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10 best travel-size skin care products of 2021: CeraVe, Nivea and more

Long flights are the perfect time to focus on hydrating your skin.
Female airplane passenger looking out of window
Image Source / Getty Images

As travel picks up to the pace we once knew and destinations continue to welcome tourists, people are more ready than ever to see the world after over a year and a half spent at home. In the excitement of packing vacation essentials, it can be easy to forget that you're going to be spending a significant amount of time on a plane to get there and back. And while you may not realize it, your skin will pay the price.

"Air in cabin is recycled air, so it can cause skin to become ashy and dry," JetBlue flight attendant John Rodriguez told Shop TODAY.

Working in the industry for a decade, Rodriguez has experienced his fair share of long flights and has perfected his skin care routine to keep looking his best. Luckily for us, it's quite simple! "Wash [your] face and use moisturizing skin products that replenish and revitalize your skin and are not alcohol-based so you don't dry [it] out even more."

Corporate flight attendant Sofia Mercado adds that she always uses a mask for under-eye circles to keep her skin hydrated and moisturized. "Long flights can cause jet lag and dry skin with [the] change of climate to your destination," she told us.

While you're still in-flight, Rodriguez has two main tips. The first one? Hydrate! As tempting as airline beverage menus can be, you can't go wrong with water, especially if it means clear skin for your vacation. He also recommends moisturizing every time you wash your hands or face.

Mercado's tip? "Always keep your [regular] skin care [routine] on point [on vacation]; it's very important," she said. "You won't look tired and you'll look beautiful and glow in all the pictures [at] your destination."

Keeping in mind these tips from the professionals, we rounded up some of the best travel-size skin care products, including their recommendations, that will keep your skin looking its best even if you just stepped off of a long flight.

Best travel-size skin care products

Nivea Crème

Rodriguez likes this moisturizing hand, body and face cream from Nivea. It has a rich, creamy formula that nourishes, moisturizes and protects the skin.

Trader Joe's Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream

This hand cream is made with coconut oil, hemp seed oil and 20% shea butter to give your hands maximum moisture. Rodriguez highly recommends this hand cream. "It's really soothing to the skin and not expensive," he said.

Aside from its moisturizing properties, he likes this cream because it's small enough to fit into your toiletry case and is three ounces, which is under the TSA limit for liquids, creams and pastes in a carry-on, making it perfect for travel.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray

Rodriguez likes this facial spray from Mario Badescu, as well as the cucumber and green tea option. This bestselling spray comes in a set of two that has a four-ounce bottle you can leave at home and a two-ounce bottle you can take on-the-go. Described by the brand as a "pick-me-up for dehydrated skin," it will keep your skin looking fresh with a few quick spritzes in-flight.

E.l.f. Jet Set Hydration Kit

This TSA-ready kit is perfect for travel — literally! It has everything you need for a complete in-flight skin care routine including a cleanser, eye cream, night cream, balm and moisturizer. You can use this kit even when you're not traveling. One reviewer said they used it as a way to try out new products without having to commit to full-sized bottles!

Tatcha The Starter Ritual Set

One of the hardest parts of packing for travel is making sure you have every step of your skin care routine with you. This five-piece set from Tatcha ensures that you never have to worry about forgetting a step at home again. There is a set for every skin type including normal to dry, normal to oily, dry skin and sensitive skin.

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream

This moisturizing cream from CeraVe has a 4.7-star average on Amazon and over 1,500 five-star ratings. It can be used for both face and body, which is great for keeping your hands moisturized after using a plethora of hand sanitizer and washing them often.

Pacifica Eye Bright Under-Eye Patches

Keep your skin hydrated and moisturized like Mercado with these Pacifica under-eye patches. They not only contain vitamin C, but they also have over 450 five-star ratings on Target's website. One reviewer even said the skin under their eyes was "noticeably brighter" after using them!

Evian Facial Spray

What's more luxurious than misting your skin mid-flight with a bottle of Evian facial spray? Not only can this spray serve as a hydration tool for your skin, but it can also be used to blend and set your makeup or refresh and revive your look throughout the day.

Burt's Bees Rejuvenating Eye Masks

This affordable eye mask from Burt's Bees is perfect for long flights because it serves to rejuvenate tired skin. It's made with rosehip seed extract and jojoba oil to help reduce the appearance of dark circles. You only need to leave them on for five minutes and then rub in the excess serum once you take them off. There's no rinsing required so once you're done, either — just throw them away and go back to relaxing with refreshed skin for the rest of your flight.

Aquaphor Lip Repair Stick

When tackling dry skin, don't forget about your lips! We love using these Aquaphor sticks because you can just twist the bottom to push the chapstick up and don't have to worry about using your fingers to apply any balm. It's ideal for when you're traveling or just on-the-go!

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