5 inflight travel beauty tips from a flight attendant


Looking your best after a long haul flight is no easy feat, even for the most seasoned travellers. Flying 35,000 feet and above with the harsh cabin air can often leave our skin looking dry and lustreless. For all the beauty enthusiasts out there, don’t despair. If there’s anyone who knows about looking fresh-faced and immaculately groomed after flying long haul, it’s a flight attendant.

Margaret Lai, Flight Purser at Cathay Pacific reveals her top inflight travel beauty tips on how to come out of a long haul flight and still look incredibly immaculate.

Do your beauty prep
All liquids in your carry on need to be under 100mL on international flights.

So prior to flying, buy travel size skincare and makeup, or empty your favourite products into sample size bottles, so that you can access all your favourite beauty necessities inflight. My tip is to always pack a good moisturiser, face wipes, a rich hand cream and a sheet mask.

Make wise food and drink choices
Most people remember to up their water intake inflight but it’s also important to stay hydrated pre, during and post flight. Avoid alcohol completely and ditch the salty chips, as these can dehydrate your skin and body. Rather, bring your own healthy snacks and stick to water as the only liquid of choice. Your skin will thank you for it!

Set up a hydration routine
Drinking water can boost your hydration from within but what you put on your skin is equally important. Once you’ve boarded, start setting up a hydration routine or schedule. For example, start off by applying a sheet mask to replenish moisture back into your skin. These are disposable, making them great for travel. Then, apply moisturiser all over your face. Before you doze off to sleep, don’t forget to moisturise your hands as well. Slipping on some cotton gloves will lock in the moisture, making your hands extra soft and smooth. You can repeat the above more than once if you have really dry skin.

Don’t skimp on your beauty sleep
It can be tempting to stay up and watch movies for the entire flight, but if you really want your skin to look healthy and glowing by the time you land, I recommend getting a decent shut-eye. If you’re a light sleeper, pack ear plugs and a silk eye mask (this can help decrease crinkles from sleeping). A soothing lavender spray can also help. Ultimately, no skincare or makeup can compete against a good night’s sleep.

Be smart about makeup
I wear makeup when I’m working however, when I travel as a passenger, I always remove my makeup and go bare. This gives my skin a chance to breathe and makes it easier for me to apply moisturiser on my face repeatedly throughout the flight. Apply makeup 30 minutes before you land so it looks nice and fresh.

Info from Margaret Lai, Flight Purser at Cathay Pacific
Margaret Lai is a Flight Purser at Cathay Pacific. She has been part of the in-flight crew for 7 years and flies mainly between Hong Kong to New York/Toronto (15-16-hour flight)