If you've ever caught glimpse of your complexion in an airplane bathroom mirror, you probably know firsthand just how much of an effect that air travel can have on your skin (... and unfortunately, those awful fluorescent lights are only partially to blame for your appearance). Olga Kovalevå—the co-founder of Russian skin-care brand Onå New York—knows this experience all too well thanks to the years she spent working as a flight attendant, which is why she decided to develop a mask meant exclusively for combatting "airplane skin."
"I discovered the toll that travel takes on your skin when I was working as a flight attendant and spending multiple hours in recycled air cabins," she says. "The humidity inside the cabin is only 20 percent, and our skin feels the best when it’s at 40 to 70 percent, so that’s why hydration before, during, and after a flight is crucial."
Kovalevå developed a ritual of avoiding salty foods before and during flights and drinking a glass of water for each hour she was in the air, but it wasn't quite enough to do the trick, so she turned to some homemade skin-care remedies that she learned growing up in Russia to aid in hydration. "My mother taught me how to make a face mist with chamomile, peony, and cornflower, and it was my holy grail—I used to spray it on skin every hour along with drinking that glass of water," she says. "Peony improves skin elasticity and gives you that dewy look, and chamomile and cornflower soothe, reduce inflammation, and hydrate."
It was the efficacy of this ingredient combo that inspired Kovalevå to create an easy-to-use sheet mask that travelers could apply to their own skin while they enjoyed their in-flight entertainment. "We included all of these ingredients in our Airplane Mode mask, along with Centella Asiatica, hyaluronic acid, and beta-glucan to replenish skin moisture barrier and prevent hydration loss," she says.
The masks—which will run you $40 for a set of five—deliver these actives through a jelly sheet, which stays firmly on your face (and, bonus, are subtle-looking enough that they won't scare your seatmates). Simply pop them on for 20 minutes, then massage any excess serum into your skin. Kovalevå likes to use one mask an hour before the flight (then follows it up with a layer of the brand's hydrating cream to seal in moisture), another an hour before landing, and a third after cleansing her face when she arrives at her destination.
The result? Smooth, hydrated skin that will last your entire vacation.
For additional skin hydration tips, check out the video below.
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