A man needs to look his best no matter how far the road traveled. Whether by boat or bus – but especially by plane – conditions can often be a little cramped.
Close quarters and no fresh air, coupled with the little inherent stresses of any journey can bring a dude down. But all isn't lost. Keep a few reliable products in TSA-approved sizes in your carry-on, and you can stay looking slick and well-kept while cruising the world.
Matte Finish Moisturizer
In the pressurized cabin of an airplane, your skin can quickly become dried out, and no amount of liquid imbibed (bad news: that counts dirty martinis) is going to refresh it in time for you to leave the airport upon landing.
The simplest and easiest way is to reach for a standard moisturizer. Applied onto the face and neck, it’ll spruce up your skin and leave it feeling refreshed and looking clean. Look for one with a matte finish, so you don't have to worry about excess oil creating an unbecoming shine. No slippery grease-ball face here, just a naturally dapper, handsome complexion.
Soothing Face Wash
For those long-haul flights that quickly cut into your day and stretch through the night, there’s no better boost for tired skin than a soothing face wash back on land. A sensitive wash with natural ingredients is ideal, if you can find one.
Anything that feels comfortable on your face and isn't overly drying will do. If you want to get deep into it, though, look for washes with aloe, which help to soothe, calm, and cool your complexion. Whether you’ll be indulging in a full body shower back at the hotel or grabbing a quick basin splash in the bathroom, this is the way to go to revive your face for the rest of the day.
Perhaps the easiest item to pack into your carry-on, a humble face wipe can be applied while you’re still sitting in your seat, and feels like a little touch of luxury even if you’re stranded in coach.
The best ones are quadruple threats, letting you cleanse, rehydrate, exfoliate, and soothe all at once. Look for extra-soft squares with ingredients like aloe to soothe and hydrate and witch hazel to soak up oil and shrink your pores. Bonus points if it's alcohol-free, so you don't have to deal with any stinging surprises. Just rub in gentle circular motions all over your mug to feel pores tighten and gunk get gleamed away.
Baggage should be stored overhead or under the seat in front of you, not under your eyes. But when you’re flying on a redeye, it’s hard to avoid puffy dark eyes that scream "I haven’t had a wink of sleep because the stranger next to me was snoring."
Pack a small tube of eye cream, which rehydrates and brightens up your under eyes, to compensate. You'll want one with caffeine as an ingredient, to complement the double espresso you're for sure gonna get as soon as you make it through the terminal. When used topically, caffeine constricts the blood vessels under the skin and makes the swelling that causes puffy eyes (bags are caused by water retention) deflate.
Long gone are the days when every man had a high-and-tight haircut. There are so many dudes out there with mid to long hair length (man buns are still going strong) that dry shampoo is no longer a joke. It's exactly what the name implies: a cleanser for your hair that doesn't require a shower and a towel. Especially useful for those longer overnight hauls, a quick spray on landing can resurrect hair that's become especially greasy.
Dry shampoo has long been a secret weapon of male models running from job to job, as it not only soaks up impurities, but it also adds a touch of volume, while making your hair more manageable. To fight against grime while maintaining proper hair health, grab one with keratin protein, which seals cuticles, but also leaves them feeling soft as opposed to wiry. You also don't want one that's too intense – the cheap stuff can go overboard and suck out too much moisture.
It should be pretty obvious by now the main fight on flights is against dry skin, and that goes double for your lips, which can easily become cracked in the arid airplane atmosphere. So don’t forget to bag a balm that's filled with extra moisturizing ingredients. If you can find one with a matte finish, that's all the better. Look for a slight SPF, too, which comes in handy if you’re jammed next to a window seat with the sun blazing at your face.
Use those and even if you didn't fly first class, you'll hop off the plane looking like you did.