Why You *Have* to Slather on SPF Before Your Next Flight

And rethink that window seat.

Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen on a Plane
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rain or shine, sunscreen is always a must—but for some reason, we'll find any excuse to skip the chore of slathering it on. Flying may seem like a good reason not to go to the trouble. After all, there are other skin issues to worry about, like moisture, or rather lack thereof (opens in new tab)

While in-flight beautifying (opens in new tab) will keep you looking refreshed in the short term, ignoring the damage the direct sun light is doing to you, even on just a two-hour flight, will hurt you and yes, age you, in the long run.

When you fly, you're about 30,000 miles closer to the sun and its Ultraviolet rays, which should really put things in perspective—especially for frequent flyers.

"If you fly 20,000+ miles in a year, it is an absolute must to wear sunscreen when you fly because of the UV radiation caused by elevation," warns Beverly Hills dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer (opens in new tab). "If you don't, your skin will age prematurely and fine lines and wrinkles will be much more visible earlier on."

Dr. Lancer recommends wearing SPF 15 or above, preferably SPF 30 with UVA/UVB protection, and reapplying it every 2-4 hours on your face, neck, and décolleté. In addition, you should remember that airplane windows don't filter out the sun's rays, so maybe reconsider taking that Instagram of clouds drifting over the plane's wings.

Knowing this, it might seem like a window seat shouldn't be so coveted as more often than not, they're kept open. But if you're the one in the seat, you get to control the shade. Driver, roll up the partition, please.

For weightless protection on your next flight, try Dr. Lancer's Sheer Fluid Sun Shield SPF 30 (opens in new tab), which also doubles as an amazing daily makeup primer.

Lancer Sheer Fluid Sun Shield SPF 30

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Lancer Sheer Fluid Sun Shield SPF 30, $52; lancerskincare.com (opens in new tab).

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Lauren Valenti
Beauty Editor

Lauren is the former beauty editor at Marie Claire. She love to while away the hours at coffee shops, hunt for vintage clothes, and bask in the rough-and-tumble beauty of NYC. She firmly believes that solitude can be a luxury if you’ve got the right soundtrack—that being the Rolling Stones, of course.