Skinterrogation: Denise Spanek of AirRepair

The Skinterrogation column features Q&A seshes with dermatologists, aestheticians and other major movers and shakers in the skin care industry. 

Denise Spanek is the owner of Visage Studio and Founder and CEO of Air Repair Skincare, an incredibly hydrating line of travel-friendly skin care that’s ideal for your plane ride and your entire trip. The San Francisco-based aesthetician is also a former TV and film makeup artist. She’s a skin sensei to say the least, so I hit her up for a Skinterrogation. Here, she discusses her own skin care routine, travel musts and what you need to know about exfoliation. 

The Air Repair kit retails for $39 at and is chock-full of everything you need to get there AND once you’re there. 
Beauty Blogging Junkie: What’s your typical moisturization/skin care routine before/while you’re on a plane?  
DS: Before I get on a flight, I make sure to have a freshly exfoliated face.  Next, I apply a thick layer of the Air Repair Complexion Boosting Moisturizer along with the Air Repair Super Hydrating Eye Cream and let them both “soak in” for a few minutes.  Then, I stipple the rest in until absorbed.  This helps to create a nice moisture barrier but without any residue or oily feel.  I do my best to wear as little make up as possible, especially on long haul flights.  If I am on a flight that is no longer than about 5 hours or so, I will spritz my face with Air Repair Complexion Quenching Facial Mist about every couple of hours or so and apply the Rescue Balm to lips, hands and inside my nose to help dry nose bleeds and to keep germs out.  Any longer than that and I will actually do an on-board mini facial with Air Repair products as you do not need water.
BBJ: What are some of your favorite double-duty beauty items? 
DS: I love Dr. Dennis Gross EZ4U Towelettes. In a pinch, they clean AND moisturize all at the same time.  He also makes Alpha Beta Glow Pads for the face and body, which are sunless tanners that exfoliate. These are great to travel with, especially for warm weather climates when you may need to even out skin tone and tan lines. And, I couldn’t ever be without the Air Repair Rescue Balm.  Let’s just say it’s the Swiss army knife of beauty products.  That’s how versatile it is!
BBJ: Tell us what’s in your carry-on. 
DS: In my carry-on, I always have one or two of my LBDs.  Right now I am in love with my new Scuba Dress by The Row and another beauty by a local SF designer Catherine Jane. Both pack great and I can wear them for business meetings and then on to a dinner date!  I always have a pair of high heels, be it a boot, shoe or sling back depending on what time of year it is, a pair of black jeans and a handful of colored tees (love the thermal ones from Uniqlo!). I never travel without a set of running/gym clothes and running shoes and one of my pashmina shawls which doubles as an inflight blanket. The rest of what’s included depends on the trip and time of year. 
BBJ: What are some of your favorite items for transitioning skin care for spring? 
DS: I tend to “lighten up the load” when it comes to transitioning from colder to warmer weather so I switch out a heavier day moisturizer for something lighter.  For example, during the winter I was mixing a little bit of the Air Repair Rescue Balm with the Complexion Boosting Moisturizer and now I will just use the Moisturizer by itself. I also just discovered a line called Tara Walkers Dream, which is heavy into botanicals. I really like their Radiance Enhancing Dream Crème, which I use as an alternate for day. In a pinch, sometimes I will just use a tinted moisturizer during the day as I like to lighten up my make up routine as well so this can take the place of my more traditional foundation. Dr. Dennis Gross makes a great one called All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer with SPF 15.

BBJ: What’s your favorite SPF? 
DS: My favorite SPF is Dr. T’s Supergoop! SPF 30.  Great texture and doesn’t leave that annoyingly pasty white look on your face!
BBJ: How often do you exfoliate? What do you use? 
DS: I exfoliate several times a week.  I alternate between a mechanical exfoliator like the Karin Herzog Mild Scrub and a chemical one like Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Pads.  The balance of the two helps to keep dead cells away and my skin looking radiant without overdoing it.
BBJ: Are there any pampering masks, etc. you pack to bring when you travel to liven up tired skin? 

DS: Oh yes!  I am crazy about the Sephora brand Instant De-Puffing Eye Mask.  I don’t travel without them.  Honestly, they work like nothing else for puffy, tired and jet-lagged eyes.  

BBJ: What are some ingredients you found work well for your skin?
DS: My skin loves a balance of clean chemistry (hyaluronic acid, sodium PCA, heat shock proteins) coupled with natural extracts like chamomile, arnica, aloe, green and white tea just to name a few.  With a “marriage” of both, I see and feel results instantly! While I am not a stickler for all natural or organic brands, I NEVER use products that contain parabens, petroleum or mineral oil.
Thanks, Denise! Stay tuned for more Skinterrogations. 

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