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Beauty and The Booze: How to drink on long-haul flights without dehydrating your skin


Facialists, look away.

Drinking alcohol during the flight can improve your skin.

Hear us out.

We’re not saying get all Kristen Wiig and her “I’m ready to paaaarrrtttyyyyy” obnoxiousness from Bridesmaids, but a healthy cocktail of red wine and uninterrupted time at 40,000 ft can become a blessing in disguise.

Think about it: the 14 hours spent airborne might be the only hours of solitude you get before Mum, Dad and 37 cousins come to the airport to receive you. Somewhere between hour four and you mouthing dialogues from the reruns of The Office, you will have the time to methodically slip, slap and slop potent ingredients onto your skin, and then order your third G&T with extra lime (vitamin C, bravo!).

Thanks to drinking (and you severely dehydrating your skin in the process), you have even more reason to punch back the goodness into your skin cells. Consider it the beauty industry’s reverse psychology…do we still have you?

To look like Kate Middleton or Amal Clooney upon arrival, save your ‘Do Not Disturb’ sticker until the wheels of that drinks cart squeak down the aisle, and pack your TSA-approved Ziploc with these serums, masks, sprays and unguents.

Stay hydrated

So aeroplanes are pretty disgusting. Pressurised cabins, low humidity, recirculated air – it’s the perfect scene for a David Lynch drama. Start rewarding your skin with a half-hourly spritz of the Avene Thermal Spring Water. Just as you should be drinking a glass or two of water after every mid-air cocktail, similarly you need to be spraying this simple spring water with no added nonsense on your skin. If anyone complains about the fresh mist reaching them, send them to me.

Mask is here

If you have an annoying co-passenger, slapping on the SK-II Facial Treatment Mask is highly recommended. Some say you have to be brave to put a sheet mask on at 37,000ft, but if you’re going to get another scotch on the rocks then you need to be shameless in the grooming department as well, and wander the aisles of the A380 with this as second skin. This sheet mask works best on stressed skin as it’s infused with 10x the serum, leaving it visibly hydrated, radiant and clearer.

Get a lip job

This cute little pot will fit in your handbag. The Glamglow Poutmud Wet Lip Balm Treatment is the king of all lip scrubs, and you don’t need to wash it off in those airplane toilets. Have you experienced one of those metal cubicles lately with their awful lighting and kiosk-sized legroom. They don’t quite set an ambience for leisurely preening or washing off. Therefore we recommend you stay seated and let the sweet almond oil, cocoa butter and tamanu oil of this concoction exfoliate, moisturise and nourish your pout. It’ll stay on even when you’re on your fifth glass of champagne (maybe slow down…?).

Stop and smell the roses

Fast absorption is key when mid-air. The soothing, scented Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist is the secret to many stars. Two-three pumps all over the face, every few hours, is what you need to look perky after hours of ricocheting through the air in a metal tube. Order a Sauvignon Blanc, put on your headphones, close your eyes, and imagine you’re cruising in a rose garden, above the Atlantic Ocean. Don’t worry, wine will help you with the imagination.

Oil me up

Expect dryness to be obsessed with you when you are way up in the air (especially if you’re drinking beer). Heavy serums and moisturisers are great to apply on the face, but you don’t want your precious La Mer getting tossed off in security. The Clarins Santal Face Treatment Oil is light enough to apply all over you face, brows, ends of the hair, elbows, or neighbours’ cuticles, and it’s only 30ml. This will soak up all the hydrating nutrients, without leaving you looking shiny. Enjoy that brew!

Shitika Anand
written by: Shitika Anand
Shitika is a storyteller and digital content creator, currently living the digital nomad life in Asia. Her words have been published in Time Out, WWD, CNN, Grazia, Forbes and The Huffington Post.