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Frequent Flyer Grooming Tips

By David Saunders

Traveling presents unique challenges when it comes to grooming. Flying, in particular, can play havoc with the skin – as can jet lag.

Here's a simple survival guide to ensure you always look as good at the point of arrival as you did at the point of departure…

Travel Light

Liquid restrictions on planes can play havoc with a gentleman’s grooming routine, especially if he’s high-maintenance.

The solution, as I discovered years ago, is simple: grab yourself a selection of empty travel pots and simply scoop or squirt just enough of your favourite products into them for the flight there and back.

It saves time – and the horror of having to ditch a raft of expensive lotions and potions at airport security – and is economical too.

Prep Skin

If you suffer from dry skin, Dr Tom Mammone, Executive Director of Skin Physiology and Pharmacology at Clinique, suggests spending some time prepping it in advance.

“The night before or the morning of the flight, apply a hydrating mask,” he says. “This will prep and intensify moisture levels in the skin, helping you combat dehydration while flying.”

Up Your Fluid Intake

“The main challenge while flying is keeping yourself and your skin sufficiently hydrated,” says James Cooper, Flight Service Manager with Virgin Atlantic. “So, without wanting to sound too clichéd, water is a must!”

To keep skin hydrated from within, avoid dehydrating tea, coffee and alcohol and if you find plain water boring do as Cooper does and pop a green tea or peppermint teabag into the water bottle to give it some flavour. “It’s much better than sugary juices or fizzy drinks,” he adds.

Drink lots of water to help keep your skin hydrated when flying


The low humidity in aircraft cabins can rob skin of essential moisture, leaving it feeling dry and tight and susceptible to premature ageing. To protect it, switch to a moisturiser designed for dry skin.

Avoid using the moistened wipes that arrive with your meal on your face, by the way, as they may contain skin-drying alcohol.

Grab A Power Nap

Losing sleep won’t just make you look tired, it messes with your immune system too. In fact, losing just three hours sleep can cause a 50 per cent drop in our immune response.

With this in mind, try grabbing a power nap. Set your clock though: experts reckon the optimum amount of time for napping is under thirty minutes.

Eat To Cheat

Research has shown that the body’s natural ‘meal-time’ clock runs parallel to the one governed by light changes – and you can easily fool it.

So, if you consume food during the flight, try eating according to your destination’s local time.


With research showing the body’s internal clock responds to exercise, a work out is the perfect way to reset things (do it in the morning of your new time zone).

What’s more, it’s also great for boosting circulation which will help re-invigorate tired, jet-lagged skin.

Refresh Your Hair

One of the most useful travel-aids any man can own is dry shampoo.

It’s perfect for refreshing and revitalising hair after long journeys and especially good for those times when you have to head straight from the airport to an important meeting.

Skip The Fragrance

There are times to apply a fragrance and times when not to apply one – and trust me, just before a flight is not one of those times. Nobody sitting on an eight-hour trip is ever going to thank you for dousing yourself with Tom Ford’s Oud Wood or Thierry Mugler’s A*Men.

Skip the fragrance altogether and avoid sampling scents on your skin in duty free too.

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