Photo: Singapore Airlines/ Facebook

Being a beauty editor does have its perks. Besides having first dibs on the latest products, I also had the privilege of travelling to many parts of the world for regional and global press conferences on major product launches. Inevitably, I’ve managed to work out my personal, fail-proof routine before, during and after long haul flights. Yes, I’m that annoying passenger who either has coloured light beams or some buzzing sound coming from her seat, and I probably have frightened more than a few fellow travellers who were mid-sleep but happened to make eye contact with me as I made my way down the aisle to stretch my legs with my face mask on.

Regardless how often you travel, your skin is never immune to the elevated amount of external aggressors it gets exposed to when you’re mid-flight. For starters, cabin air is extremely dehydrating, which means that your skin is counting on you to help replenish it with moisture (which is lost continuously). The higher-than-usual pressure also means that our blood circulation becomes poorer, hence dull skin. And if that’s not enough, cabin food tends to be higher in salt. Factor in that pre-take off glass of champagne and those two glasses of Bordeaux you were thinking of having with your baby lamb chop and you get the perfect recipe for dehydration and puffiness.

Luckily, there’s an end to all this because once we land, it’s back to regular programming. But what about flight attendants? What do they do when flying is their job?

Over the years, I’ve struck up many conversations with flight attendants as a result of all my beauty-related commotion, thanks to flashing, buzzing devices and endless masking and spritzing. After meal service, as the cabin lights start to dim and the passengers prepare for a restful slumber, I’d reach for my overhead compartment and pull out my in-flight kit. And as the flight attendant brings me my juice or water, that’s when the chatting begins. From the high-tech facial massager to the most nourishing moisturiser and the most hydrating face mask, boy have I learnt a lot from flight attendants over the years. Here, the five products that flight attendants swear by to protect your skin against the harsh cabin air even on long-haul flights:


Face Cream: La Mer Creme de La Mer, $300 for 30ml

What could be better than arming your skin with a rich balm before a long haul flight? Highly concentrated in La Mer’s signature Miracle Broth, it speeds up wound healing and collagen production while intensely nourishing it so the skin stays soft and supple throughout the flight. All you have to do is rub a pea-sized amount between your palms to warm it up before pressing it into the skin so that it doesn’t feel thick or greasy. Bring a small container of it onboard with you and use it as a lip balm so you never have to worry about chapped lips.


Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $69 for 40ml

Many women already carry a face mist in their purse, let alone during a long-haul flight. Easy to use and packed with skin-conditioning ingredients, a face mist is the ultimate weapon in a lazy girl’s arsenal against the harsh cabin air. And this one from Tatcha also promises to leave skin with a dewy glow, thanks to a content of over 20 per cent botanical oils and humectants. With a blend of Okinawa red algae and Japanese anti-ageing superfoods, it infuses skin with antioxidants, strengthening it against free radical assault. Its super fine mist means you can use it over or under makeup without causing makeup to slide or smudge.


Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Original Hand Cream, $8.60 for 56g

If you think your hands feel dry and rough, imagine what a flight attendant’s hands go through. In addition to serving food and drinks to passengers, they also have to maintain the cleanliness of the cabin, which means they probably have to wash their hands countless of times throughout a single flight. No wonder they count on something heavy duty like this powerful hand cream from Neutrogena. Clinically proven to deliver quick and effective relief for dry and chapped hands, this glycerin-rich hand cream wraps hands with a layer of moisture so the skin looks and feels softer.


SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $127 for 6 pieces

Saturated in SK-II legendary Pitera complex, each of these sheet masks infuses skin with an optimal blend of vitamins, minerals and amino acids to deeply hydrate parched skin for a crystal clear complexion. No wonder so many flight attendants count on them to revive and resuscitate their tired and dull skin post-flight.


Valmont Eye Instant Stress Relieving Mask, $211 for 5 pairs, at TANGS @ Tang Plaza

When your skin is dry, it is inevitable that dehydration shows up the most around the eyes, resulting in a rough and crepey skin texture. No wonder it’s such a pain for makeup to adhere to the eye contour area after a long-haul flight. To minimise that, bring one or two pairs of these eye masks with you on-board so you can use them throughout the flight. Made with a high-performance patch, it ensures optimal adherence to the skin for maximum product absorption. All you have to do is break the fluid chamber so both sheets are saturated in it before applying onto the under eye area. Leave it on for 20 minutes as the decongesting, anti-fatigue concoction depuffs and smooths out wrinkles for an energised appearance.