A Flight Attendant Shares Her Top Travel Beauty Secrets

See recent posts by Jordi Lippe-McGraw

Air travel can wreak havoc on the most seasoned traveler's beauty routine. Skin gets dehydrated, makeup smudges, and jet lag puts wear and tear on you inside and out. No one knows this better than flight attendants, who log thousands of miles per year. But unlike the rest of us, they manage to maintain a natural glow and perfect coif. Heather Sanchez, a flight attendant who has flown with Hawaiian Airlines for 10 years, has become an expert in looking polished and feeling refreshed from wheels up to wheels down. Lucky for us, she's letting us in on a few of her top secrets and beauty hacks. 

Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Favorite In-Flight and Post-Flight Beauty Products

Flying at a high altitude causes the air to become very dry, so hand moisturizer and lip balm should be a flight bag staple. Ironically, after many hours of flying, the face tends to get oily, too. Carry face tissues that are designed to remove oil. They take away the shine and keep complexion looking fresh. 

My layover bag holds a variety of beauty remedies, including Aveda’s tourmaline-charged face mask, which leaves pores feeling clean, a Rodan + Fields electric hand-held exfoliator, which removes any dead skin cells, and Crest whitening strips, which maintain a healthy looking smile. 

How to Physically and Mentally Prepare for a Flight

My usual routes consist of late morning or early afternoon departures, which allow me to get in a good workout first thing in the morning. The endorphins kick in and get me in a great mood for the rest of the day. I also make sure to drink plenty of water in order to hydrate my body before the flight. I can’t emphasize how important this is, especially before taking a long-range flight. 

Go-To Healthy Snacks for Traveling

Depending on the route, I try to bring fresh fruit and vegetables. (There are strict agricultural restrictions on domestic travel, but I normally work international flights where fresh fruit and vegetables are allowed, but must be consumed before landing). Steer clear of processed foods and foods containing high amounts of sodium to avoid bloating and water retention. The simplest travel snacks are fruit and nut bars, protein shakes, and almonds. They are easy to pack and consume while on the go. And I can’t leave out a satiating piece of dark chocolate. It compliments a cup of in-flight coffee nicely.

Jet Lag Remedies

The best way to overcome jet lag is to hydrate, work out, and eat wholesome foods that are packed with nutrients and antioxidants. I’ve been using this formula for over 17 years and it has always helped my body get acclimated to a new time zone. As for products that can help combat jet lag, I rely on essential oils — namely, lavender oil to ensure a good night’s rest. 

One Beauty Item You Should Never Fly Without

EO hand sanitizer is a moisturizer, sanitizer, and gel made with an essential oil blend that leaves my hands feeling refreshed. It’s extremely handy if I’m ever in a pinch. 

In-Flight Stretching Exercises

Being that you have a limited amount of space, full-body stretching (or galley yoga) can be pretty tricky. If I can find an area that’s not too cumbersome, I’ll do neck and shoulder stretches. I have a tiny hand roller that’s designed specifically to work out any small nuances in the neck muscles. Travel-size massage rollers work wonders on a 10-hour flight and keep your circulation going.

Related Stories: 

All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Oyster may earn an affiliate commission.