How To Look & Feel Great When You Fly: A Flight Attendant Tells All
Having spent 11 years globe trotting as a flight attendant for a major airline, you could say I'm a pretty seasoned traveler. So I'm well aware of how travel can leave you feeling bloated, dehydrated and less than your typical bright, breezy self.
Now that I'm in a career that focuses on self-care and wellness, here are some tips and tricks to help you feel and look refreshed as you disembark the plane. I wish I'd known about these myself when I was flying around the world at 36,000 feet!
1. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Cellular hydration is the key to plump, juicy, happy and healthy skin. In the days leading up to a flight, make an extra effort to drink plentiful amounts of water, while limiting caffeine and alcohol. Juicing hydrating vegetables (cucumber, celery, carrots, beets) also helps up your water intake, as well as provide vitamins and minerals.
When you're on the plane, drink as much water as you can (short of excessively asking people to stand so you can constantly use the bathroom!). I always buy a large bottle to bring with me, and the crew will usually offer water service a few times throughout the flight to supplement what you already have.
2. Dress for comfort.
Maybe not your pajamas, but do wear clothes that you're comfortable in and have a little give/extra room, including shoes. Despite your best efforts, you'll inevitably bloat a little on the plane, so if you're wearing something that's skin-tight, you'll be incredibly uncomfortable. I'd also suggest dressing in layers so you can take off or add on as needed (planes get cold!).
3. When it comes to makeup, less is more.
Want to look glowing and fresh-faced? Ditch the foundation and swap it for a hydrating bb cream or tinted moisturizer. It’s more forgiving on fine lines and wrinkles which will be exacerbated on skin that may not be as hydrated as usual (unless you listen to my first tip!). Same goes for lips and hand: regularly apply a hydrating balm, cream or oil throughout the flight.
For a fresh, bright-eyed appearance, I'd highly recommend bringing eye drops with you. Eyes tend to feel dry, gritty and sore after a long flight. Popping in some drops really makes a difference to how your peepers look and feel!
4. Don't skip skin care.
Pre-flight, it’s a good idea to use products that combine antioxidants and hydrating ingredients. A serum is a good start as it can penetrate and be easily absorbed. The antioxidants will help protect your skin from free radical damage. A lightweight cream containing hydrating and soothing ingredients is also nice to layer on top. And just because you're inside a plane doesn't mean you can skip SPF — UV rays are actually stronger that high up in the air.
I also like to gently pat a small amount of cream around my eyes during the flight and again right before landing for a fresher appearance. The eye area can tend to get more dry and dehydrated, making fine lines more obvious.
5. Refresh your skin.
Throughout the flight, I suggest spritzing the skin with a cooling, refreshing mist of your choice. It really does make you feel perky and refreshed while helping add moisture to the skin.
6. Move your body.
Don’t stay squashed in your seat for the duration ... get up and move that body of yours. Get the circulation going to help avoid the risk of a deep vein thrombosis. A little walk around and a chance to engage with others will help to a more peaceful mind. If you’re feeling brave and can find the space, show the crew some yoga poses (yep I’ve seen it).
7. Stress less.
It may be obvious, but stress isn't healthy for you. It can age you, raise your blood pressure and make you feel generally uncomfortable. I've seen all kinds of arguments on flights and it’s often over leg-room and seat-backs — it's just not worth it! Relax and feel calm. On my last flight I took crystals and meditated. I love the vibrations of amethyst and rose quartz in this situation, but go with whatever you feel drawn to. An inspirational book and the chance to switch off from a busy life to read is also a good idea.
8. Foods to avoid.
If you want to limit that post-flight bloat, avoid or limit carbohydrate-heavy foods like bread and pasta. Same goes for anything high in sodium and sugar, which will only lead to further bloating. Instead, try sticking to fresh fruits and vegetables, herbal teas and nuts.
With these tips in mind, you should arrive at your destination feeling wonderful and relaxed, as well as looking fresh-faced and ready for whatever you have planned. Happy travels!