Let’s be honest, it can be quite thrilling to travel by air. (I still find it fascinating to this day!)
However, factors like the airplane’s enclosed environment, low cabin humidity and recirculated air — not to mention, sometimes uncomfortable seating — can leave travellers looking and feeling weary after the flight. This is especially the case if you’re taking a long-haul flight and a nap is needed to beat the jet lag and get into a new time zone.
That said, don’t let the flight put a damper on your adventurous spirit or leave you unprepared for your next trip. There are some simple things you can do to revitalise your appearance and recover quickly from the general sense of discomfort that typically comes post-flight. I’ve got you covered with these top tips for freshening up and disembarking from the plane with the same energised glow you had when you boarded.
Ready? Let’s go!
1. Change Your Clothes
How to look fresh after a long flight 101: take a fresh set of clothes to change into near the end of the flight or right after the plane lands. This can essentially help you reset after the flight, making you feel less groggy after those long hours of sitting, and prepare you for the next leg of your journey both physically and mentally.
Opt for airy and breathable clothing on the plane for maximum comfort, such as loose tops and leggings. Heading somewhere hot? Switch to a dress or a cami with shorts as soon as you’re able so that you can look sharp from the moment you leave the airport’s Arrivals area.
If it’s chilly at your final destination, add a pair of women’s tights to keep your legs warm and a cosy sweatshirt or cardigan that you can throw on at a moment’s notice.
My advice is to choose pieces that are also versatile enough to be paired with various outfits, making the transition from a casual airplane look to a more polished and smooth appearance even more effortless. The right post-flight outfit can not only make you feel refreshed, but poise you for what lies ahead in your travels.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Staying hydrated is non-negotiable if you want to maintain a fresh appearance after your flight. Airplane cabins have low humidity, which can quickly dehydrate the skin and leave it looking dull. Therefore, it’s important to drink plenty of water during and after the flight.
I always carry a refillable bottle with me at all times and top up using the water fountains in the airport. Either way, drinking six to eight glasses of water every day will keep dehydration at bay and ensures that you step off the plane looking healthy and radiant.
3. Moisturise Your Skin
Aside from drinking water, you can also moisturise your skin to avoid it drying out and looking lifeless once your plane journey is over. A high-quality moisturiser that’s suitable for your skin type can act as an effective barrier for locking in hydration.
Before boarding, apply a generous amount of moisturiser on your face. If you’re going on a long-haul flight, reapply your moisturiser mid-journey to continuously protect your skin from the unpleasant dry air. Trust me, it’s worth it.
4. Cleanse Your Face
On top of using a good moisturiser, cleanse your face while you’re up in the air. Doing so rids the skin of accumulated oils and dirt and rejuvenates your tired skin after hours in a plane cabin.
Use a gentle cleanser or face wipe to remove impurities and bring the glow back to your natural complexion when you’re halfway through your flight. If you are leaning towards bringing your favourite cleanser, just make sure the bottle doesn’t exceed 100ml so you can take it through security and onto the plane with you.
5. Brush Your Hair
Sure, this sounds obvious, but one quick fix that will uplift your appearance after a long flight and shouldn’t be overlooked is to comb your hair. This will help you banish airplane-induced frizz or flatness in less than a minute.
Carry a compact brush or comb so it won’t take up too much space in your travel bag when you already (probably) have so much stuff. (That’s usually me.) A compact version will also fit into the plastic bag they give you for getting your toiletries through security so you can keep everything beauty-related in one place. Win-win.
6. Eat Light and Healthy Snacks
I know it’s tempting, but try to ditch heavy meals and junk food when you’re travelling by air. These can make you feel sluggish and bloated after hours of doing nothing but sitting. Instead, opt for light and nutritious meals both during and after your flight.
Better yet, pack or purchase fruits, vegetables and lean proteins to replenish your energy without overwhelming your system.
In need of a small snack during your flight? I hear you — nuts or yoghurt are great options if either is available. They allow you to feel full while also providing you with essential nutrients that you need for an energy and mood boost.
7. Retouch Your Make-up
Will you be wearing make-up during your flight? If so, don’t forget to touch up mid-journey or before you land as this can help in terms of how to look fresh after a long-haul flight.
Use a hydrating mist to refresh your base, then retouch your mascara, blush, eyeshadow or lipstick as necessary. You can also add concealer under your eyes if you’re extra conscious about your post-flight eye bags. (I’ve been there.)
8. Wash Hands Thoroughly
Washing your hands thoroughly and frequently before, during and after your flight not only keeps you healthier during your journey, but also prevents the transfer of bacteria to your face or any other part of your body. This will reduce the risk of acne breakouts, as well as protect your health and the health of those around you.
After all, you’ll be touching various surfaces during the course of your travel, including overhead bins, seat buckles and tray tables. Personally, I love to take hand sanitiser or hand wipes in my travel bag so I can grab them easily and frequently to keep those pesky germs at bay.
9. Stretch Your Body
Lastly, don’t forget to stretch your legs and move around the plane (like on your way to the loo) after long periods of sitting. A few light exercises and stretches can do a lot to alleviate stiffness and significantly bring up your energy levels.
Furthermore, a good stretch will surely boost your circulation and contribute to a fresher appearance overall upon landing.
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Final Thoughts on How to Look Fresh After a Long Haul Flight
Just because you have toendure a long flight doesn’t automatically mean that you have to compromise on beauty, radiance and freshness, right? Integrate these practical tips into your in-flight and post-flight routine, and you’ll look and feel your best for the next step of your travel adventure.
Lmk if you have any more tips in the comments!