Being a beauty editor does have its perks. Besides having first dibs on the latest products, I also had the privilege of travelling to many parts of the world for regional and global press conferences on major product launches. Inevitably, I’ve managed to work out my personal, fail-proof routine before, during and after long haul flights. Yes, I’m that annoying passenger who either has coloured light beams or some buzzing sound coming from her seat, and I probably have frightened more than a few fellow travellers who were mid-sleep but happened to make eye contact with me as I made my way down the aisle to stretch my legs with my face mask on.
Regardless how often you travel, your skin is never immune to the elevated amount of external aggressors it gets exposed to when you’re mid-flight. For starters, cabin air is extremely dehydrating, which means that your skin is counting on you to help replenish it with moisture (which is lost continuously). The higher-than-usual pressure also means that our blood circulation becomes poorer, hence dull skin. And if that’s not enough, cabin food tends to be higher in salt. Factor in that pre-take off glass of champagne and those two glasses of Bordeaux you were thinking of having with your baby lamb chop and you get the perfect recipe for dehydration and puffiness.
Luckily, there’s an end to all this because once we land, it’s back to regular programming. But what about flight attendants? What do they do when flying is their job?
Over the years, I’ve struck up many conversations with flight attendants as a result of all my beauty-related commotion, thanks to flashing, buzzing devices and endless masking and spritzing. After meal service, as the cabin lights start to dim and the passengers prepare for a restful slumber, I’d reach for my overhead compartment and pull out my in-flight kit. And as the flight attendant brings me my juice or water, that’s when the chatting begins. From the high-tech facial massager to the most nourishing moisturiser and the most hydrating face mask, boy have I learnt a lot from flight attendants over the years. Here, the five products that flight attendants swear by to protect your skin against the harsh cabin air even on long haul flights: