Christina Hendricks in a promotional image for the final season of Mad Men [Photo Credit: AMC]
Being on board an airplane is one of the worst atmospheres that you can expose your skin to - the air conditioning and unnatural pressure is extremely drying and dehydrating; plus, there are germs and bacteria a-plenty.
The jet lag and tiredness you experience from flying also causes your body to release the stress hormone Cortisol, which can lead to skin redness and breakouts. When you are on board, you need to arm yourself with an arsenal of beauty products so that you don’t disembark looking like a corpse.
The first most basic things you can do for your skin when flying is to drink lots of water, avoid dehydrating alcohol and caffeine and not wear any makeup.
Then, take out your pouch of in-flight beauty essentials and get smothering. Remember that you can only take liquids and creams of 100ml or less on board (displayed in clear bags), so look out for travel miniatures and sample sachets, or decant some of your favourite products into small tubs.
A heavy-duty hydrating moisturiser is essential. The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Intense Moisture Cream (£13 from The Body Shop) helps lock in moisture to your skin and delivers intense hydration. It has moisturising Vitamin E and hydrating Hyaluronic Acid, and it has a lovely rich texture that leaves skin incredibly soft.
Taking some sheet face masks on board for targeted treatments is a great idea. Wear a hydrating mask as a treat mid-flight when you feel your skin needs it. The Hydraluron Moisture Boosting Mask (£19.99 for 4 from Boots) is perfect - it’s infused with Hyluronic Acid to provide ultimate hydration.
Treating your skin to a cleanse halfway through your flight is a good idea too - to refresh and remove dirt that has gathered on the skin. A micellar water and some cotton wool is an easy and effective choice. The travel-size Nuxe Micellar Cleansing Water (£8.08 from Look Fantastic) cleanses well, is great for sensitive skin and contains rose petal water that softens the skin.
Flying really dries out your lips, so you literally cannot apply enough lip balm when on board. The Nuxe Reve de Miel Lip Balm (£9.50 from Space NK) is very hydrating and it contains a unique blend of plant extracts that protects the lips against environmental stresses. It has honey and shea butter in it too to comfort and soften.
The same goes for hands. Keep them and your cuticles hydrated and moisturised with a good hand cream. L’Occitane’s Travel Size Shea Butter Hand Cream (£8 from John Lewis) is very rich, but non-greasy. It instantly moisturises hands and makes them incredibly soft and smooth.
Having a multi-purpose oil that you can apply to the skin on your face, body, hair and hands is a great and useful space-saving addition to your in-flight beauty bag. Elizabeth Arden Eight-Hour All-Over Miracle Oil (£29 from Elizabeth Arden) comes as a 100ml pump spray. It contains the ultra-hydrating Tsubaki Oil to add moisture to the skin, and also soothes and calms redness.
Keeping relaxed, and even better sleeping, will help your skin to stay calm and repair itself. The Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Balm (£19.50 from Feel Unique) comes in a travel-friendly 7ml pot. Dab its relaxing blend of Vetivert, Camomile and Sandalwood on your pulse points and inhale.