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Mile High Grooming For Guys - How to Look Good on a Long Haul Flight

Hey good looking! The Travel Hop offers expert tips on grooming at 35,000-feet

Before hitting the sand, snow, or the surf, there's one arduous hurdle - the long-haul flight.  A journey filled with health hazards and grooming pitfalls; get it right and you can maximise your holiday as soon as you step off the plane. Get it wrong, and it could cost you a day of overseas revelry. Thankfully, we've got your back. From before, during and after, these surefire tips will get you through it unscathed...

We've all been there. Arriving at our destination after a seemingly endless flight, stumbling into the bathroom at the arrivals terminal of the airport and then catching a glimpse of a wild haired, bleary-eyed man in the mirror and then realising that the reflection isn't that of a passing hobo, but in fact you. But it doesn't have to be that way, if you up the ante on your preparation post-flight, exercise some self-control and do some planning, you can turn a long-haul flight from painful to bearable…


Prep your skin for travel before you even leave for the airport

Successfully surviving a long-haul flight begins before you've even left your house for the airport. For starters, it might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you check-in as early as the airline will allow in order to nab the best possible seat. You can always attempt to blag an upgrade at the check-in desk in person the next day but at least you'll have a reasonable fallback option. Next, leave showering until just before you're ready to leave your house - the later you leave it, the longer you'll feel fresher.

Make sure you deeply cleanse and exfoliate and apply a healthy dose of moisturiser and that you dress for comfort. Wear light clothes made out of breathable fabric. Alternatively, pack some tracksuit bottoms in your hand luggage and change into them once on board. Speaking of comfort, as soon as you're settled in your seat, take your shoes off - it's going to be a long ride.


Be savvy with your meal selection while flying

While a game of flatulence one-upmanship equates to hilarity on a Friday night down at your local, having excess gas when you're 25,000 feet in the air is no laughing matter.  The human body contains fairly large amounts of gas (including mostly air as well as gases formed in the stomach and intestines during digestion). As the plane ascends, air pressure decreases (that’s what can cause your ears to pop), so the gas in your intestines expands by up to 30 per cent, which increases the likelihood of letting one rip and  - in many cases - discomfort.

Make the journey more bearable for you - and your neighbour - by avoiding 'gas-generating' foods and carbonated drinks both before and during the flight. Also, keep your intake of food on the light side during the flight - the less food, the less gas being generated in your stomach to begin with.


Avoid DVT with some in-seat stretching or yoga

We've all heard of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) but what you may not realise is that the risk is more common than you think - even if you're young and healthy. In fact, studies have shown that 85 per cent of all blood clots victims are athletic. Blood clots may form in the legs during plane flights, chiefly because of prolonged immobility. The longer the flight, the greater the risk. Though most blood clots are reabsorbed uneventfully, some may break off and travel through the blood vessels to the lungs, where they could cause life-threatening complications. 

To prevent the development of DVT on long flights, perform isometric compressions of the leg muscles - you can do some of these in your seat: ankle rotations are the easiest and will keep blood flowing in the legs while flexing the feet stretches the calf muscles. Also, try raising your arms over your head towards the ceiling; this will release tension in the shoulders. Walk around the plane, but not to excess - you don't want to worry the cabin crew! While you're waiting for the bathroom take advantage of the additional space in this area by doing some standing stretches. If you can, lean against the bulkhead and stretch the back of your legs. Bend over. Squat down. Anything that can help your circulation.


Keeping hydrated on a plane has multiple benefits

The humidity in the cabin is usually maintained at less than 20 per cent—about as dry as a tropical desert. And in an arid environment, our mucous membranes dry out even more and inhibit our ability to fend off bacteria or viruses like the common cold. Your prescription? Water. Keeping hydrated on a plane has multiple benefits—less swelling, decreased risk of constipation—but it can be a strong asset against colds by keeping your membranes moist and effective at stopping germs.

Limit your alcohol intake - a task that may be difficult with the temptation of a free bar, but try to resist! Alcohol is a diuretic and will dramatically reduce hydration levels. If you do decide to have a cheeky few you should also be aware that alcohol tolerance plummets due in part to the reduced oxygen levels in the cabin atmosphere so the effects will be double. Remember, being drunk on a plane is illegal and you can easily get arrested, which is not the best start to any holiday!


The right skincare can help combat the long haul flight trauma

Okay, so you've ensured you'll be feeling tip-top, but what about how you look? With a few choice products you can erase any remaining evidence of long haul trauma. Firstly, opt for a cleanser designed specifically for thicker, oilier male skins such as Clinique’s Charcoal Face Wash.

To remove more oil and dead skin cells from the skins surface - which combined lead to unwanted bacteria and blocked pores that cause acne - a quality exfoliant is an important tool. When picking your product, be careful to avoid anything containing harsh grains, which can lead to scratching and aggravation of the skin. A great option is Dermalogica’s Daily Superfoliant . A water-activated, rice-based exfoliating powder, it’s gentle enough to use everyday.

Cabin air can seriously dry your skin and lips, so staying hydrated on a plane is key to keeping you looking fresh. Because lower humidity and cabin pressure can make skin feel tight and cooler cabin temperatures slow oil and sweat gland activity, it's important to keep skin hydrated with a good quality moisturiser or serum. Ultraceuticals Ultra A Skin Perfecting Serum is designed to plump skin and to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, the serum also decreases pigmentation and open pores. 

Finally, ease weatherworn chapped lips with Tom Ford for Men Hydrating Lip Balm. An ultra-emollient lip balm, the blend of natural oils, vitamins and butters helps to soothe and condition, combating the effects of prolonged outdoor exposure.


Remove the evidence of a long haul flight with a targeted eye product

Whether you're travelling for work or play, everyone wants to arrive at their destination looking as bright eyed and rested as possible. However - as we all know - quality sleep in the air is a near impossibility. Between the tiny legroom, crappy airline pillows, nattering neighbours and the perennially moving trolley (drinks, meals, hot towels and duty free), getting some decent shut-eye isn't very likely. Remove the evidence of a long haul flight with a generous dose of some anti-redness eye drops and a decent eye product such as

apply a few drops of a targeted eye product, such as

NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate utilises advanced biotechnology to help reverse dark circles, puffiness, fine lines and signs of under-eye and above-eye ageing.

This uplifting eye gel that energises and brightens the under eye area, reviving tired-looking eyes and reducing sagging and dark circles, keeping lines where they belong - at the security gate.


Try to get some shuteye to help regulate your sleep cycle

To avoid wasting precious holiday time with catch up sleep - and to stave off the dreaded jet lag - you need a plan. If you're not blessed with the ability to sleep anywhere, anyhow, then aim to get at least three hours or so. Again, preparation is key here - make sure to cut short your usual eight hours the night before so that you have a sleep deficit, this will make it a hell of a lot easier to nod off in a cramped plane seat. Naturally regulate sleep by boosting melatonin (the hormone that helps regulate your sleep cycle). You can do this in several ways. Before attempting to sleep, switch off your entertainment system and then put on your eye mask - the Pure Silk Sleep Mask by Slip is a favourite.

Put your now blooming relationship with your assigned air hostess to good use and request an extra pillow and blanket. For additional sensory deprivation, layer the extra blanket over the upper-half of your body (head included). Now, take a few deep breaths at a regular pace, maybe even count the inhales and exhales. After a few minutes of this slumber should hopefully take over.


Before touchdown take time to freshen up

Set you alarm a good 40 minutes or so before arrival time and then make your way to the bathroom to freshen up. Freshen up by splashing your face with cold water and give your teeth a good brush to get rid of that 'furry' feeling - you might as well make sure of the mini toothbrush and toothpaste provided after all.

Substitute a shower with a fresh, solid deodorant - Clarins Men's Deodorant Stick is a great option to help banish the odours that will have undoubtedly built up over the 8-hour plus flight. Lastly, change your t-shirt, put your shoes back on and pop in your headphones and turn up the volume - it's almost time to get the party started!


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