How to step off a flight and
look the same as when you boarded.
Is this possible?
How is it celebrities manage to step off planes after
a long-flight looking immaculate, while regular folks usually look
Nicky Park has some helpful hints for looking after your looks while on a long-haul. What is it about Victoria Beckham and the Olsen twins? How do they manage to step off a plane looking polished to perfection, strutting through Customs like it's the red carpet? I, on the other hand, touch down in trackie-daks, dishevelled, dry and grumpy. In desperate need of enlightenment, I quiz beauty expert Emma Hobson, the education manager at the International Dermal Institute. Her first pointer is my first pitfall. Don't wear makeup on the flight. Hobson says that the low humidity in air causes the skin to dry out. This would explain the clumpy lashes and lack-luster gloss. For those who cringe at the thought of going free of face paint, Hobson suggests boarding made-up and removing it all once you are on the plane. With a blank canvas, the next step is locking all the moisture in. Hobson says a toner or spritz spray is an on-board essential for staying fresh and fabulous. (Just make sure you're not breaking the liquid hand luggage security rules.) "Avoid water sprays because they evaporate," she says. "A super hydrating ingredient to look out for is hyaluronic acid". "Sounds scary, but this little gem can hold about 1000 times its own weight in moisture and will lock it in." "A barrier protection moisturiser will help protect the skin against the elements," Hobson adds. "This is a good idea for the face, hands and lips." A leave-in conditioner will keep your hair glossy and frizz-free and lubricating eyedrops will keep peepers clear and healthy. For the super inspired applying a mini-mask under moisturiser will add another layer of protection. It is a good idea to prep your skin a few days before the trip, Hobson says. Exfoliate well to remove dead, dry skin and have a good cleansing routine in place. "The better hydrated you are the less trouble you are likely to have," she says.
If the budget permits, Hobson recommends a professional skin treatment. As the trip starts to come to a close freshen up with a hydrating spritz, slather on some oil-free moisturiser and always finish with sunblock. This is the time for ladies to re-apply make-up if need be. If you have a chance upon touch down Hobson says to boost the skin with a moisture overload. "Be prepared for dehydrated, more sensitive skin," she says. When you get to your destination, draw a long, hot bath and treat yourself to a face mask. You will be feeling lush and holiday ready in no time. While all this external hydration will have your skin glowing, keeping your insides hydrated is just as important. "Keep the alcohol low and the water high," Hobson says. National Medical Advisor and Travel Doctor at the Travellers Medical and Vaccination Centre Dr Tony Gherardin couldn't agree more.
"Lower humidity means we dry out faster," Dr Gherardin says. He says that alcohol and caffeine add to dehydration. So, stick to water, or to mix it up, have a fruit juice.
If packing a plethora of products seems like too much work or just isn't practical in your hand luggage, Virgin Atlantic makes it a whole lot easier. An inflight beauty therapist is on call for "upper-class" (business and first class) passengers free of charge. Fight headaches with a "helping hands" massage, a "hot hands" treatment will exfoliate, massage and nourish dry mits. For, as the name suggests, "handsome hands", "a mini manicure, incorporating a file, buff and cuticle" will do the trick. Or relax with a "Back in the Clouds" upper back, shoulders, neck and scalp massage. Virgin Atlantic customers who touch down in Heathrow can wake-up with a power steam, sweat it off the sauna, kick back in the jacuzzi and get a bronzed bod in the tanning booths. You are bound to be red-carpet ready with this regime. Likewise at Heathrow, British Airways passengers can shake off any signs of slumber with a body-jet shower. From October the airline will have Elemis Travel Spas in action at Heathrow and JFK airports. Face, feet, hand and scalp treatments will be on the menu.
Sadly, services are only provided to those in the pointy end of the plane at this stage. Those of us in economy class will have to make do with a tool kit of cosmetics, the pokey cubical and some seated yoga moves to loosen stiff joints. Recently I made my way to Thailand. Trying to recall where I had packed my bathers, my daydreaming came to a swift halt when the sight of my swollen ankles took my breath away. They were tight and tough to touch, as though I could pop them with a pin. At this moment I was amongst the one in 6000 long-haul passengers struck down with symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
Dr Gherardin explains that the low cabin pressure causes swelling in the tissues. It is more noticeable in the feet and legs because of blood pooling. The good news is in most cases it can be prevented. "Be aware of it and prevent it by moving around," Dr Gherardin says. Rotate ankles, pump the legs and get up and do a few laps of the cabin. Dreaded jetlag can also put a hold on holiday fun, however there are ways you can save your body getting too far out of sync. "The body works on natural rhythms related to day and night," Dr Gherardin says. "When you're flying the pattern of day and night changes." Dr Gherardin says to try and get your body adjusted as soon as you can. "On the flight take on the time of the destination and start to match that up," he says. So, set your watch and try to time your sleeping and eating schedule with the time zone of your destination.
Dr Gherardin says, if feasible, break up a long-haul journey into several smaller legs. "This will reduce the mismatch and allow your body to adjust," he says. I'm armed, dangerous and ready to look fierce post-plane. Naomi Robson eat your heart out and I don't mean the cannibals'.
Report from AAP