The In-Flight Grooming Tips You Should Be Following
Do your skin a favour and feed it some necessary hydration whilst you're sat enjoying some in-flight entertainment.
Feb 21, 2023
About Ashley Clarke
Ashley Ogawa Clarke is an editor and writer, and a consultant for Humanery. Ashley is the former Deputy Editor of MR PORTER, the online menswear destination, and has previously written for US Vogue, GQ Style, the Telegraph, Wall Street Journal and the Observer among others. He has been writing about men’s skincare for ten years, and is currently based in Tokyo, Japan.
As I write this, I am seven hours into a flight from London to Tokyo. My eyes are puffy, my throat parched, and my skin feels as sad and dry as an old newspaper. I have what I call “flight face”. Forget the glamour of being well-travelled. To win such a status is to spend many miserable hours being slowly shrivelled up in a tin can in the sky.
Long haul flights (and indeed even short bouts of travel) can play havoc with everything from your gym routine to your eating habits, and, perhaps worst of all, they work against your skin. Fun fact: the air in a flight cabin is partly made up of the air outside, and 35,000ft up, that means skin can get very dry, very fast. Hello flight face my old friend.
Still, whether you’re hopping on a quick domestic flight or enduring 14 hours in the air like me, there are things that will help you stave off even the most zombieish case of flight face. As I get used to a long-distance relationship with my own home country of the UK, I’ve begun implementing certain on-flight measures to make sure that when I disembark I don’t leave arrivals looking and feeling like I haven’t slept or showered in 24 hours. Even when I haven’t!
Invest in a mist
An ostensibly frivolous item for anyone to have in their grooming kit, a mist is easy to dismiss, being that it really looks and feels like water in a spritzing bottle. It is nonetheless a non-negotiable part of a good inflight routine, as it imparts moisture to the skin and makes you feel instantly fresher. I’d experimented with mists in the summer (a great desk-side companion in hot weather, or for speedily freshening up your face before a meeting), and realised that an energising spritz would be evenmore effective a mile up in the air. The popularity of mists has boomed in recent years too, which is why you’ll find them from brands including Kiehl’s, John Masters Organics, and Auden. An expert tip: seek out one that contains hyaluronic acid, which will provide an extra hit of hydration.
Pay attention to the eyes
Travel induced exhaustion will show in the eyes first. Fortunately, products that focus on keeping your peepers bright and perky have never been more innovative or easy to find. If you haven’t added an eye cream to your grooming kit, make a point to do so. As well as working to hydrate and prevent fine lines, dark circles and assuage puffiness, they also usually come in measurements of 30ml or less, meaning they’re a no-brainer to keep in your hand luggage. I like Heath Eye Serum (partly because of the travel-friendly packaging design but also because of its anti-ageing properties), and Daimon Barber’s Revitalising Eye Formula Cream, which is enriched with honeybee moisture complex and smells great.
Slap on a sheet mask
Though the modern practice of sheet masking – that is, to apply a moisture-soaked sheet to your face to hydrate it – may have started in Asia, it’s taken off globally in the past few years. Sheet masks’ popularity is partly down, of course, to the fact they make for a quick selfie gimmick on social media, but make no mistake that they are a surefire way to boost the radiance of your skin – and especially to protect it from the low humidity on a flight. Your ghoulish appearance might give the cabin crew a fright, but that’s a small price to pay for fresher looking skin when you alight.
Forgo the shame
The biggest lesson I’ve learned regarding in-flight preening is that worrying what your fellow passengers might think to you spritzing and sheet masking your way through your journey will do you no favours. Try not to catch your neighbour in a cloud of hyaluronic mist as you go about your routine, but otherwise they probably won’t care. People commit much worse atrocities on flights (headlines have been made for passengers clipping toenails) so as long as you keep it decent, there’s no shame in a bit of in-flight self-care.
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