I like to keep it simple when I fly. That means no makeup, comfy clothes, and as few in-flight stressors (to my skin included) as possible. To keep my travel routine fuss-free, I always opt for a clean face — especially when I’m headed on a long coast-to-coast flight. Typically, those brutal red-eye routes would leave me with breakouts, but I recently discovered a way to keep my skin in check and kick back in the airport at the same time.

A couple of weeks ago, I was headed to NYC to log some time with Brit + Co’s East Coast team and was dealing with particularly angry skin. I was dreading what the six-hour flight would do to my complexion, so I jumped at the chance to get a hydrating facial at XpresSpa at San Francisco International Airport while I waited for my (inevitably delayed) flight. While the location might not be your first choice, it’s convenient and can take some of the intensity out of flying, which is reason enough for me to be obsessed AF. Keep reading for the rundown.

Expect a speedy treatment. Even if you’re indulging in a top-tier service like a massage or facial, prepare for it to be streamlined, since time is of the essence when you’re traveling. I got the Rehydrating Facial ($75 for 30 minutes), which is an exceptionally short time yet long enough to receive the benefits of the treatment.

Have realistic expectations. You are at the airport. I repeat: You are at the airport. Don’t think that a spa sesh here will compare to one you’ve experienced at your go-to place-of-indulgence because, quite frankly, it won’t. My expectations for the facial were average because it was such a short service in a unique environment; it actually was more like a mini facial than an issue-based treatment that aimed to get my skin into tip-top shape. The hyper-focused, calming session consisted of four steps: cleansing, toning, a quick mask, and a moisturizer to seal it all in. While it might not have had all the fuss that you’d get with a spa experience, it left me feeling refreshed.

Enjoy your zen moment. Surprise traffic en route to the airport, annoying overweight luggage, and an unexpectedly long line at TSA had me feeling all outta sorts by the time I arrived for my late-night service. I really needed to relax, and laying down in a private, quiet treatment room couldn’t have come at a more welcome time. I truly forgot I was at the airport while my skin was being cleansed, and left feeling calm and ready to catch some much-needed sleep on my long flight.

Wake up ready for makeup. Waking up at the crack of dawn and having to head straight to work is not fun, but the transition from airport to office was much easier thanks to my “me” time the night before. I usually wake up on a red-eye with skin that is so dry it feels tight, but I looked much more fresh-faced than usual. Starting my day with clean, plump skin that was perfectly prepped for on-the-go makeup was priceless and made my morning routine go much more smoothly.

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