Here’s Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen on Your Next Flight
As you pack your carry-on and make careful decisions about what’s going to make it inside versus what’s not, there’s a good chance that face sunscreen just isn’t on your radar. Your mind’s probably focused on figuring out how many hydrating face masks or under eye gels you might need for your whole vacay (guilty as charged) or whether your snacks will make it through TSA. But SPF for your face actually should be at the forefront on your mind when packing. Roll your eyes all you want, but this is the top priority — so much so that you’re masks and snacks aren’t even in the same picture.
For some background, this information first came to us after meeting with celebrity esthetician and skin-care expert Renée Rouleau a few months back. I asked Rouleau to name her biggest skin-care tip of all time — a question so intense that it almost felt wrong to ask. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting her answer to be as quick and confident as it was. Her response? Always bring sunscreen with you on an airplane and always, always try and get a window seat so you have more control over your sun exposure. Simple, yet genius. Obviously, I had follow-up questions.
“The number-one reason anyone’s skin will ever age is from UV exposure and people have fallen into thinking that if they don’t go outside much or just wear sunscreen at the beach they’ll be fine,” she explains. “An airplane is a case of incidental exposure. When you’re on a plane, you’re closer to the sun, which means more UV radiation. My brother used to be a pilot, and there’s a huge incidence of skin cancer in pilots. Airplanes do have UV-protected tinted windows, but they can’t filter out all of the dangerous rays.”
With that being said, the most important thing you can put in your personal bag is a sunscreen under 3.4 ounces. “The biggest mistake people make when they’re on an airplane is that they’re so focused on hydration and sheet masks, but dehydration is a temporary condition,” Rouleau warns. “There’s nothing earth-shattering that’s happening. Post-flight just throw on a peel, do a mask and you’re back in business. People should be worried about what’s actually damaging their skin: UV rays.”
Of course, if you’re flying at night, that’s a different story. Layer on as many face masks as you want and skip the sunscreen — that is, unless you’re walking out of that flight to greet a new day — be it sun, clouds or anything in-between. In that case, you better pack that travel-size SPF in your bag.