How To Not Look Like You’ve Been On A Day-Long Flight After You’ve Been On A Day-Long Flight

I’ve traveled to over 100 cities, never in first class. Here’s how I survive a long haul in cattle class with your gorgeousness intact.
Publish date:
February 6, 2013
hair, dry skin, skin, dry shampoos, face mists, vaseline, travel, dermalogica, water, batiste, Sana, Skin Food

I’m in a long-distance relationship. Not an east-coast/west-coast relationship. My boyfriend and I are almost 9,000 miles apart. We met when he was living in Singapore for a couple of years, and now he’s back in Los Angeles for good.

I’ll spare you the theatrics (follow me on Twitter when I’m PMSing and Les Misérables will have nothing on me) and tell you that I’ve traveled across the world enough in the past six months that the woman at one of the check-in counters at Singapore International Airport recognizes me and my often-overweight purple suitcase.

Until I can relocate to the US permanently, I am, unfortunately, stuck with 24-hour travel that includes snoring row-mates, airline food so bad I’d rather my eat shoes, and elevated levels of hypochondria.

What’s worse than all of that and interrogation at LAX combined? The wrecked skin I get from the air travel and the jetlag.

Lucky for you, I’m not PMSing, so I’m in the mood to share some secrets that I’ve learned from this to-and-fro nonsense, all of which will meet TSA regulations.

The goods

Unlike the Evian mist that you see your seat neighbor spritzing, Sana Hadamony Collagen Mist is thicker than the face mists you’re used to because of the collagen in it. Spray your face and pat it in--it feels like a gel moisturizer. I can immediately see and feel it replenishing my skin, which goes from dull and uncomfortably dry to noticeably dewy. And that effect lasts even after I’ve spent an entire day crossing continents.

Dermalogica is pricier than drugstore brands, but it has earned a place in my heart right next to my boyfriend. I use their entire UltraCalming range on regular basis, but when I need some heavy-duty moisturizing TLC, I turn to their Skin Hydrating Booster. One little drop works better than a giant glob of the thickest cream, so even though you may have to forego a pair of shoes this month in order to buy it, you won’t have to do it again the following month.

Obviously, I need to look like a sexy beast when I get off the plane and into my boyfriend’s arms, so a dry shampoo like Batiste’s is always stashed in my carry-on to re-volumize my hair. I have a travel-sized one in every bag I own, for post-yoga freshing up, drinks after work, and of course, after a draining journey across the world.

I hold it about a foot away, aiming mostly for my roots, and after waiting about a minute to let it set, I run my fingers through so it doesn’t appear powdery. (If you spray on dry shampoo without combing it through with your fingers or a brush, you’ll be left with hair that looks lighter in some areas--or gray--especially if you’re dark-haired, like me.) It erases that greasy, droopy look that happens when you haven’t washed your hair or your little above-the-seat fan isn't working.

Koreans know their beauty products (it’s cool to generalize if it’s positive, right?), and Skin Food’s masks are among my favorites. They come in handy when cabin fever set in.

There are times when I’ve switched to the flight information screen on my personal entertainment system and all I wanted to do was shove a fork in my guts and twirl it around like spaghetti. That’s when gel-sheet masks like their Facial Water Vita-A Gel Mask will serve as a minor distraction. Plonk ‘em on when you’re the plane, and your skin--and brain--will feel a tad more hydrated. Bonus: scaring the person next to you.

I bought Vaseline Lip Therapy because I’m obsessed with miniaturesm but this itty-bitty tub does as much for your lips as Nutella does for PMSing Faz. You can’t go wrong with Vaseline, and this baby fits into your Ziplock so the TSA won’t give you attitude.

All the hydrating you do on the surface of your skin means nothing if you’re throwing back Singapore Slings on the plane, so keep a foldable Pocket Bottle in your carry-on. It takes up less space than a regular bottle would, and you can just fill it up when you board. You won’t have to speak to a grumpy flight attendant all journey long. (Maybe bring along an extra gel mask for him or her.)

Let me know what you do to look your best when you land.