Everyone dreads the stress of traveling for the holidays. Packed airports, delayed flights, and multiple layovers are particularly rough. Plus, our skin is usually already dry in winter weather and can get even worse while cruising around with the stale air inside the plane. Making sure to pack some moisturizer in your carry-on can help, but there’s another skin-boosting product most of us overlook before we board our flights: sunscreen.
We all know the benefits of wearing sunscreen even when it isn’t summer, but it’s not a precaution we tend to think about when it comes to air travel. Just take a second to think about it, though, and it will make total sense — especially if you’re fond of sitting at window seats. Forbes spoke with Dr. Maryam Zamani, a facial aesthetics surgeon and founder of the MZ Skin line, who explained how the sun’s rays shining through airplane windows can “increase exposure to harmful UV rays that increase the rate of collagen breakdown.” Like any other time spent in the sun, this can lead to a higher risk of skin damage and wrinkles.
You might assume the heavily layered windows are enough to filter out any of the harmful rays, but it’s really better to make sure your skin is safe from anything seeping through. Even if you’re not sitting by the window, those beams can make their way over to you — just think of how many times you’ve been annoyed by another person opening their window screen and suddenly getting hit with the bright light in your face. It’s also something we should keep in mind while traveling around in cars. Any time you’re exposed to the sun for an extended period, you should be prepared with a layer of sunblock before heading out. Considering how many moisturizing options there are for adding SPF to your daily routine, there’s really no excuse for skipping this healthy step while getting ready for your next trip.