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Meghan Markle Stole Leonardo DiCaprio’s Health Hack for Avoiding Colds on Planes

Meghan Markle’s travel tips for staying healthy while flying will definitely come in handy if you’re jetting across the country for a holiday reunion. Now is the time for decorating Christmas trees and baking cookies — not colds!

Before she shut down her blog, The Tig, Meghan shared a handy dandy flying trick she learned, courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio. A friend of Meghan’s once heard from the actor himself that applying Neosporin to a Q-tip and coating the inside of the nostrils creates a barrier to keep the cold and flu germs away. Additionally, the layer of ointment locks in moisture and keeps your nasal cavities hydrated.

If your kids are accident-prone, you probably buy Neosporin in bulk — but don’t be so quick to pack your nose with it. “Neosporin is an antibiotic ointment, and antibiotics don’t work against viruses,” Darria Long Gillespie, MD, told Well + Good. “Nothing in the triple antibiotic formula will help against the cold or flu.” In fact, using Neosporin when you don’t have an infection can lead to the antibiotics in the cream killing the good bacteria that’s in your nasal passages already, according to Tania Mucci-Elliott, MD.

OK, well what about Neosporin’s hydrating benefits? Petroleum jelly is the ingredient that gives Neosporin it’s moisture-locking capabilities — but you don’t need an antibiotic version. Instead, doctors recommend a more natural ingredient, like coconut oil. 

Saline nasal sprays are a great alternative for people who hate the feeling of thick ointments up their nose. “Use it preventively to prevent dry nasal passages — as breaking the moisture barrier can up your risk for infection — and also to help rinse out infection if you do feel yourself start to get sick,” Dr. Long Gillespie recommended. Looks like it’s time to add a few more items to your travel bag!

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