1) BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE…
Comb through a light, leave-in hair serum (Kérastase Nutritive 8H Magic Night Serum, ₹3,600) and let it dry as you head to the airport. Moisturiser evaporates much faster on a plane than on land, decimating the water reserves in your skin and hair.
2) ONCE YOU’VE CLEARED LUGGAGE CHECK…
...head to a pharmacy to get a nasal spray. A recent study showed that any person full of cold seated within a metre of you on the plane is 80% likely to infect you. Spritz this up your nose to kill the bugs (which breed in your nasal passages) dead.
3) AFTER SECURITY
Plane-cabin air pressure can expand intestinal gas by up to 30%, so choose your food wisely in Departures. Load up on lean protein—like fish or cottage cheese—and skip anything salty. The extra sodium will only exacerbate water retention.
4) BEFORE TAKE-OFF
Pick up an OJ. The air on any plane has less than 20% humidity, almost half of what you’re used to, which means you can end up feeling as dry as an old flip-flop. Thankfully orange juice is packed with potassium to restore your fluid balance. (So is coconut water or a banana.)
5) IMMEDIATELY AFTER TAKE-OFF
Turn off the air vent—it makes dry conditions even drier. While everyone is inspecting in-flight entertainment, take your make-up off (a pocket pack of Simple Kind To Skin Micellar Cleansing Wipes, ₹325, will do the trick) and multi-layer your face with moisture for maximum hydration. Try a soothing face mist topped with a plumping serum and moisturiser. Unless your skin is quite oily, avoid relying on just serum and jelly textures: these hydrators attract moisture from the air—of which there is none on a plane. We like Avène Thermal Spring Water, ₹1350/150ml. And don’t forget SPF—UVA radiation is higher at altitude, so apply this regularly, especially, if you’re in a window seat with light reflecting off clouds.
6) 10 MINUTES AFTER TAKE-OFF
Can’t bear bare skin? Lakmé 9To5 Weightless Mousse Foundation, ₹550, is super-lightweight, offers coverage, and doesn’t clog pores.
7) ONE HOUR IN
When the drinks trolley comes around, ask the crew to fill up your reusable water bottle (to which you’ve cunningly added grated ginger or fresh mint leaves) with hot water. So much tastier and energising than airline coffee.
8) TWO HOURS IN
Your best meal option? A Thai curry or something spicy, says nutritionist Ian Marber: “Dry conditions sap your ability to taste, so plain food is packed with salt.” That drains your body of more moisture, but spices “often mean too much salt in a dish can be avoided”.
9) CRUISE CONTROL
Regular moisture top-ups are of the essence. Clinique Moisture Surge Eye 96-Hour Hydro-Filler Concentrate, ₹2,550, is a genius gel packing tiny lipid spheres that can be dabbed under eyes or anywhere for serious quenching. Givenchy L’Intemporel Blossom Beautifying Cream-In-Mist, price on request, is just that (very handy) and its cherry blossom aroma will fix the rancid cabin-air situation.
10) NAP TIME
A contoured sleeping mask is so much better than a flat one that crushes your lashes and always lets light stream in around the sides. We swear by a total-blackout, light-as-air OriHea Contoured Eye Mask, amazon.com, ₹640 approx.
11) 20 MINUTES TO LANDING
Time to perk up your visage with a teeny make-up kit that can fit in the palm of your hand. Benefit Gogotint Cherry Red Lip And Cheek Stain, ₹2,910, is a non-sticky, hydrating tint you can use for lips, cheeks, and even eyes. Get the baby version of M·A·C Extreme Dimension Lash Mascara, ₹900, one of our favourite big-lash, smudge-free mascaras. And Estée Lauder Brow Now All In One Brow Kit (three shades), ₹4,400, is just the compact, portable kit you need to tint, shape, and fill in your arches.
12) 10 MINUTES TO LANDING
Dab along your hairline and parting, spritz some dry shampoo—BBlunt Back To Life Dry Shampoo, ₹200, comes in a travel-friendly bottle—to get rid of any encroaching oiliness. If parched, frizzy or crunchy curls are your problem, a small dab of Kiehl’s Smoothing Oil-Infused Leave In Concentrate, ₹2,100, will give them a new lease of your life.
13) ONCE OFF THE PLAIN
A quick squirt of a fresh, citrus-y scent will stave off imminent jetlag. Happy holidays!