Hat. Sunglasses. Shoes that don’t give you blisters. Sunscreen. The basic list of holiday essentials when you’re travelling somewhere warm is firmly etched into our brains.
But while sunscreen is a non-negotiable when you arrive at your destination, it’s also pretty important for the plane journey there, too. We’re talking pack-in-your-hand-luggage-not-your-suitcase kind of important.
Always go for the window seat? Even more so.
Watch: The annoying habits of travellers. Post continues after video.
That’s because sun damage to your skin isn’t restricted to full-on sun exposure or even being outside – just sitting by, or near, a window is enough to warrant wearing SPF.
It was a piece of travel wisdom I was blissfully aware of until I was thumbing through Zoe Foster Blake‘s latest book Amazinger Face.
“Windows can let a heckload of UV in, on aeroplanes as well as in offices,” she writes.
Plane windows may give you an incredible view, but they don't block UVA rays which have been proven to be associated with skin wrinkling, ageing and cancer. Plus, the higher up you are, the stronger the rays get.
"The dose of UVA at 20,000 feet is a lot bigger dose than you’d get on the surface of the Earth," Dr. James M. Spencer, a member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Dermatology, told the New York Times.
However, before you attempt to bathe yourself in SPF 50 prior to that long haul flight, it's not quite as scary as it sounds. (Post continues after gallery.)