The skincare tips and secrets flight attendants swear by
Given that summer is fast approaching and you might be flying soon, we thought it would be timely to chat to the most seasoned of travellers: flight attendants. Because, if there’s anyone that knows how to combat the effects of dry, recirculated air, it’s these flying pros.
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We reached out to flight attendants to find out how they always look so put together and glam, even at a cool 36,000 feet above ground.
Did you notice any changes in your skin when you started flying regularly?
Sophie: I started flying so long ago I can’t really remember! I do notice though that my skin starts to get very dry if I’m working a particularly busy roster and likewise, when I get a good chunk of time off my skin feels so much healthier!
Natalie: Yes, when I started flying my skin was so dry and I got really random acne spots. My skin type used to be a little oily but now it’s always dry. The air conditioning on the plane is so harsh but little tricks like drinking lots of water and making sure you apply a good moisturiser before make -up helps to curb the dryness.
Emma: 100% - my skin got really dry and inflamed in more problem areas like around my nose. My lips also started peeling…oh the joys!
What are your must-have beauty essentials for long haul flights?
Sophie: I use the Lush Dream Cream all over my face and neck morning and night. I swear by it even though it’s marketed as a body lotion! Also, Lanolips is the only lip balm I’ve found that actually protects my lips from getting super dry when I’m flying. As for makeup, I wear as little as possible, just the Bare Minerals Loose Powder and a bit of concealer rather than wearing a heavy foundation every day.
Natalie: On the flight my liquids bag is full of hand moisturisers, hand sanitisers (the soaps and sanitisers on a plane are so harsh on your skin - I personally avoid them like the plague). But, my absolute go-to for everything is Vaseline. Honestly, it’s my saving grace, I use it for my hands and my lips and it’s got the antibacterial layer in it to protect you from any on-board nasties. After a flight, my go-to is Clinique Liquid Facial Soap in Mild to gently remove all the makeup that I’ve been wearing for probably well over 24hrs. It’s so gentle on the skin but does an amazing clean. I follow that up with the Elizabeth Arden Visible Difference Refining Moisture Cream Complex and then I’m good to go!
Emma: My on-board essentials are lip balm, face mist and a good multi-purpose balm. I have Weleda Skin Food and Trilogy Everything Balm in my toiletry bag at the moment – I’m yet to find anything that works better. I’ll use these around my nose, under my eyes, my neck and even on my lips when I don’t have a lip balm to hand. My go-to lip balm is Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm. A refreshing face mist is a great pick-me-up when you can’t shower – I usually try find one with calming ingredients to help soothe my skin. And of course, drinking lots of water is a non-negotiable when flying long haul!
How do you treat your skin after a busy week of flying?
Sophie: No makeup! I hardly ever wear makeup on my days off, and I get regular treatments at Caci Clinic to keep my skin in good condition.
Natalie: I do a nice deep exfoliating scrub on my face and body at least once or twice a week. I also treat myself to a face mask from Sephora to rehydrate and plump the skin so I don’t look like a dried out prune. Some of our flights can be over 20 hours so it’s always nice to end a trip with a hot bath – I often add a few drop of Bio-Oil into it and apply a face mask.
Emma: I’m addicted to face masks – I always pop a sheet mask in my case as they’re light and won’t leak through my luggage! Depending on how close I am to pay day (ha ha!) dictates whether I save or splurge. If I’m feeling flush, I’ll pick up the Kiehl’s Instant Renewing Concentrate Mask, which is amazing for hydration and smells so yummy. Otherwise, Glow Lab’s Hydrating Face Masks do the trick and leaving my skin glowing.
Flight attendants are known for always looking immaculate and polished – do you remove and reapply makeup or top-up at all?
Sophie: I only fly short haul flights so never take it off and reapply, and to be honest I’m too lazy to top-up my makeup! I just use a good primer and setting spray to keep my makeup on all day, even for a 13 hour shift.
Natalie: Lots of people ask us this and I honestly don’t remove my make up until I’m in my hotel room! There’s not many of us that remove it all and start over. The key is to carry a good concealer and face spray to retouch during the night. I use the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer to touch up around my nose and any parts that might be looking a bit rough and also use the Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray.
Emma: Overnight I’ll touch-up with a light powder and concealer but if I prep my skin well before applying my makeup, I find it lasts pretty well! I always use a moisturiser, primer and setting spray. My favourites are the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Cream, Benefit The Porefessional and M.A.C Prep + Prime Fix+ (in 30ml for carry on!)
Any other beauty tips for long-haul flights?
Sophie: Prepare your skin! Make sure it’s super-moisturised before a long flight and if you can avoid makeup, that’s always best. I’ve seen people putting sheet masks on during flights and it makes me cringe thinking about all the germs and dust in the recycled air then trapping it on to your skin with a sheet mask! I would avoid putting any products on my skin while flying unless you’ve been able to wash your face thoroughly (NOT with aircraft tap water!)
Natalie: My tip for flying on a long haul flight is to wear no makeup and a nourishing moisturiser and carry face wipes. Essano Rosehip Facial Wipes from the supermarket are my go-to for rehydration and are really gentle on the skin. Carry the face wipes and moisturiser (if under 100ml!) in your carry on so before you land you can zip to the bathroom and freshen up. Also, carry hand cream, sanitiser and a good lip balm! Oh, and drink lots of water!!!
Emma: If you want to freshen up before landing, I love a good micellar water but have struggled to find these in TSA approved sizes so I've been using micellar water wipes from either Garnier or M.A.C, which I find equally as cleansing. There is nothing better than cleansing your face and then lathering on a super-hydrating moisturiser. For my dry skin, the thicker the better! I’m also a big fan of double cleansing when I get to my hotel, especially as I lay my makeup on pretty thick. I use the Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Oil followed by the Dermalogica Ultra Calming Cleanser It always amazes me how much makeup is still left after the first cleanse – and even the second! I’ll often go over with some toner on a cotton pad after and there’s still makeup in stubborn areas like around my nose.