Germ-ridden, recycled air and in-flight liquid restrictions of 100ml make flying long-haul tricky for all the family, but there are ways of looking and feeling fresh and well-rested. We’ve hunted down some of the hardest-working products to use when flying, all under 100ml; you should also take a copious supply of wet wipes, make sure all members of the family drink plenty of water and juice, and try to encourage sleep by kitting everyone out with eye-masks and ear-plugs.
See also our Flying with Kids tips page.
Prices were correct at the time of going to press.
Rescue Remedies and Antibacterial Products
A hand sanitiser is essential when travelling with little ones prone to poking and prodding all manner of things. Radox Clean and Protect with Tea Tree and Thyme (be-selfish.co.uk; £1.31) is an antibacterial hand gel that kills 99.9% of bacteria with no need for water. Follow it up with Aveeno’s Hand Cream (boots.com; £3.40) with finely milled oatmeal, quickly absorbed and able to keep hands moisturised for 24 hours, even through repeated hand-washing.
Packing a little ‘mother’s helper’ while travelling can decrease stress as well as helping you and the kids avoid catching a cold (your chances of which may be up to 100 times more on planes than off). Aromatherapy Associates Support Breathe Essence (aromatherapyassociates.com; £15.50), a few drops of which can be inhaled from a tissue, has anti-bacterial essential oils that minimise the effect of airborne bugs and help you keep a clear head. Sweet Breath (sweetbreath.co.uk; £1.99 for 3), a sugar-free mini breath-freshener perfect for all the family, kills oral germs, while Living Nature Manuka Honey Rescue Gel (livingnature.com; £8.15) contains antimicrobial Manuka oil to treat mishaps such as bites, cuts, rashes and flare-ups.
A genius way to keep fragrant in the air, 4711 Cool Stick (boots.com; £5.99) with its fresh, light scent can be rolled on the pulse points so you smell sweet all the way to the arrivals hall. In case of over-exertion hauling suitcases around, dads should remember to slip an anti-perspirant such as Sanex for Men Roll-on Dermo Extra Cool (boots.com; £1.53) in their carry-on bag.
Eyes and Lips
To avoid arriving at your destination looking haggard and weary, keep bags at bay with Vichy’s Antiox Anti-Fatigue Ice Effect Stick (boots.com; £14.50), paraben and fragrance free, with Vichy Thermal Spa Water to instantly refresh, or Naked Skin Soothing Eye Gel (nakedbodycare.co.uk; £7.49), with cucumber and camomile to reduce puffiness and dark circles. If you’re sleeping with an eye-mask on a long-haul flight, slip under two Payot’s Design Lift Patch Yeux eye patches (payot.com; £38.50 for 10) to restore elasticity and reduce dark circles.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream (boots.com; £22), a great multi-tasker and intensive moisturizer, is perfect for lips, elbows and anywhere that needs a boost of intense help to relieve chapping and cracking. Carmex Lip Pot (boots.com; £2.69) is a classic with healing and protecting qualities, but if you want to indulge, Crème de la Mer The Lip Balm (cremedelamer.co.uk; £40) has a luxurious cocktail of ingredients that heals dry lips and keeps them super-smooth.
Aircraft cabins have an extremely dehydrating effect on the skin, so once you’re settled on board, cleanse the face to get rid of toxins and make-up and allow the skin to breathe. It’s a good idea to have another face-wash just before landing, so you feel fresh for arrivals.
Facial wipes are one of the most practical and versatile methods. Recently launched, biodegradable Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (victoriahealth.com; £4.99) contain aloe vera and green tea to gently exfoliate, detoxify and rejuvenate. For a deeper cleanse, Caudalie’s Cleansing Water (caudalie.com; £9) is extremely refreshing, with a non-irritating formula for even the most sensitive skins.
Dr Nick Lowe’s Hydrating Foaming Cleanser, one of four products you’ll find in the Dr Nick Lowe Anti-Age Starter Kit (drnicklowe.com; £15.31), is one of the most gentle cleaners around and a fantastic re-energiser before landing. Beyond Organic Skincare’s Uplifting Toner (beyondorganicskincare.com; £18.60), suitable for dry and irritated complexions, is anti-bacterial and antiseptic so perfect to combat inflight nasties, and can be used as a freshener throughout the journey.
A hydrating spritz is a great way to combat the drying effects of air travel and perks you up just before landing (as well as serving as a great cooler if you are heading to a beach). Living Nature’s Hydrating Mist (livingnature.com; £15.30), packed with plant extracts sourced from New Zealand, soothes and calms weary skin, keeping it supple, while Caudalie’s Grape Water (caudalie.com; £4.50) is not only very affordable but contains 100% organic grape to refresh and drench the skin with moisture.
Hydrating skin often and more thoroughly than you would on the ground is a must, to counteract the air-conditioned atmosphere, humidity and recycled air. Soap & Glory’s Feel Good Factor (soapandglory.com; £12) with the antioxidant vitamins C and E leaves the face silky smooth and also has a SPF25 so you don’t have to pack a second moisturiser with sunscreen for your trip. Clinique’s Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (Clinique.com; £30), a cream/gel that plumps up cells and gets rid of flaky patches and tightness, can even be used over make-up for those who don’t want to go ‘bare’, while Queen Skin Cream (queen-cosmetics.com; £3.75), which comes in a handy tiny 10g pot, is a great multi-tasker: slather it on as a moisturizer or use as a lip balm, on patches of eczema and even as a nappy cream.
Dads should also remember to keep skin topped up with an effective moisturiser to avoid tightness and irritating patches. L’Oreal Men Expert Hydra Energetic (boots.com; £11.73), suitable for dry and sensitive skin, is ultra-hydrating.
While you won’t be slathering on body-creams while en route, it’s handy to have a little aid to combat dry or itchy spots. A great solution is to buy a travel pack of products that can be used in-flight or at your destination. Bliss’s Lemon and Sage Body Butter from a 6-pack of travel products (blissworld.co.uk; £20) is super intensive and great for dry skin on legs, feet and elbows, while Dirty Work’s Get Set Go! Mini Luxuries (sainsburys.co.uk, £4.99) contains body wash, body scrub and body lotion.
New to the UK from Australia, cult product Black Chicken Remedies Love Your Body Oil (Selfridges.com, £45.50), made with 12 therapeutic oils and suitable for both men and women, encourages lymphatic drainage and leaves the body with a soft sheen, as well as helping ease away cellulite and stretch marks. Its uplifting aroma is a wonderful pep-you-up while travelling.
Lastly, if you’re worried about the effects of sitting still for so long, Mrs White’s Legs in the Air (roullierwhite.co.uk; £10), a concentrated solution of natural ingredients including peppermint oil, lavender and cocoa butter, targets legs and feet while travelling, aiding circulation, acting against muscle-ache and keeping feet fresh and odour-free, as well as embellishing them with ‘a hint of a tint’.