I was three hours in on a flight from New York to Paris (I had the opportunity to fly on La Compagnie, a French airline that offers business class–type seats to the entire plane), and I realized I was at a loss for how to care for my skin. Sure, by now I know flying can be quite drying and therefore I should use hydrating products. But what products? And when?
Instead of making a possibly trip-ruining mistake (resulting in a gnarly breakout or rough, dry skin), I decided to ask the flight attendant on board. Out of practically anyone, she'd know best how to take care of your skin, hair, and body during a transcontinental flight. Below, find Sarah's answers.
On her inflight beauty routine…
"The air in the cabin is dry, so it’s imperative to hydrate your skin and hair. Essentially, preparing for the flight starts the day before," she says, "I avoid alcohol and fatty foods and instead drink plenty of water and eat vegetables and fruits in order to hydrate for the next day. I also do a hydrating mask the day before to properly care for my hair. On the day of the flight, I drink one liter of water with lemon juice when I wake up and apply a hydrating SPF before my makeup. At mid-flight, I remove all of my make up (except eyes) with DHC Deep Cleansing Oil ($28), put some fresh water on my face and reapply my makeup. Indeed the skin cannot support eight hours with makeup in a dry atmosphere. I use products from Caudalie because they have great ingredients."
"I buy all of my products in France," she continues, "they're cheaper, and I'm more familiar with them. For my skin, it's important to keep using the same brands for consistently."
Shop the recommended products
On the products she would never use on-board…
"I'd never use an exfoliator to scrub my skin because it would irritate it too much," she says. The dry air in the plane calls for super-hydrating products to keep your skin's moisture content intact. Physical exfoliation is too rough and drying. However, Sarah also would never use a product that may clog her pores, as breakouts are a concern.
What to use instead
On tricks she picked up from colleagues…
"The mid-flight removal of the makeup is something I learned from my colleagues. The dry air of course is quite bad for your skin. Therefore, I learned to replenish and hydrate by drinking a significant amount of water and eating a light salad and vegetables to help protect my skin from the inside out."
"I also now take care of my legs, because when you fly a lot, they can be heavy, and proper blood circulation is difficult. This is why during the flight I now use a support stocking and apply a menthol tonic gel. And of course a foam roller after the flight to relax and stretch."