frequent flier? how to not shrivel up dry in that cabin

Life is a journey, especially for expatriates. Keep the destinations coming, but traveling takes its toll with dull lifeless hair, skin and nails, after being trapped in a tiny seat with a cabinful of people literally breathing down your neck in recirculated air (especially on our 15++ hours annual leaves, uggh!). Give yourself some TLC in-flight and look glam at the arrivals gate with these quick tips for gals on the go:

• start / keep a list of must-bring items– in purse, carry-on and checked luggage. save these lists so you don’t leave important things at your destination. it’s also a good record that can help with last-minute shopping when luggage got lost
• ask for and save samples of your fave products for travel
• take vit E or cod-liver / fish oil tablets regularly before flight for skin
• take vit C / supplements for boosting your immunity
• do a hot-oil treatment (eg warm olive oil with essential oils for your hair type) and/or use a leave-in conditioner before your flight to prevent dry hair and breakage
• a hydrating facial day before the flight (not a deep cleansing facial);
• intensify your moisturising routine
• buy foldable boxes (like the IKEA Komplement) for storing / transporting your items neatly (eg between bathroom and bed) when you get to your destination
• toiletries packed inside clear ziplocs or see-through cases have less chance of getting rifled through by security screeners (yuck)

• wear nail polish, it chips easy then looks bad; get a buff manicure instead
• drink caffeine, alcohol, soda as they’re dehydrating
• pre-board or get on the boarding line– everyone especially in asia rushes to wait in line. let ’em all on first to minimise both your wait and cabin time.

For organising your things:
• a hanging toiletries bag for carry-on pampering you tote along and hang in the bathroom, and another for your entertainment (ipod, headset plug converter, notepad, pen, magazine), because there’s never enough storage space but you can always hang something– stow away if not needed

For hydration:
• water, water, water
• your favorite fragrant herbal tea blend; green and black teas are especially high in anti-oxidants and good for fighting those evil free radicals that contribute to ageing and illness!

For pampering / depuffing tired red eyes:
• eye pillows with grains inside for acupressure benefits
• eye gel or pre-moistened eye pads–ask for a glass of ice to cool it before using!
• moisturising eye drops

For keeping nails, skin, scalp and hair moisturised:
• wetwipes for oil-blotting, to moisturise, to clean dirt and make-up, as single-use masks for an in-flight facial
• hydrating mist (water-glycerin mix, hydrosol, aloe juice etc) in a spray bottle with an atomiser top, spray your face often and your hair occasionally
• rich moisturiser such as a chunk of shea or cocoa butter, mild enough for the face but for use on all skin areas prone to dryness
• vitamin E capsules, prick and use on dry lips
• to hydrate nasal passages, line with a bit of vaseline, or a nasal spray also relieves congestion
• ask the flight attendant for plain yogurt (hydrating, natural exfoliant, gentle cleanser) and/or honey (humectant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory) and give yourself a facial in the bathroom
• those toilet-seat covers in the bathroom? excellent for blotting oil from face (unused ones)
• essential oils are indispensable (eg lavender, peppermint, rosemary): place a few drops on a tissue and breathe it in to soothe, aid in sleeping, relieve congestion and combat stale air
• aromatherapeutic oil blend gentle enough for the face– treat yourself to a hand massage after washing hands, a facial acupressure session ( on a clean face!), and afterwards as a leave-in conditioner run hands through your hair and lightly massage the scalp; essential oils of lavender, neroli, frankincense, myrrh in a camellia base oil have the added benefit of anti-ageing
• dry shampoo if you tend to get oily hair and scalp, do a dry cleanse before landing
• a good boar bristle brush to keep oils distributed down the hair shaft

(to be published in AsiaLIFE Phnom Penh in Nov 2008)


  1. phaseoutgirl says

    Hey there… I have been trying to get in touch with you! Did you get my emails??

    miss you…. hugs…

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