While everyone else is switching through new releases on seatback screens and ordering a second G&T (because time doesn’t exist on long-haul flights), I’m pulling out a toiletries bag that’s taken up most of my on-board luggage weight allowance.
From a Gracious Minds face mistto an Aesop serum applied underneath a reusable sheet mask, I’m pulling out all the stops at 30,000 feet in the air. Not only is it a relaxing way to spend an hour, but with virtually no moisture in cabin air, it’s also a flat-out attempt to arrive fresh at my final destination.
No serum, mask or face mist was going to be hydrating enough for my recent 16-hour flight marathon. My journey from Melbourne to Japan involved: a flight to Sydney, a 4-hour stint at an airport hotel, a 10-hour flight to Haneda, Toyko and then a final hour and a half flight to Tokushima Prefecture. All in all, 25 hours of travel after leaving home.
This active face mask contains 500+ MGO mānuka honey, pure mānuka oil and kawakawa infused sweet almond oil. It feels as rich as it sounds and goes on thick. There’s some naturally occurring granules of honey, just like you might find in a jar of honey in the pantry, which gently exfoliate the skin. After a few minutes of application, there’s a tingling effect from the active, high-strength honey.
With just a handful of ingredients, I wasn’t expecting much. But 20 minutes after applying the mask and washing it off, my skin felt smoother, more hydrated and cleansed. It’s a feeling I usually only get after a double mask routine: using a clarifying mask and then following up with a hydrating mask to put the good stuff back in. Aotea’s supercharged mask did both at once, in less time than it takes to order an iced oat latte at Melbourne Airport’s only decent coffee shop.
Though the mask is targeted for dry, normal and sensitive skin, my usually oily skin benefitted from the hydrating effects after the constant temperature and humidity changes. Once in Japan, my mum – who has very dry skin – used it. The result: nourished, repaired and hydrated skin and a mother demanding I buy it for her as soon as I’m back.
What makes the mask pack such a big punch? The MGO (methylglyoxal) rating probably has a lot to do with it. It’s a naturally occuring compound dubbed a “magic ingredient”. The higher it is, the more antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties it has. At a rating of 500+, Aotea’s mask has proven healing properties, and the addition of kawakawa-infused sweet almond oil and manuka oil adds to its hydrating effects.
Another reason to love this product is that the native ingredients used in Aotea’s skin care range are grown, harvested and extracted on Aotea (Great Barrier Island). They’re also made in small batches to avoid overproduction and straining the island’s natural resources.