New Skincare Brand Long Haul Spa Turns Dreaded International Flights Into Luxurious Me-Time
Over the last five years, Christine Keeling figures she’s taken over 70 international flights. As a Canadian living in Brisbane, Australia and working for North American companies, global travel is an occupational requirement for her. Unfortunately, it’s not a recommended beauty ritual.
“If you do any long-haul flying, you understand how horrible it is for your body and your skin. It’s worse than being in the Sahara Desert as far as the low humidity, and you are up there with cabin pressure that makes it like being on a mountaintop. You get off these flights looking terrible and feeling worse,” says Keeling, a former technology executive and flight attendant. “I would start to make self-care kits for myself. I was giving myself a spa treatment to counteract all of the challenges that were affecting my skin, and it gave me something to look forward to.”
Keeling bought products from Sephora and Mecca to compose her voyage-ready self-care kits. She picked up great individual items at the retailers, but she struggled to assemble the complete arsenal she needed to protect her skin during 10- to 15-hour flights. The struggle sparked an idea. Keeling could create fully-stocked skincare kits perfect for herself and women in her position spending gobs of time on planes.
The result is Long Haul Spa, a new brand considering flights opportunities to reset the skin rather than set it back. For 129 Australian dollars or $90, it sells a Louenhide faux leather bag with a collection of beauty products, including micellar water, serum, face oil, mask, mist, wipes, and moisturizing cream, eye and lip balms, selected and formulated specifically for extensive travel. The eight skincare products are encased in recyclable 15-ml. bottles designed to abide by Transportation Security Administration regulations and paired with a 1-liter clear plastic bag for screening purposes.
“The brand is for people who, when they get off the plan, have to slay some dragons. We want you to arrive beautiful to do so.”
“It’s going to make a long-haul flight suck less,” says Keeling. “We know the flight can really suck. The food may not be great. The person next to you might be eating tacos. Some people are scared of flying. But, when you get to the other side, you’re going to be rocking your game. The brand is for people who, when they get off the plan, have to slay some dragons. We want you to arrive beautiful to do so.”
Hydration is the core benefit of Long Haul Spa’s products. Developed with Stacey Fraser, a clean beauty consultant with Natures Blueprint Ltd, they contain natural ingredients sourced sustainably from New Zealand and African countries, including baobab, kiwi seed, watermelon seed, macadamia seed and castor seed oils. For flights, Long Haul Spa provides customers instructions on how to apply the products beginning with cleansing their faces as well airplane seats and tray tables with the wipes, and ending with the moisturizing cream to ensure their skin is in mint condition upon landing.
“We chose ingredients known for their moisture-boosting properties and skin-feeding nutrients. The key to the regime was that it was layerable. The face mask is gel that you could leave on and didn’t look scary,” says Fraser. “I’ve tried the set a few times now flying long haul. My millennial teenager loves it! It’s such a treat. I always feel like asking other people on the plane if they would like to join me in my spa experience.”
“There isn’t anything like this out there. I’m really thrilled to be bringing it to my fellow long-haul warriors because there is such a need for it, and it makes the flight so much better.”
Prior to launching Long Haul Spa, Keeling invited 70 women she solicited from the Facebook group Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine to test its kit. In response to feedback from them, the brand toned down scents in its formulations and added loops into the bag that holds the products to keep them in place. While the products are intended to last for a round trip, some women testing them advised Long Haul Spa they would be ideal for off-airplane skincare, and the brand is exploring strategies for merchandise suiting customers on the ground. Larger 100-ml. sizes could be in its future. Already, the brand has produced a kit for men dubbed Tarmac containing a slimmed-down assortment of five products plus wipes.
For distribution, Long Haul Spa’s objective is to reach traveling professionals. It’s targeting airport retail, notably duty-free shops, airlines and corporations primarily via events. Keeling says, “Airport retail is where women want to buy it. Instead of having one more thing to pack, they can get it as they are walking to their gate.”
In Long Haul Spa’s first year on the market, Keeling’s goal is to sell 8,000 units. For each unit sold, the brand plants a tree through the organization One Tree Planted as a countermeasure against the carbon footprint of plane travel. Keeling says, “There isn’t anything like this out there. I’m really thrilled to be bringing it to my fellow long-haul warriors because there is such a need for it, and it makes the flight so much better.”