Cabin crew reveal the skincare and makeup secrets behind their fresh, hydrated, immaculate skin
Hidden in plane sight
Plane face is a syndrome that frequent flyers are all too familiar with. Skin is plagued with numerous breakouts, designer eye bags, and cracked, peeling lips, no thanks to the constantly-changing pressure and dry air found in plane cabins. Those exempted from these afflictions are far and few between, though the list includes the likes of Queen Ri-Ri, K-pop boy wonders BTS, and, of course: air stewardesses.
As if contending with cranky customers, jet lag, and crack-of-dawn wakeup calls aren't challenging enough, these ladies do them all while looking downright flawless. How? We get the lowdown from several flight attendants on how they look fresh AF, 35,000 feet up.
"I have a lot going for me in terms of skincare. For flying out, it consists of a toner, moisturiser, eye gel cream, sunscreen, neck cream, cuticle oil for nails and hand cream — because, yes, our hands tend to get very, very dry during long-haul flights. I add a mask to the mix upon landing, too, as hotel rooms can be as drying as plane cabins. I counteract this by ensuring that I always have a mini-humidifier packed when I fly.
I actually remove my lipstick whenever I get a chance to rest during the flight. Then I'll apply several coats of lip balm on to protect my lips and ensure they don't get chapped and peeled. My colleagues are also always busting out hydrating face mists whenever they can spare a minute.
When it comes to face makeup, I like the Chosungah 22 C&T Blend Luminous Liquid Foundation. There are two parts to the product: serum and foundation, so you can mix your skincare with your makeup. When I'm flying out, the ratio for the serum will be a lot more as compared to when I use it on non-flying days." — Eng Yee, Singapore Airlines flight attendant
Conscientious to a T
"For me, I basically swap out my products depending on how my skin is doing that particular week. For instance, I have three toners I choose from whenever I fly: the Bioderma Soothing Moisturising Toning Lotion, the Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Toning Balancing Essence, and the Mamonde Rose Water Toner. My skin reacts best to the Rose Water Toner whenever I'm experiencing a breakout, so I'll be sure to swap out my toner whenever I notice zits cropping up and vice versa. It is all about observing what my skin needs and adapting accordingly.
A little hack that works for me is including the Laneige Water Bank Double Layering Oil in my skincare and makeup when my complexion is feeling dry and tight. I add two drops after I've applied my moisturiser at night, and a single drop into my foundation on days to keep skin successfully quenched." — Jia Ying, Singapore Airlines flight attendant
Hydration in every sense of the word
"I think hydration — in every aspect — is essential to maintaining a polished appearance after long-haul flights. I swear by Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil. I also try and finish a one-litre bottle of water every time I'm on a long-haul flight, though it can be pretty difficult to do so when we're constantly serving passengers.
I make sure to also use a facial mist to keep my skin from drying out, as well as Bio-oil on my feet before flights because, yes, it is an area that can get super dry while flying. Sunscreen is an essential, as well. The UV rays that penetrate through the cabin windows are exceedingly strong, so I make sure to apply a thorough coat.
As for makeup, I would suggest lightweight, watery and hydrating formulas. Oh, and fun fact: because plane cabins can get really dark, cabin crew are advised to put on stronger makeup. I have received a lot of compliments for my eyeshadow — which comes from a palette by Kate Tokyo. It shines really well in both night or day settings and doesn't feel heavy on skin!" — Dawn Saw, Singapore Airlines flight attendant
Use products formulated for dry, dehydrated skin
"It's really about products that can keep your skin hydrated for as long as possible. The two essentials I always have onboard are Cetaphil's Ultra Hydrating Lotion and Estée Lauder's Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup Foundation. Formulated for those with severely dry, dehydrated skin, it maintains my skin's moisture levels for hours on end. I also always make sure to exfoliate three times a week with a deep pore cleansing mask to get all the dirt and impurities out." — Zahirah Zainal, Silkair flight attendant
Consistency is key
"I am a lot more consistent with my skincare routine when I'm flying. I have a set routine for when I get to the hotel, when I get ready for bed, and when I'm getting ready to fly for the day. It's pretty simple: I cleanse at the end of the day, exfoliate a couple of times a week, and then go for a toner after. My go-to product is the Lush Tea Tree Water, followed by the Lush Full of Grace Serum Bar and Skin Drink Moisturiser.
I also don't wear a lot of makeup in my day-to-day routine, though I stress that it is super important to take it off at the end of the day. I use coconut oil to remove tough, water-proof formulas, and then proceed to exfoliate after.
The most important ingredient of all is water. Water, water, water. When I fly, I try to drink as much as I can. I tend to find that my hands and elbows still experience a lot of dryness, so I keep lotions in my work bag for that exact purpose, and apply constantly whenever they start getting dry and scaly." — Katelyn, Spirit Airlines flight attendant