Why you should lather on sunscreen for your next flight

  • Both flight attendants and dermatologists agree that anyone boarding a plane should wear sunscreen.

  • The sun is more intense at higher elevations, and plane windows don't block harmful UVA rays.

  • Beyond sunscreen, experts recommend wearing long sleeves and shutting the plane window.

Whether it's a flight attendant or a dermatologist, experts agree that travelers should wear sunscreen on flights.

In fact, the UV rays on planes are even more intense than when you're back on land. That's because you're even closer to the ozone layer, The Points Guy reported.

As Insider previously reported, dermatologist Dr. Joyce Park recommends all travelers — regardless of whether they're a passenger, pilot, or flight attendant — lather on sunscreen before a flight.

"You should ABSOLUTELY wear sunscreen on airplanes or keep windows shut," Park said in a TikTok video that has over 2.7 million views, citing research that found frequent, unprotected flying puts people at risk for developing skin cancer.

Planes can expose people to damaging UV rays

In her TikTok, Park referenced a 2015 study published in "JAMA Dermatology" that looked at the skin cancer risks for pilots and cabin crew.

According to the study, airplane windows and windshields are typically made of polycarbonate plastic or multilayer composite glass that blocks UVB transmission but not UVA. As Insider previously reported, UVB rays can cause sunburn while UVA rays are associated with skin aging. However, both are linked to skin cancer.

For pilots, the study found that flying in a cockpit for about an hour at 30,000 feet exposes them to the same amount of UVA radiation as a 20-minute tanning-bed session.

These rays can also harm passengers sitting in a window seat and flight attendants who frequently fly, Insider reported.

Prevent sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, closing the window, and wearing long sleeves

Multiple flight attendants have previously told Insider that reasons like skin cancer and aging are why they always wear sunscreen on a flight.

"Having spent years battling the effects flying has had on my skin, I always give myself a mini facial on long-haul flights," Beth Windsor, a flight attendant who worked in the industry for a decade, previously told Insider. "I use an intense hydration sheet mask and under-eye gel patches then apply my moisturizer and SPF50."

Arina Bloom agreed and previously told Insider: "Up in the sky, the sun that comes through the window is very powerful, which can lead to you getting exposed to more UV light than normal. It's important to wear and reapply sunscreen before and during the flight."

Park also recommends that travelers sitting in the window seat consider closing the window shade.

But if the views are just too good to miss, wear long sleeves and lather on the SPF.

Read the original article on Insider