It happens every time; you board a flight glowing with excitement for your imminent vacation and you step off looking like you just got out of prison. Your hair is flat, your skin is parched, you smell horrible and you’ve got more makeup on the back of your hand than on your face. Fortunately, looking and feeling like a complete mess doesn’t have to be a reality of air travel. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear from to avoid looking like you’ve just served time after a long flight.
Don’t leave home without giving your skin a little extra love
Dry air on the plane wreaks havoc on your skin. Your regular daytime skincare regime won’t be enough to keep you hydrated, so make sure to add a little more moisture to your skin before getting on your flight. Exfoliate your face and body the night before you travel and follow by applying a rich body lotion and a hydrating face mask to maximize your skin’s moisture levels. You’ll need a super rich moisturizer on the flight itself, so instead of using your regular facial lotion wear your night cream on the plane. Just make sure to put a sunscreen on top because the sun’s rays shining through the plane’s windows are a lot stronger since you’re at a high altitude. Keep both of these products handy in travel-sized containers and continue to reapply during the flight as needed. Also, don’t forget about your hands; carry a rich hand cream in your purse and apply as needed throughout the flight. Try: 7-Day Scrub from Clinique and Night Protection from Biophora.
Don’t wear a lot of makeup
As you make your way across the continent or across an ocean, your mascara will likely smudge, your foundation will start to shift and your lipstick and blush will probably smear, so it’s best so stick to minimal makeup. Wear a smudge-proof eyeliner and mascara to define your eyes and a tinted lip balm to make your lips pop. If you absolutely must put something on your skin then go for a light, tinted moisturizer paired with a setting powder or a fixing spray on top to keep your makeup fresh and in place. Try: Chubby Stick Intense Moisturizing Lip Balm from Clinique, High Precision Liquid Liner from Art Deco, Diorshow Waterproof Mascara from Dior, Tinted Moisturizer from Laura Mercier, Fixing Powder from Art Deco, or Fix’ Make-Up from Clarins.
Don’t wear your hair down
The dry air on the plane will not only leave your skin thirsty, it’ll suck the moisture out of your hair too. Rather than blowing your hair out into a lovely, voluminous look, load up the ends of your tresses with a leave-in conditioner (steering clear from the roots to avoid an oily scalp) and wear it up in a ponytail or a high bun that won’t smack against the seat back. Another option is to wear a low side ponytail or a side braid and top it off with a cute hat. Whatever you do, do not use hairspray or gel in your hair. You’ll walk off the flight with a funky wave decorating the back of your head thanks to the seat’s headrest. Try: Nectar Thermique by Kerastase and the Clouche Elegante hat from Big it Up.
Don’t wear clothes made from synthetic materials like polyester
Natural fibers like cotton and silk have anti-fungal and antibacterial properties to help fight odour-causing bacteria, polyester fabric does not. So, after a few hours of perspiring in a closed space like a plane, wearing a blouse made from polyester will make you smell like you haven’t showered in a week. A loose-fitting shirt or dress made from 100 per cent cotton, linen, silk or wool will not only be more comfortable, it will help to keep you smelling fresh throughout the day too. Stay away from tight fitting clothes like jeans and pencil skirts as they will become increasingly uncomfortable after several hours of sitting.
Something that’s definitely worth investing in is a travel outfit that’s made from a technical fabric designed to perform in a sweaty situation. Similar to cotton, technical sports fabrics are loaded with sweat wicking antimicrobial properties that help cut down on unpleasant body odour, but unlike cotton, these fabrics are extremely lightweight and wrinkle-free. There are a variety of technical fabrics available but to find the perfect piece for air travel, check the product description for wicking fabric innovations such as OMNI-WICK from Columbia Sportswear and WICK-Q from Mountain Hardwear. Try: Cotton Eyelet Top from Gap, Maxi Dress from Columbia Sportswear, or a Classic Cocktail Dress from Mountain Hardwear.
Don’t wear too much perfume
Perfume can only attempt to cover up your mid-flight muskiness and if it tries too hard, it’s sure to annoy your fellow passengers. So skip the perfume and wear some lavender essential oil instead, which actually kills the bacteria responsible for making you stink. Just a few dabs of lavender oil will not only make you smell amazing, its antibacterial properties will help prevent you from catching a cold. And there’s more ― lavender oil also boasts relaxing properties, which will beat anxiety and even help you catch a few hours of sleep on the plane. Try: Therapeutic Grade Lavender Essential Oil from Young Living.
Don’t forget to hydrate
Before your flight, have a drink of electrolyte-rich coconut water for maximum hydration. If you don’t like the taste of coconut water, simply pop an electrolyte tablet in your water bottle or grab a sports drink in your favourite flavour. Then, continue to drink plenty of water throughout and after your flight to keep your body hydrated. Not only will this make you feel less tired after the flight, your skin will look fresh and amazing too! Try: Travel-Sized Electrolyte Replacement Tabs from Nuun.
Don’t eat fatty, carbohydrate-heavy food on the plane
The high altitude combined with sitting for a long period of time makes gas an unfortunate issue on planes. Minimize it by avoiding creamy, fatty foods that take a long time to digest, as well as carbonated beverages and gas-causing vegetables (like broccoli and cauliflower). It’s best to have a healthy meal full of lean protein before your flight and then stick to light snacks throughout the plane ride. If you’re grabbing a drink on the plane, skip the beer (which can cause gas) and choose wine instead. Try: Nuts, cheese, crackers, a banana and some yogurt.
Don’t leave the airport without a quick touch up
It generally takes at least 10 to 15 minutes for your bags to make it to the luggage belt, which is plenty of time for a quick touch up. Brush your teeth, use some mouthwash and splash your face with some water. Then apply some moisturizer (if needed) and follow by using a bit of highlighter and foundation to brighten up your complexion. Sweep some blush on the apples of your cheeks and touch up your tinted lip balm. If the roots of your hair are looking a bit greasy, add some dry shampoo to soak up the oil and to add volume. If you tend to get puffy eyes then ask a flight attendant to give you some ice in a little plastic bag before landing. This can be held up to the eyes for a few minutes to reduce puffiness. Try: Pronto Dry Shampoo by Oscar Blandi, Secret Brightener from Laura Mercier, and CORALista from Benefit.