A Beauty Routine To Save Your Sanity on a 38 Hour Travel Journey
by Freya Drohan
Ask yourself, when was the last time you had 38 hours of unabashed alone time? If you live in any bustling city around the world, I’m guessing it’s been a while.
For me, such lonely luxury occurred on a journey to the other side of the world; two planes, a lengthy layover, and plenty of time to play with a bounty of beauty products. I knew I had to up my inflight skincare and self-care game if I wanted to arrive with both my complexion and mental stability intact. Allow me to take you through the entire routine, from NYC takeoff to touchdown in Bali.
If you’re not drinking a gallon of water before you step into the cabin, ask yourself why the hell not. Planes are to your body what a Dementor is to a wizard’s soul: sucking all the moisture from your cells sooner than you can say Boeing 747. Do yourself a favor and guzzle down extra H2O to hydrate from the inside out.
Before the crew even got through the Emergency Exit 411, it was time to tackle my pores. Ensuring there was not a smidge of makeup left on my face, I double cleansed and used a chemical exfoliant. To get a squeaky clean face, I opted for a gel formula, followed by a good old swirl of Milk Makeup’s Matcha Cleanser around my t-zone and forehead in particular. To wave sayonara to any lingering dead skin, there’s nothing like the insanely good Alpha Beta Universal Daily Peel wipes by Dr Dennis Gross Skincare.
Many moons ago, a family friend who had worked for decades as a flight attendant imparted an analogy that stays with me to this day. Leave a clementine unpeeled on a plane, and by the time you reach your destination, the juicy segments inside will have shriveled up into nothing. This, she warned, is the drying effect the cabin has on your skin. Chilling, right? A self-confessed product junkie, this was not about to happen on my watch.
As I loaded my first movie, I delved into my arsenal of TSA-approved beauty supplies and plucked out my rose water mist. The one I currently have on deck is from Juice Press, a recent impulse buy when I was purchasing a smoothie, but its high quality, all-natural blend of filtered water and Bulgarian Damascena roses certainly delivers. While my skin was still moist, I patted in an essence. I’m not entirely sure what an essence does, but it certainly feels like it’s nourishing thirsty and tired skin.
Getting sleepy, I popped a melatonin tablet and applied a cooling eye cream along the orbital bone under my tired, tired peepers. I just about kept conscious while massaging in a dollop of balancing serum and a top coat of Milk Makeup Hydrating Oil before placing on an eye mask and drifting off to the land of nod, 37,000 feet in the sky.
Waking up, groggy, somewhere high above the Pacific Ocean. After snacking on my fruit platter, chugging down an EmergenC for a dose of electrolytes, and vitamins and a sachet of Vital Life Collagen Peptides for good measure, I decide to take a jaunt around the plane. Even if just for a few moments, it’s good to stretch out your limbs when cooped up on a flight. On the 19 hour flight, I repeated this routine several times to the extent that I may have been making people nervous as I paced the aisles.
Another thing – don’t neglect your oral hygiene! I am an avid fan of oil pulling, so I had stocked up on portable sachets of coconut oil to swish around my mouth to my heart’s content. An ancient Ayurvedic technique that freshens breath, removes toxins and bacteria and helps to whiten teeth, I’m all for it.
Moments before landing in the Philippines, I spritzed myself with Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir and rolled some Milk Makeup Cooling Water around my eyes and temples. Je suis arrivé!
Now all that stood in my way before reaching my final destination was a 14 hour layover and a subsequent five hour flight to Denpasar, Indonesia. Ugh. Luckily, my airline provides customers with a transit lounge within the terminal which has everything from a water cooler to a shower. I parked myself on a couch with a newsstand-worth of magazines and got stuck in. Meals were provided, but as a vegetarian, all they could accommodate me with was a single mango. Great. At least I could feed my skin.
It’s no secret that Asian women are on another level when it comes to skincare routines but wow, was it a marvel to withhold. I didn’t even need the magazines, I spent so long observing them delicately applying lotions and potions with such care and ease. Nor did I feel weird when I put on a sheet mask myself, which I don’t think I would have had the nerve to do in JFK for fear of scaring small children. Here, it seemed a requirement.
Finally, starving after nothing but fruit for some 33 hours (!) I was ready to embark on the last leg of the journey. Time to roll in the big guns: Weleda Skin Food, a Creme-de-La-Mer dupe for those with a penchant for natural skincare and a reluctance to spend a full pay cheque on a moisturizer. The trick up my sleeve is to mix in a few drops of Jason Skin Oil, Vitamin E. You may look like a glazed ham for a couple of hours, but you will reap the rewards of baby-bum skin afterwards if you just trust me on this one.
After what felt like several trips around the sun, a lifetime worth of movie watching and staring into the clouds, I landed in Bali. I marveled at the fact that my face didn’t look like it belonged to the grey haired lady emoji and I hadn’t murdered anyone out of boredom or frustration either. I don’t know if it was the electrolytes, the Vitamin E, or the bottomless fruit, but the tranquil time in the sky was perhaps the break I needed from my hectic lifestyle. Alas, I’m still happy there was a vacation waiting on the other end of it.