airplane with bright, hydrated eyes is nearly impossible, and that’s where an eye booster like Clinique’s Pep-Start Eye Cream comes in. The blend of peptides instantly hydrates and brightens your eyes so you not only look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, but you feel energized, too. And the best part? The cool-touch tip is especially great for de-puffing eyes from a lack of sleep, so early-morning flights don’t even stand a chance.
Stock Up: Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream, $26.50 at Sephora.com
All it takes is 2-3 drops of this serum to help repair your skin — and help you destress in the process. “If you’re unsure about using a serum — which goes under your moisturizer or by itself — try this one. It might make you feel shiny at first, but it dissipates quickly. Plus, lavender and evening primrose are really relaxing scents. It says it’s for night, but it works anytime,” Schmidtke says.
Stock Up: Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate, $46.00 at Nordstrom.com
6. Disposable Toothbrush
Whether you slept throughout the entire flight or stayed wide awake, you’re still going to have an incredibly dry mouth from being in the plane — and, probably bad breath because of that. This disposable toothbrush will instantly freshen your breath with an invigorating minty flavor, no water needed.
Stock Up: Scope Outlast Mini Brushes, $4.65 at Amazon.com
7. Dry Shampoo
Dry shampoo isn’t just for ladies — it works wonders on men, too. “Dry shampoo is great for guys who find themselves looking a little greasy after a flight. It’s going to refresh your hair, especially if you have fine hair,” Schmidtke says. “If you have thicker hair, go for something like Paul Mitchell’s Clean Cut — it helps you restyle your hair in seconds, whether that’s after a flight or the gym. Spray some of the grapeseed face mist in your hair before styling and your hair will smell amazing.”
Stock Up: Paul Mitchell Dry Wash, $8.90 at Amazon.com
Even if you walk onto the plane smelling great, that probably won’t be the case when you walk off. Since deodorant can only do so much, have some cologne on hand to give you an extra boost. This scent from CLEAN is about as rugged as it gets: the base of musk, black leather, and amber will leave you with a sensual scent you’ll feel good about.
Stock Up: CLEAN Black Leather Eau De Toilette, $76.00 at Birchbox.com
9. Stain Stick
No one ever has a stain stick handy when they actually need one, but you can change that — because who has time to get something dry-cleaned while traveling? This one from Tide will remove the wine you spilled on yourself during turbulence in a pinch, and it's so compact you'll forget you even have it with you. (You’re welcome in advance.)
Stock Up: Tide To Go, $4.54 at Amazon.com
10. Lip Balm
This balm calms, restores, and conditions even the driest of lips, and the minty kick is bound to wake you up. “Spending $60 for lip balm sounds outrageous, but it will last you all year and it works in minutes. It’s not going to leave you with shiny-looking lips that look unnatural,” Schmidtke says.
Stock Up: La Mer Lip Balm, $60.00 at Sephora.com