A Beauty Director's Guide To Surviving A Long-Haul Flight

How NOT to let long haul travel make you look and feel grotty...

How NOT to let long haul travel make you look and feel grotty...

I hate everything about flying: the attack of desert-dry air on my skin, the ankle-puffing pressure and the ghastly germs – seriously, it’s a breeding ground up there.

All that combined with the stress of rallying a film crew and faff of checking in 20 suitcases made turning my 14 hours in the air anything close to mood-enhancing a battle but, with the help of some mindful rules, healthy snacks and amazing products, I think I cracked it. Watch the video for my high altitude skincare routine – I do this everytime I fly and it really stops my skin from looking parched on landing and follow these rules to help you arrive not only looking good, but feeling good, too: - Ditch the base. I know this is a tough one, but it really makes a difference - every single celebrity I have interviewed says they never wear foundation when they fly and I always adhere to this rule. Let your skin breathe, keep it as clean as possible in the recycled air and add moisture at intervals. - Exercise. It may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’ve checked into your hotel, but every time I cross a time zone I go straight for a jog when I’ve checked in – the light and flood of endorphins helps my body adjust.

- Pack healthy snacks. On my outbound flight I always take a huge tupperware box filled with chopped cucumber, celery, red pepper and carrot sticks steeped in acidic mineral water spiked with lemon juice to stop them from browning. Try not to touch the plane food: it’s mostly processed and full of flavour-enhancing/big time bloating agents sugar and salt. - Get your hands on a good sleep prop. You’ll always need to sleep on a long haul flight so make sure you pack whatever will help you get comfy. Personally I’ve never been a fan of blow up pillows, but my cashmere cushion cover from Plum and Ivory is an ideal flight companion. I always carry a cashmere blanket too to keep me warm when the pesky air-con blows a shade too violently. - Look after your eyes. Mine get so dry and uncomfortable on the flight and are super sensitive so I use Optrex Tired and Uncomfortable Eye Spray and wear an eye mask when sleeping (Holistic Silk make my favourites). I also always make sure I have large very dark sunglasses to wear on landing – Celine has the most stylish selection, but Rayban has the best polarised lenses. - Meditate. As there’s nothing better to do during take off and landing, I assign this time to clear my head with a really simple breathing meditative exercise - just pop a few drops of an antibacterial and anti-viral oil (try de Mamiel Altitude Oil) into cupped hands and breathe deeply and steadily, allowing your mind to wander while you release tension on the out breath.

Lisa Oxenham

An award-winning health and beauty writer, stylist and creative director, Lisa Oxenham is one of the UK’s top beauty editors and the Beauty and Style Director at Marie Claire UK. With 20 years of editorial experience Lisa is a brand partnership expert, and a popular speaker, panelist and interviewer on a range of topics from sustainability to the future of beauty in the digital world. She recently spoke at Cognition X and Beauty Tech Live and is on the Advisory Board for the British Beauty Council’s Sustainable Beauty Coalition.

A well-respected creative director she works on celebrity, model and influencer shoots with the highest calibre of photographers, filmmakers, make-up artists and hairstylists to create timeless images, attention-grabbing videos, digital events and masterclasses. Most recently Lisa has directed covers such as Lily Cole and Jameela Jamil, films such as Save The Arts featuring Francesca Hayward and sustainable fashion shoots such as Be The Change. Supporting the beauty industry over the pandemic has been a top focus, directing the British Beauty Council’s six inspirational short biographical films for their Bring Back Beauty campaign.

Lisa is a wellbeing and beauty influencer with a focus on mental health and a large and engaged audience on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.