Whether you rack up your air miles on account of business or pleasure, the gentleman who takes regularly to the skies is bound to encounter a few grooming challenges. Cabin pressure, recycled air and a lack of oxygen inside the artificial plane environment can wreak havoc on your complexion — making it prone to dehydration, increased sensitivity, a lack of radiance and, worst of all, breakouts.
And it isn’t just your skin that will be the tell-tale sign of a sleepless flight — puffy eyes, sour breath and an untamed mane are the surefire giveaways of too much time spent airborne.
But do no not despair. Counteracting the damage is easy — just so long as you ensure that the right grooming essentials are stowed in your hand luggage.
Hydration is key...
Everyone knows that drinking more water improves the condition of your skin. And, this is never more important than when the air pressure inside a cabin threatens to dry it out.
With their hand-luggage-handy bottles, a shot of No.1 Rosemary Water will give you a concentrated hit of all the hydrating goodness your body will be crying out for during your flight. Try to avoid drinking coffee before or during your journey, and if possible, steer clear of that tempting complimentary gin and tonic. Alcohol is not your skin’s friend.
Another top tip comes from one of our 2019 Grooming Awards judges, Sam Harwood, who suggests keeping a bottle of Avène Thermal Spring Water to hand. Spray as often as needed to keep your skin feeling fresh, even at altitude.
Fake a good night’s sleep...
The eyes are the window to the soul, and by default, they are also the window through which everyone else seated at the boardroom table will see that you didn’t get that much sleep on the flight over.
There are myriad lotions, potions and serums promising to cure you of the puffiness, redness and dryness that a sleepless night can cause, but below are the products we can confirm are the real deal.
Protect your skin against the sun...
Most window seat enthusiasts probably haven’t given a second thought to the dangers of the sun peering down from above, but UVA can penetrate window glass and leave you exposed to damaging rays.
UVA protection in a sunscreen will help protect the skin against photo-ageing (skin ageing caused by ultraviolet rays, e.g. wrinkles caused by the sun), and can also leave your face feeling a little more moisturised.
So, you’ve feigned a good night’s sleep, deterred any uncomfortable dryness, and banished the risk of UV-induced fatigue. Now, it’s time to touchdown and make the right first impression on new ground.
In order to ensure that you’re smelling your best, slip a travel-sized bottle of the Floris Santal fragrance into your hand luggage, which has all the fresh ingredients you’d hope for after a long flight: crisp bergamot, lemon zest, green grass and a spicy blend of black peppercorns.
And, to avoid any bad breath, this mouthwash by Australian-based brand Aesop is perfect for saving face and feeling confident ahead of those introductory handshakes.
Get business handshake ready
Relieve your hands of any uncomfortable dryness with a super-hydrating hand cream. This hand salve by heath is a firm favourite, thanks to its non-greasy finish and fresh lavender and mint scent.
For a little in-flight grooming, this air-safe manicure set by Czech & Speake is perfect. Each one of the miniature instruments have rounded edges to conform to international restrictions on hand luggage for air travel.
Looking for more in-flight hacks? Here’s how to beat jet lag…