A long-haul flight is unfortunately the price you have to pay to reach some of the world’s most idyllic destinations, with the dry, recycled air often wreaking havoc on your skin. Touching down in paradise with a breakout is far from ideal, but there are steps you can take on board to help minimise the effects of flying on your face. We asked Virgin Atlantic flight attendant Becci Chute for her six top tips for staying fresh-faced on board – with, you’ve guessed it – hydration being the dominant factor. You can thank us when you land in Tahiti with a beautiful glow rather than a throbbing pimple.
Preparation Is Key
Before setting foot on a flight, make sure to protect your skin against the dry cabin air in advance. ‘Many people forget the importance of prepping your skin before travelling, so the night before a flight I always set some time aside to pamper my face by exfoliating and moisturising, explains cabin crew Becci Chute. ‘After a long day, it is easy to skip out the exfoliating stage, but it is really important as it allows your moisturiser to be absorbed fully and really do its job.’ On the night before you fly, start by exfoliating your skin, ideally with a body brush, to remove dead skin cells, simulate circulation and give you a smooth glow. Follow this with a natural moisturising mask with rose to hydrate your skin and calm any redness, so that when you wake up at 3am your face is awake and glowing – even if you’re not…
Remove Your Make-Up When You Board…
If you want to prevent breakouts caused by the dry, recirculated air, it’s best to remove all make-up and go barefaced for the flight. Although we wouldn’t usually recommend drying face wipes, they are very handy when it comes to flying long haul, as it can be difficult to wash your face properly in the tiny bathrooms on board. Pack them in your hand-luggage so you can remove your make-up after boarding which will give your skin the chance to breathe and prevent it drying out. This also allows for easier moisturiser application throughout the flight, and be sure to reapply moisturiser all over your face, neck and décolletage each time you get a fresh glass of water. This will minimise the effect the dry cabin air has on your skin and prevent a dull flaky complexion.
…But If You Can’t Go Bare-Faced, Choose Mineral
On the occasions where it’s not possible to go confidently make-up free on a flight, mineral foundation is your friend. Containing fewer chemicals and ingredients than oil based foundations it allows the skin to breathe whilst still providing good coverage – perfect for looking flawless on-board. Also, as it’s a powder you don’t have to worry about carrying extra liquids in your hand luggage. ‘A mineral foundation is in my cosmetic bag at all times – it is such a life saver on a long flight,’ addes Becci. ‘The dry cabin air leaves skin prone to drying out, but by swapping an oil-based foundation for a mineral-based one, you can give your skin a chance to breathe, whist still getting a smooth and even complexion that lasts.’
Don’t Forget Your Lips, Elbows And Cuticles
The drying cabin pressure isn’t just bad news for your skin. As well as moisturiser, pack a small pot of Vaseline in your hand luggage to prevent your lips from drying out. You can also apply it to your cuticles to keep them soft and hydrated, so that pre-holiday manicure won’t go to waste, as well as other problem areas like your elbows or heels. ‘Sometimes we can neglect our lips in the beauty process and let them dry out, making lipstick hard to apply,’ explains Becci. ‘So I always have a small pot of Vaseline with me to apply regularly throughout the flight.’
Hydration Is Key
One of the most important parts of looking fresh on a flight is to stay hydrated. You should drink at least one litre of water before, during and after your flight. ‘It may sound obvious but water is vital for looking fresh on a flight,’ explains Becci. ‘I always try to grab an electrolyte drink before I board as it helps keep your body topped up on important minerals.’ Our go-to? Coconut water – far healthier than other ‘energy’ drinks.
Before You Get Off The Plane
Want to achieve that chic A-list ‘just-stepped-off-the-plane’ look? It’s easier than you think. First things first, bring a change of clothes, so that you’ll feel and look fresh and crease-free when you land. Next, choose your favourite red lipstick – the same one you wear when you’re trying to hide a hangover – as this will immediately brighten up your face. And Becci’s top tip? Sort static hair with a tumble dryer sheet. ‘A lot of people give me a strange look when I take a tumble dryer sheet out of my bag – but I promise you it works! The last thing you want when stepping off a flight is for your hair to be all over the place, but running this trusty household sheet over your locks smooths them out and restores them to their former glory.’