The one thing we all know about flying is this – it’s terribly exciting, and it dries you out to a husk.
For this reason, you are always advised to stay well hydrated, especially on long flights. Drink water regularly, at least once every hour, because airplane air is very very dry and drying both to your insides and to your skin.
In the past, and as I know many people still do, I’d get on board, rip open a sheet mask and leave it on to treat my skin in-flight. There will be the usual fun photos of you looking all scary, or pretending to scare your seat-mate. But really, I think that joke’s a little passé these days, now that sheet masks have become the norm.
Instead, after some experimenting in a few recent flights (4 hours and up) I have found THE BEST solution for your in-flight skin hydration regimen – and it’s not sheet masks! :P
Why use an Overnight or Sleeping Mask in flight?
First, if you are the self-conscious sort, overnight or sleeping masks are practically unnoticeable on skin. If putting on a sheet mask means you feel like you attract unnecessary attention, you can still treat your skin without the embarrassment.
Second, overnight masks or sleeping masks do not dry out as quickly as a sheet mask. The thing about sheet masks is that you are NOT supposed to put them on your skin till it dries out and falls off. You are only supposed to leave it on for about half an hour (for the more saturated paper ones or hydrogel types) and then remove it, before it starts to dry.
The logic to that is, when you leave the drying sheet mask on your skin, there is a possibility that you may end up drawing moisture AWAY from your skin instead. You don’t want that!
Third, overnight masks or sleeping masks are designed to infuse your skin with hydration and nutrients over long hours. Ever wondered why they’re called ‘overnight masks’ or ‘sleeping masks’? They’re used when you go to sleep, and used overnight.
RELATED READING: I consider sheet masks like fast food. Why do I say so? READ HERE
Overnight Masks and Sleeping Masks are more hydrating for skin
What I have learnt over time is that my skin prefers the benefits of a cream type mask that you wash off, or in the alternative, an overnight mask. These days, I notice most brands calling it an “Overnight Mask” as opposed to a “Sleeping Mask”.
When these sort of masks were popularized by Korean brands, they called it a Sleeping Mask, with the popular Laneige Sleeping Mask leading the pack. These days, I don’t use that anymore, because it’s far too light for me now. But for those with oily or combination skin types, it is a pretty decent option.
What I have noticed is a new proliferation of ‘overnight masks’ in the market from both Western and Asian brands. I’m always happy when a good product becomes mainstream. It means we now have more options! :D
Because these sort of masks are made to be used over long hours i.e. overnight, I find that they seem to be more hydrating, infuse skin with more hydration, and plumps up skin better too.
Overnight Masks and Sleeping Masks can be left on for long hours
Because they are made to be left on overnight, and assuming that you get your regulation 8 hours of sleep, I’d posit therefore, that you can leave these masks on for at least 8 hours, with no side effects, unlike with a sheet mask.
I thought about this once, when I was in a 6 hour flight, and I had not brought a sheet mask with me in-flight. Instead, what I did have in my toiletries bag was an overnight mask.
I then figured that putting something on was better than not putting anything on, so I slapped it on, and left it on.
Much to my happy surprise, I realized that my skin was happily calm, hydrated and plumped despite the drying cabin air. All this, without any stickiness or dripping essence associated with sheet masks, and the attendant looks you may get from fellow passengers.
Since then, that’s what I do – get on board, clean my face, slap an overnight mask on, and enjoy my flight, knowing that my skin is being protected and fed nutrients and hydration. Yum! :D
A brief in-flight skincare routine using an Overnight Mask
This post isn’t about my in-flight skincare routine per se, but more of how I’d incorporate using an overnight mask.
- Wash my face in the toilet before boarding, and then mist liberally and apply a generous layer of an overnight mask. Board.
- Alternative. When in flight, use some pre-moistened cotton pads (or moisten them with your favourite micellar cleansing water), wipe all over your face to cleanse, mist and then apply an overnight mask.
- After a few hours, or before landing, use pre-moistened cotton pads (moistened with your favourite micellar water) and wipe your skin a few times until it feels clean. Then, proceed with the rest of your skincare routine.
Another plus point from using an overnight mask on skin is that it protects your skin from all the icky things in plane cabin air. And, for those of you who prefer using natural skincare, there are options available in the natural skincare range, like The Herb Farm Hydrating Overnight Mask.
There are fewer ‘natural’ type sheet masks available in the market, because sheet masks need preservatives to keep them fresh.
Perhaps you prefer to do a DIY sheet mask in-flight with a compressed paper sheet mask and your favourite lotion or essence. Will that be better? You may wonder.
My view is no, it isn’t. The reason is that these sorts of DIY lotion masks tend to dry up very quickly – within 10 minutes usually. Sure, you can argue that you can use a thicker lotion. But then you’d take longer to soak the mask and it’d be messier too.
Quicker, more hygienic and more beneficial, in my view, to simply use an overnight mask :)
Do you use a mask in-flight as part of your in-flight skincare routine? Which sort?
I sometimes bring a sheet mask or two when I travel still, because you can chill them, and they are a nice treat after a long day of sightseeing, especially if you’re somewhere warm. They have their uses – like fast food ;)