Flying? The #1 Skin Concern You May Be Ignoring

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For those who travel by airplane, you know all too well about the negative effects dry cabin air can have on the skin. This can cause dry skins to get drier and oily skins to get oilier. What most people don’t realize, though, is that dehydration is temporary.

You can easily correct it post-flight by using an exfoliant followed by a hydrating gel mask. On the other hand, UV skin damage is not so easily corrected. This frequently occurs when you’re on an airplane because you’re so much closer to the sun when flying. This has long-term effects on the skin’s overall health and appearance. (Sun and daylight is the #1 cause of premature aging of the skin, ya know.)

As someone who is on a plane several times a month, as well as someone who wants to prevent lines and wrinkles from appearing faster than they have to, here is my #1 favorite airplane ‘must-do’. 

Always choose a window seat.

The goal here is to block out the sun’s powerful rays. When you sit next to the window, you can control the shade by closing it. The unspoken plane rule is that whoever gets the window seat gets to decide if the shade gets closed or stays open. This is why I will always sit next to the window.

When you’re 30,000 feet up in the air, you’re getting major UV exposure. You get even more when you’re flying over clouds, as these reflect the sun’s rays, which increases their power. My brother used to be a pilot. He and I have had many conversations about cosmic radiation and the fact that airplane windows don’t properly screen out damaging rays. There are even studies that suggest pilots have high incidences of skin cancer than the general population.

Either way, it gets pretty bright up there during daylight hours, so do your skin a favor and minimize exposure to skin-aging rays by sitting next to the window and closing the shade. Of course, you’ll also want to apply a generous layer of sunscreen pre-flight for additional protection.

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