Travel Grooming

Travelling presents unique challenges when it comes to grooming. Flying, in particular, can play havoc with the skin – as can jet lag.

So we bring you a simple survival guide to ensure you always look as good at the point of arrival as you did at the point of departure…

Travel Light

Liquid restrictions can play havoc with a gentleman’s grooming routine, especially if he’s high-maintenance.

The solution, as I discovered years ago, is simple: grab yourself a selection of empty travel pots (stores like Muji have a great selection) and simply scoop or squirt just enough of your favourite products into them for the flight there and back.

It saves time – and the horror of having to ditch a raft of expensive lotions and potions at airport security – and is economical too.

Muji Travel Bottles

Prep Skin

If you suffer from dry skin, Dr Tom Mammone, Executive Director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology at Clinique, suggests spending some time prepping it in advance.

“The night before or the morning of the flight, apply a hydrating mask,” he says. “This will prep and intensify moisture levels in the skin, helping you combat dehydration while flying.”

Clinique’s Moisture Surge Overnight Mask is a good bet, as is Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask.

  • Clinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask 100mlClinique Moisture Surge Overnight Mask 100ml
  • Intense Hydration Treatment Mask Burts BeesIntense Hydration Treatment Mask Burts Bees
  • Living Nature Hydrating Gel Mask 50mlLiving Nature Hydrating Gel Mask 50ml
Up Your Fluid Intake

“The main challenge while flying is keeping yourself and your skin sufficiently hydrated,” says James Cooper, Flight Service Manager with Virgin Atlantic. “So, without wanting to sound too clichéd, water is a must!”

To keep skin hydrated from within, avoid dehydrating tea, coffee and alcohol and if you find plain water boring do as Cooper does and pop a green tea or peppermint teabag into the water bottle to give it some flavour. “It’s much better than sugary juices or fizzy drinks,” he adds.

Drink lots of water to help keep your skin hydrated when flying


The low humidity in aircraft cabins can rob skin of essential moisture, leaving it feeling dry and tight and susceptible to premature ageing. To protect it, switch to a moisturiser designed for dry skin like Elemis’ rich S.O.S Cream, ClarinsMen’s Super Moisture Balm or Polaar’s Extreme Care.

“I very much like Biotherm’s Aquapower range and Bio-Oil, too, which I use on my face just after shaving and while my face is still wet, to seal in the moisture from the water,” says Cooper, who also recommends reapplying once your reach your destination.

Avoid using the moistened wipes that arrive with your meal on your face, by the way, as they may contain skin-drying alcohol.

  • Elemis Sos Emergency Cream 50mlElemis Sos Emergency Cream 50ml
  • Clarinsmen Moisture Balm – Dry SkinClarinsmen Moisture Balm - Dry Skin
  • Intensive Body Balm PolaarIntensive Body Balm Polaar
  • Biotherm Aquapower Dry Skin Moisturiser 75mlBiotherm Aquapower Dry Skin Moisturiser 75ml
  • Bio-oil 125mlBio-oil 125ml
  • Nickel Moisturiser For Dry Skin 75mlNickel Moisturiser For Dry Skin 75ml
Spray Don’t Play

One of my favourite travel products is ThisWorks In Transit Spray On Moisture. A different way to hydrate your face, it’s formulated with plant oils and organic aloe vera to deliver critical moisture to the skin.

As well as being perfect for air travel it’s also a great product to have in your bag or jacket pocket when you’re out sightseeing:

This Works In Transit Spray On Moisture

Make The Most Of The Night

Numerous studies have shown that the optimum time for skin repair is during the night when we’re asleep and the skin switches to ‘reboot’ mode.

Handily, it’s also the best time of day for skincare products to be absorbed – so if you’ve been travelling make sure you apply moisturiser or a mask (see above) just before hitting the sack.

Better still, apply a skin revitaliser like ClarinsMen Fatigue Fighter and wake up looking as fresh as a daisy:

ClarinsMen Fatigue Fighter

Grab A Power Nap

Losing sleep won’t just make you look tired, it messes with your immune system too. In fact, losing just three hours sleep can cause a 50 per cent drop in our immune response.

With this in mind, try grabbing a power nap. Set your clock though: experts reckon the optimum amount of time for napping is under thirty minutes.

Grab A Power Nap

Eat To Cheat

American research has shown that the body’s natural ‘meal-time’ clock runs parallel to the one governed by light changes – and you can easily fool it.

So, if you consume food during the flight, try eating according to your destination’s local time.

Eating At The Right Time Can Help Adjust Your Body Clock


With research showing the body’s internal clock responds to exercise, a work out is the perfect way to reset things (do it in the morning of your new time zone).

What’s more, it’s also great for boosting circulation which will help re-invigorate tired, jet-lagged skin.

Exercise can help reset your body clock in a new time zone

Refresh Your Hair

One of the most useful travel-aids any man can own is dry shampoo (look out for small ones like Batiste’s 50ml On The Go).

It’s perfect for refreshing and revitalising hair after long journeys and especially good for those times when you have to head straight from the airport to an important meeting:

  • Osis Refresh Dust Dry Shampoo 100mlOsis Refresh Dust Dry Shampoo 100ml
  • Batiste Dry Shampoo On The Go Blush 50mlBatiste Dry Shampoo On The Go Blush 50ml
  • Bumble & Bumble Prêt-à-powderBumble & Bumble Prêt-à-powder
Skip The Fragrance

There are times to apply a fragrance and times when not to apply one – and trust me, just before a flight is not one of those times. Nobody sitting on an eight-hour trip is ever going to thank you for dousing yourself with Tom Ford’s Oud Wood or Thierry Mugler’s A*Men.

Even a refreshing scent like Dior’s Eau Sauvage can be overpowering in such a confined space, so skip the fragrance altogether and avoid sampling scents on your skin in duty free too.

Get Involved

What products do you never travel without? Anything you’d recommend as an in-flight must-have?

Let us know using the comments section below…