It’s a known fact – Cabin air is always filthy. And while it’s perfectly fine to doll up when travelling short distances on the plane, the rest of us either can’t be bothered or choose go au naturel in fear of breakouts and aggravation from further stressing out the skin while up in the air where microscopic pathogens circulate. There is one problem with that though.

A 2015 study published in JAMA Dermatology found that pilots flying 56.6 minutes at 30,000 feet exposes the skin to as much UVA radiation as you would get from a 20-minute session on a tanning bed.  The windshield and windows on planes blocks UVB rays, but not UVA, which unfortunately penetrates the skin deeper compared to the former.

Photo: SWJournal

The impact of the sun on the skin also gets doubled when the plane travels over clouds and snow as more light gets reflected into the airplane. If you’re a frequent flyer who loves window seats, imagine what a full day of sunlight and harmful radiation can do to your skin – ageing, wrinkling, sun spots and more.

Our verdict? Board the plane without makeup if you’d like so you can pamper yourself throughout and throw on a scary face mask whenever, but never ever forget sunscreen and make it a point to reapply every few hours. We’re not just talking about the face. Don’t forget your neck, chest, ears, arms and hands too! Here are some sunscreen recommendations:

Dr. Jart UV Sun Fluid (RM145)

Supergoop Unseen Sunscreen (RM143)

KOSE Sekkisei White UV Milk (RM109)


Carmen Chong
YouTube-obsessed and a beauty junkie at heart. Find her on Instagram: @carthemen