December 5, 2009

Beat the Heat

Now the summer months are upon us (in the southern hemisphere, at least) the weather is warming up and things are becoming hotter. As flight attendants, we're very aware of the weather, because even in summer it can mean bumpy flights and turbulence. Sometimes, summer turbulence is worse than winter. In Australia especially, the flat land heating up can produce very fast updrafts of hot air, which in turn becomes turbulent and we end up getting thrown around.

Even with modern planes that have air-conditioning, it can still get very hot. For example, if the plane has been sitting on the ground for a long time, or parked on the hardstand, the aircon might have been off. Sometimes the aircon might not work properly, and some aircraft only have cooling systems on when they have the engines on.

So how do we beat the heat? For passengers, it's possible to take off your jacket, or wear shorts (I'll leave why I think this is a bad idea to another post) but for the crew, sometimes we have no choice what to wear- maybe we have to keep our jacket or jumper on, or have a scarf which can make us feel hotter. For the ladies, stockings certainly don't help matters in the hotter months. Here's some ways I try to keep cool & refreshed on the plane.

Drink Up!

It's always important to keep hydrated on flights, but even more so in the hotter months. Although a lot of the time I don't feel like it, I force myself to drink as much water as I can to stop myself from feeling fatigued or getting a dehydration headache. it can get boring drinking plain water, but I don't like tonic or soda (not to mention all the salt in them) so sometimes I add in some lemon or lime, or just a touch of fruit cordial to liven things up.

Good Skin Is In
As crew, I've always taken care to use a good hydrating moisturiser, especially given the dry aircraft environment. In summer though, it's possible to switch to a lighter formula (even a gel) to stop that feeling of your face melting when it gets hot! As an Australian, it's very important to use a product for daytime wear that has a sunscreen in it.

I like the Nivea Daily Face Veil because I can wear it under my makeup and it's got SPF 30, which is the highest you can get here. I also look for foundations that also have SPF, in case I wear them alone.

Making It Up
Aside from using foundations that contain an SPF (most major brands now have them)

I also use a light dusting of powder to keep away shine. If you tend to sweat a lot in the face, sometimes blotting papers can help, especially to stop your makeup coming off as well! I use a brand from Hong Kong, but there's plenty available in Priceline such as ModelCo or Manicare.

Misting You
Another good item to have handy is a nice cooling facial spray. I like it for when I'm driving to work in the car, it's nice to have because once you use it you can turn on the airconditioning and it cools right down. It's also nice to use on those long night-time flights to make myself feel more awake, or to use after coming off the crew rest, so I don't look like I just got up! ;)

I have a nice one from the Face Shop, which is Jeju Marine and has a nice scent, but not irritating. Plain water sprays also work, such as Evian, but I find they make my skin feel a little tight and dry, so probably better if you can moisturise after using it.

Taking Stock
I might be trapped in nylons for the whole flight, but in hot weather the type that you use can make a real difference. So long as we have the right colour, the company doesn't really care what type or brand we choose to use. Instead of a full stocking, lots of girls chance to the 'stay up' kind in summer.

Basically it means there's less layers of clothing around the middle of your body which is where you feel hottest, especially when sitting down and stuck in a seatbelt harness for ages. The only thing you have to watch out for is that if it is VERY hot, the elastic doesn't always 'stay up'- so it pays to choose carefully when and where to make use of this type of stocking :P

Fan of Your Work
Another easy way to cool down is to carry a small folding fan in your bag, or even in your pocket. Handy for those times when the airconditioning doesn't work, or when you're strapped into your jump seat and can't get up.

In a pinch, a safety card or menu will do just as well!

These are just some of the simplest ways to beat the heat on flights, hope they have been useful to you. Have a great trip & stay cool!

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