12 things every girl should do when she boards a plane. 

Photo credit: Jamie Nelson

The Airplane Regimen that is absolutely First Class.

I’m quite the frequent flier. Whether it’s for work, a holiday or a visit back home to meet family, I’m up in the air more than my skin and hair would like. The dry airplane air, the different time zones and the jet lag don’t help. So now I’ve come up with a plan. To use the time spent in an airplane to do a complete beauty treatment. I simply carry all travel-sized samples of the products I will need and follow this regimen. And my skin looks better when I get off the plane than when I board. And you thought it wasn’t possible!

Prep one day before:

We all know that planes are super dry. The dry cabin air sucks out the moisture from everything. Dry skin gets drier, while oily skin gets oilier to make up for the lack of moisture. So the day (or night) before you board a plane, start upping the moisture content in your skin.
For the face: Exfoliation is key. By exfoliating, you remove the dead cells so that the moisturizer can go deeper. So cleanse your skin with warm water to open the pores, then use a good face scrub followed immediately by a moisturizer.
For the body: Take a hot shower and when the steam builds up, exfoliate your entire body with a body scrub. Pay special attention to your driest parts such as elbows and knees. Using a pumice stone, rub the soles and heels of your feet. Then generously rub in a thick body lotion. Don’t forget to slather on a foot cream followed by a pair of thick socks to keep the moisture locked in.
For your hair: One good trick is to leave on a deep conditioning hair mask while you sleep, and rinse it off in the morning. This prevents your hair from getting much static and it will stay soft and shiny throughout the flight.

Prep just before:

Before you leave home for the airport, take a quick, warm shower. Don’t go too hot as you will strip your skin of moisture. Then within a minute, while your skin is still damp, slather on a thick lotion or body butter to lock the moisture in. Make sure you also layer your face with a hydrating essence, serum and moisturizer. Rub a few drops of oil (my personal favourite is argan oil) in your palms and smooth all over your hair to nourish it and keep static at bay.

Ditch your makeup when you take off.

Flying with a face full of makeup is terrible for skin, but if you’re not the sort to leave home barefaced, replace your foundation with a BB or CC cream instead. That way, if you do leave it on throughout the flight you’re not being too awful to your skin.

Cleanse your skin.


If it’s a long haul flight (anything over 5 hours), after your meal, head to the bathroom and wash your face with a mild facewash. If it’s too much of a hassle, you can use cleansing wipes. But honestly, nothing beats an actual wash.

Pat on a serum.


A serum is food for your skin. It not only carries nutrients and moisture into your skin’s deepest layers, it also helps keep it in. So don’t let your skin go hungry.

Slap on a mask.

mask 4

This is a trick I picked up from the Koreans. They always look amazing, even when they get off a plane. Their secret: sheet masks. If you’re too shy to wear it in the bathroom and walk down the isle, put one on when the lights dim and go to sleep. If you’re still concerned about the person next to you, then use a hydrating facemask that comes in a jar. You will have to transfer it into a small container to meet airport liquid regulations. Smoothen it on generously and then get some shut-eye. Your skin will look super relaxed when you wake up.

Night cream to the rescue.

cream2If masking is not your thing, a great night cream is the next best thing. Your skin needs all the moisture it can get. Even if it is oily. So don’t skimp on a good quality moisturizer. This will literally save your skin.

Red-eye be gone!

red eye

Dab on a super rich eye cream before you watch that late night movie to make sure your dark circles are minimized. Tip: Before landing, ask the crew to get you a few cubes of ice, put it in a washcloth and apply under your eyes. This cold compress soothes all puffiness and under-eye darkening.  

Dab on a rich lip balm.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 5.59.33 pm

Your lips are the first to show signs of dryness. So make sure your puckers are thoroughly moistened. Make it multi-task by also applying it on your elbows, cuticles, around your nostrils… the driest parts of you.

Slather on the hand cream.

Photo credit: Raymond Meier

Don’t you just hate those frayed cuticles and chipped nails after a flight? Keep your mitts happy with a hand cream. Just make sure you use it every time you wash your hands to keep them from drying out.

Protect yourself from the sun.


If you’re travelling during the day, sunscreen with at least SPF 30 is your savior. Also make sure it is PA+++. You are literally thousands of feet closer to the sun and its harmful rays. It’s technically worse than a day at the beach. And don’t think that the aisle seat will save you. The sun’s rays go through glass, and just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean the damage isn’t there. So screen up!

Make your hair behave.


Sitting all cramped up with your head against a seat is going to make your hair all staticy and messy. The worst thing you can do is run a brush through it. It’s just going to add more static to your hair. I always run a few drops of argan oil through my hair to make it smooth and frizz free. Don’t try to weigh your hair down with gels and waxes. It will only make you feel icky. If nothing seems to work, wrap your hair in a stylish scarf to make an uber chic statement.

Tip: In case of a static nightmare, keep dryer sheets with you. Dryer sheets work as well on hair as they do on clothes. Simply sweep the sheet over your hair and you’re good to go.

Touch down with a hint of make up.

Half an hour before landing, wake your skin up with a tinted moisturizer, BB cream or mineral powder foundation. Open your eyes with quick strokes of mascara and make your lips pop with a bright creamy colour.

Oh, and don’t forget to wave when you exit the plane! 

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