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8 Secrets to NOT Looking Like a Mess After a Long Flight

A professional jet-setter shares her tips for stepping off an airplane looking rested and radiant.

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Don’t let your hair dry out

One of the biggest challenges in looking good after a flight is maintaining styled hair. Leaning against an airplane seat for hours can leave hair flattened and tangled, combined with dry cabin air that leaves strands parched and flat. It’s a recipe for disaster. Jet-setting fashion blogger and Gisou founder Negin Mirsalehi (Instagram: @negin_mirsalehi) has sound advice for how to maintain your gorgeous locks while traveling. “Air travel dehydrates your skin and hair, so to make sure I maintain the moisture balance in my hair, I use my Gisou Honey Infused Hair Oil, a multipurpose product that can be used for treatments, styling, and finishing,” Mirsalehi says. “In this case; I don’t use it as an overnight treatment but an over-flight treatment,” she says. Also try RenPure Coconut Oil Moisturizing Micro Mist for a hydrating spritz mid-flight and just before landing. You can spritz your face as well to refresh skin, with a product like Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist.

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Secrets-to-Looking-Picture-Perfect-After-a-FlightJacob Lund/Shutterstock

Prep skin days in advance

Looking great after a flight requires a little strategic planning. In the days leading up to your flight, kick your moisturizing regimen up a notch, so that your skin is better able to withstand the sudden exposure to drastically low humidity once you’re in the air. This means using a much heavier moisturizer than the one you’d normally use, and applying it more than once a day. Your skin will thank you when it hasn’t been completely shocked by your plane’s harsh environment. Mirsalehi also advises drinking tons of water and trying to get as much sleep as possible.

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Reduce eye puffiness throughout the flight

One way to achieve a wakeful appearance after a red-eye or a long day’s journey is to pamper your peepers throughout the flight. The best thing you can do is pack an eye cream like Dermalogica Multivitamin Power Firm and dab it around the eye area several times mid-flight, but if you forget, never fear, for there’s an easy DIY method. Simply ask the flight attendant for a cup of ice or canned juice, then press the can or ice cube against your eye area. This simple eye fix will reduce any puffiness, helping you look far less exhausted than you really are.

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Don’t be embarrassed to apply a sheet mask

“I like to experiment with different masks during my flights, like lip masks,” Mirsalehi reveals. If celebrities are brave enough to use in-flight masks and risk getting an embarrassing photo taken, you can surely wear one too. Sheet masks are incredibly plane-friendly, as you don’t have to apply any mud or goo with your hands. Lay one on your face, close your eyes, and don’t worry about looking like a psychopath, because good skin is worth a few minutes of funny glances from strangers. We recommend the Peach & Lily Hydration Sheet Mask Bundle. It’s also TSA-friendly.

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Secrets-to-Looking-Picture-Perfect-After-a-Flightgangis khan/Shutterstock

Combat unwanted neck wrinkles

You may not realize that your neck gets mistreated on flights. Think about the time you spend leaning your head against the window, sleeping with your head cocked, or looking down to read a book in your lap. All of these awkward positions create unwanted neck lines, so be sure to carry on a product like the iS Clinical Neck Perfect, which visibly lifts and firms the skin on your neck after just one use. With a handy neck cream, you won’t walk off the plane looking older than you did when you boarded. On top of making your neck look better, you can also fight any plane-induced tension with this neck workout.

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Secrets-to-Looking-Picture-Perfect-After-a-FlightBecky Starsmore/Shutterstock

Hold off on makeup till your plane begins its descent

Unless paparazzi will be following you to the airport, there’s no reason to wear a full face of makeup before your flight. Instead, steal this common beauty guru secret and pack your makeup essentials in your carry-on, then wait to apply it until your plane begins its descent. “Ideally, I hop on a flight with a fresh face that is nicely hydrated; especially on longer flights,” Mirsalehi says. Rather than exit the plane with dried-out makeup caking on your cheeks, you’ll walk off the plane looking like a professional glam squad just got you red-carpet ready.

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Tote along multipurpose oils

If there’s one tip you take away from this list, it should be this: Always fly with multi-purpose oils. The Gisou Honey-Infused Hair Oil isn’t just small enough to pack in your carry-on; it’s also perfect for dry skin, the ends of your hair, smoothing mid-shaft frizz, and even moisturizing your cuticles. A multi-purpose oil should benefit your whole body, so that you can cut back on the number of products you pack while still getting all the intense hydration you need. There are tons of incredible benefits from using a honey-based product, but we also love Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse, Face, Body and Hair Oil that’s a bestseller in France.

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Secrets-to-Looking-Picture-Perfect-After-a-FlightNenov Brothers Images/Shutterstock

Avoid salty airplane food

You may notice that parts of your body like your hands and feet may swell by the end of a flight, due to the lack of air pressure. Unfortunately, salty food only makes the bloating worse. To look great after a trip, stick to healthy snacks that you pack for yourself or carefully select at the airport. “I try to bring my own food on longer fights, as I am not the biggest fan of airplane meals,” says Mirsalehi. “I have been told that the meals are prepared with extra salt and flavors because your taste buds don’t work properly when you are on an aircraft.”