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Ask Dr. Schultz | Skin Care Guides | Do You Really Need to Wear Sunscreen on an Airplane?

Do You Really Need to Wear Sunscreen on an Airplane?

A 2014 study from JAMA Dermatology showed that pilots and flight attendants are twice as likely to suffer from melanoma when compared to the general population. That's potentially because the intensity of UV radiation, which increases by 15 percent for every 3,000 feet above sea level. And since airplanes typically fly over 35,000 feet, the radiation exposure is much higher than for those on the ground. So what does that mean for jet setters making summer travel plans? Dr. Schultz shared his thoughts on DermTV, noting that it makes sense that the pilot would have an increase in exposure due to the wrap-around flight deck windows, but the crew and passengers wouldn't get as much UV exposure in the cabin. He also has some good news.  

"For you, even as a frequent flyer, if you’re applying broad spectrum sunscreen daily as you know you should, for the amount of time you’ll be potentially exposed to increased UVA on your flight, you probably accrue no significant increased risk for melanoma," said Dr. Schultz. "But if it’s a daylight flight and you have a window seat, if you’re still concerned, pull down the shade and have a nice trip." 

In other words, while Dr. Schultz doesn't believe a passenger would have as much exposure to harmful UV rays as a pilot, wearing sunscreen every day will sufficiently protect you from any potential damage. 

Stock up on sunscreen before your next flight, and start applying every day after cleansing. For a sunscreen that's so sheer and invisible when applied, try BeautyRx's Solar Defense Sheer Sunscreen SPF 50. It's not heavy like other sunscreens, and makes a great base for makeup. Or, Replenishing Moisture Sunscreen SPF 15 is a moisturizer and a sunscreen in one. The formula is enhanced with Vitamins C and E, to help protect against damaging free-radicals, and because it's oil-free, it moisturizes without being greasy. 




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