It only takes a little planning to step off a long flight looking refreshed, and not like rumpled mess. Try these easy tips from makeup artists, hairstylists, dermatologists, and nutritionists.
This story originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveler's Website.
Prep your skin with exfoliation
Keeping your skin hydrated actually starts at home, not on the plane, says, dermatologist Dr. Marina Peredo, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. "Exfoliating your skin is important because it gets rid of the top layer of dead skin cells that prevent any moisturizer from absorbing into the skin," she explains. Swapping out your daily facial cleanser with a gentle exfoliating scrub with smaller granules the morning of your travel date will do the trick.
Moisturize the right way
Having a moisturizer with ultra-hydrating hyaluronic acid is essential for a long flight, but Dr. Peredo has a trick that'll make it even more effective. "Ask for a cool, wet cloth to pat onto skin before you apply your moisturizer," she says. "The lotion will absorb and retain better in the skin when your face is damp." As for eye cream, look for ingredients like retinol to plump and smooth, peptides like amino acids which help produce more collagen in the skin, and antioxidants like Vitamins A, C, and E that have significant preventive and repairing effects to the skin.
Sit up and circulate
If you can handle it, avoid lowering your seat all the way back, says Dr. Peredo. "Fluid may retain in your eyes, causing bags to develop." And regardless of how you sleep, make sure to take a stroll a couple of times throughout the flight when the "fasten seatbelt" sign is off. The blood circulation you'll get walking around will do wonders for holding off bloat and keeping your skin rosy and "awake" looking after you de-board.
Prevent "Post-Flight Flathead Syndrome"
One of the telltale signs that you've been on an overnight flight is that deflated area in the back of your hair from the head rest, says Daniela Schult, a stylist at Cutler Salon who has spent many hours on long plane rides to her native Germany. To keep that section looking full, she suggests a one-two combination of using an inflatable neck travel pillow and pulling long hair into a low ponytail or messy bun. "These styles also always travel well and are easy to touch-up in the bathroom," she explains.
Pump up the (hair) volume
When it comes to your locks, think big. "Your hair will flatten a bit on a long flight, so it's helpful to get more volume when blowing out your hair than usual," explains Schult. So mist a light volumizer (any ol' favorite will do) at your roots when blowdrying. Then, she suggests working in a bit of dry shampoo into the roots for extra body.
Drink up, the smarter way
Every seasoned traveler knows you have to stay hydrated in order to combat the dry plane air, but there is a way to get better results than just guzzling water the entire flight, according to nutritionist and co-host of TLC's Freaky Eaters, JJ Virgin. She suggests picking up a coconut water or giving your agua a boost by adding some electrolytes via coconut water or by dropping a powder like Emergen-C ElectroMix formula to your H20 -- it's like an instant energy-infusing sports-drink.
To look and feel great after a long trip, you may want to (excuse the pun) go nuts. Virgin suggests bringing a baggie of walnuts with you to munch on--not only will anti-inflammatory fats keep you feeling full so you won't reach for processed, packaged goodies, but the Omega-3 acids will make your complexion glow. Not a nut fan? Bring along some nitrate-free salmon or beef jerky instead.
Prepare for a makeup touch-up
The insider's secret for perking up a tired complexion, according to jet-setting makeup artist Megan Lanoux: highlighter. "Dab on your cheek bones or under your eyes to brighten," she says. Can't wait until you get to your destination? Just duck in to the bathroom on your way to the luggage claim and swipe on.
Take the "red" out of a red-eye flight
What can you do for weary, blood-shot eyes beyond putting in a few drops of Visine? First, Lanoux says, line the inner rim of your eyes with an eyeliner pencil, in a peach tone or a shade similar to -- but lighter than -- your skin tone to brighten. Then it's time to load up on mascara. To open your eyes, she says, "Apply mascara to top lashes, focusing on the center and outer corner." But skip the bottom lashes altogether--you don't want to add any more tired-looking the darkness there.
Lanoux's stealthy trick for getting rid of under-eye puffiness: "Ask for a ice cube and a napkin. Hold this up to your eye for a minute or so, and the swelling will go down." If you feel shy asking for just one ice cube, you can always ask for a whole cup--they flight attendant will leave you a napkin as protocol anyway.
-- Beth Shapouri, Condé Nast Traveler