July 28, 2008

The UV Rays Up There

So remember how I've been travelling a bit last month? Most of the flights I took were daytime flights and one thing that really irritates me about daytime flights is the amount of sunlight in the plane. This might sound weird to most people, and even my parents think I'm a total freak for applying sunscreen before a flight but here's the logic: up there in the sky, there are no shades or clouds or anything so the UV rays are naturally stronger and more direct. And it doesn't help that almost all passengers love keeping their window covers up and let the sunlight get through. I usually try to get a windows seat just to keep the blinds down!

So maybe I'm a bit overly paranoid. But while going through my magazines from this year (before throwing them away,) I noticed Elle (UK) had a "Top Tips For A Healthy Flight" editorial from a few months ago. Most of these tips are pretty much what you always read about, like make sure you hydrate by drinking lots of water and applying good moisturiser *Insert product recommendations, naturally*. So most of the time I ignore these editorials since let's face it, they basically just tell you common sense and sell you a bunch of unnecessary beauty products. But there was a 'tip' that I just have to share here since not most people seem to not know or care about:

"Wear a lotion containing sunscreens. 'Recent Studies show that UV rays can penetrate an airplane's windows. Because you're higher, the sun's rays are stronger as there's less proection from the atmosphere,' warns Dr Tom Monroe, director of research and development at Clinique."

See! It's not just me. OK, so a doctor from a major beauty company saying this obviously has commercial reasons, but it sounds logical doesn't it? I'm no dermatologist so I have no idea which sunscreen is the best, but BG and I do love Bioderma's SPF products.

Anyhow, I actually wanted to write this post to rant about people who keep their window blinds up during the flight -just because you like the sun and don't mind the UV rays damaging your skin cells doesn't mean the passenger next to you wants that! OK, rant over.

Image Credit: www.bioderma.com

33 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm jetting off tomorrow, so all this is right on cue for me! very appropriate

this is all new to me, moisturise well before flying? whaa?

i'm a boy, and to be honest not really adverse to the odd lotion and potion . . but, i'd be far too embarrassed to re-moisturise 'in flight'. haha, but thanks for the sun cream tip . . must take notice, i'm determined not to get too tanned

7/29/2008 2:31 AM  
OpenID milkandcakes said...

i'm not sure if this logic makes sense to me.

you are saying that cloud cover reduces exposure to UV rays. however, when you are on the beach on a cloudy day, you can get just as burnt as if there weren't any clouds (if you had not applied sunscreen).

7/29/2008 3:22 AM  
Anonymous Kelsey said...

I completely agree with you! Though I've actually never considered the greater amount of rays before when flying, it makes perfect (if not really scary) sense. I'm moving away from home in a few weeks, far enough that I will be flying home, and I am definetely going to remember to use sunscreen before leaving the ground. Thanks for the tip!!

7/29/2008 3:53 AM  
Anonymous savvy mode said...

we are that much closer to the sun.... i always apply sunscreen everyday. just b/c we are indoor does not mean there is no uv ray, according to my plastic surgeon pal. better safe than sorry, right!

7/29/2008 4:16 AM  
Anonymous jamie said...

actually i've thought about applying sunscreen before a flight as well. seeing as that whenever people open their window coverings during the flight, it immediately gets so hot and bright in the plane. better safe than sorry!

7/29/2008 4:59 AM  
Blogger Kathleen said...

I read in Allure a couple weeks ago that not wearing a daily SPF for one year is equivalent to spending one week at the beach without sunscreen. Yikes!

Anyways, love love the blog. Keep up the good work. Also, check out theblackstiletto.blogspot.com sometime. I'd love to hear what a fellow fashion blogger thinks about it.

7/29/2008 5:25 AM  
Anonymous picky said...

i've never tried Bioderma but does it smell good? i have a thing against sunscreens that smell like normal sunscreen, hence i can never find one i can actually handle. i tried Hawaiian Tropic but it smells like banana-flavoured antibiotic which makes me gag. any recommendations?

7/29/2008 6:56 AM  
Blogger Voguelady said...

Hey do you know how can i subscribe to your blog? i have a blog too but don't know how to get into a group or something like that.

I like your blog, i love fashion and it is so interesting what you post here

7/29/2008 8:46 AM  
Blogger ashleigh said...

I definitely know where you're coming from! I make sure any makeup I buy has SPF in it, even if just a little.

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7/29/2008 9:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooh, my mum thinks the same way you do. I'm Asian as well, by the way. I think it makes sense, to put on sunscreen before you get on a plane. Also, to a poster above, I'm sure you'd still get MORE burnt on a sunny day at the beach than a cloudy day (both without sunscreen). Clouds reflect sunlight!

The radiation from the sun is also terrible, but that's old news (pilots who fly long-haul higher cancer rates etc), but there's little you can do about that unless you spray yourself with anti-rad foam.

7/29/2008 11:40 AM  
Anonymous M said...

Alright, so ignoring the illogical parts of your post (such as what milkandcakes pointed out), I would like to respond to your "rant". I am, as you so kindly put it, one of those "people who keep their window blinds up during the flight". You seem to suggest that, just because you have a paranoia about UV rays, that the window seat passenger should pull down the window shades. Well, as someone who always flies the window seat, I can tell you that I am very well aware of the UV rays that you point out, and I would risk it any day to be able to experience the beauty and the wonder of being thousands of feet up, with the blue and white that seem to go on forever...there is a reason that, as you noted, most people like to leave their window shades up. I'm sorry that I appreciate beauty where you apparently cannot. Just a tip, I do, despite how much more incovenient it can be, book flights very early to be able to ensure myself a window seat...if you cannot be bothered to do the same, you have no justification for complaining that the person in the window seat is making you upset. Also, if you do mind the sun that much, no one is stopping you from wearing long pants, long sleeves, hats and whatever else you may feel like you need to effectively block out the sun.

7/29/2008 12:50 PM  
Blogger Phoebe said...

50+ is perfect for me :) bioderma is good for skin protection.

7/29/2008 3:22 PM  
Blogger LeAnne@Hairs My Story Team said...

I would've never thought of that. I'm starting to get more into sunscreen. As a person of color I never thought about wearing sunscreen until i started seeing sunspots in my skin (the little pale white dots on your body). After that, I started to get really heavy into sun care.
hairsmystory.com

7/29/2008 9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

this does bring up an interesting point: i am never sure what the etiquette is when i have the window seat. like "M" i like to look out the window and enjoy the natural light. the window seat can be claustrophobic otherwise

im not really sure how dangerous that amount of uv exposure would be but its an interesting discussion

7/29/2008 10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info! I think the best solution would be manufacturers constructing uv blocking window panes.

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7/30/2008 2:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I grew up in Bhutan (where Tony Leung got married!- that's our only claim to fame!) and since it's in the Himalayas (roof of the world) the sun rays are very direct and you can get burned very easily. Every time I go back on a visit I notice how strong and direct the sun rays are. Something like being up in the plane.
Dr Hauschka's sun block saves me all the time.

7/30/2008 2:55 AM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Good post, although I have never seen a burnt airline pilot before. Can not be that much UV getting through up there, unless pilots also plaster on the sun block before each flight. Not convinced.

7/30/2008 2:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally I never have and never will use suncream on a plane, as the difference in the amount of UV rays is marginal, as in the scale of things 39000 feet is not much at all.

Furthermore, as I live in England taking liquids over 100ml on board (that aren't brought in duty-free, and the bags are usually sealed) is not allowed, so unless I creamed up more than 2 hours before I was up in the air, it wouldn't be possible for me to wear sun cream anyway.

I also find the air conditioning on planes rather harsh, so I tend to wear heavier, layered clothes, which means I can pack more. :) And besides, IMHO there is nothing more beautiful than watching the sun rise or set from above the clouds.

7/30/2008 6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many medical sites state that, "Sun exposure increases 4% for each 1000 feet of elevation above sea level." So at 39,000 feet you would get 156% exposure? If that were the case, everyone in the window seats would be red as lobsters. So are the windows treated to protect the passengers from burning? People will say anything to sell a product.

7/30/2008 7:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Clouds do not filter UV rays. This means, they're no stronger in an airplane than on the ground.

2. Drinking lots of water to hydrate is also something of a fallacy. No one knows where the 8 glasses a day guideline comes from and it's not backed by any science.

By all means, wear sunscreen. But not because of an extra exposure on a plane ride. Clinique is foolin' ya there.

7/31/2008 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Forever Amber said...

Hmmm, interesting. I'm a pale-skinned redhead, and am usually fairly paranoid about sunscreen, but I must admit, it hadn't occurred to me to wear it during a flight. That said, I've never been sunburnt, or even tanned, during a flight either, so I'm not sure how much damage is actually being done.

Interesting post, though, and food for thought.

8/01/2008 1:11 AM  
Anonymous bunnyshop said...

Oh no! I'm totally that person who leaves the blind up - and glares at the person who's just put it down. (It's like seasonal affective disorder for flying.) I am ashamed to think I haven't worn sunscreen once this summer! Honestly. I am going to be so pissed about this in five years.

8/01/2008 3:28 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...

Wow, I never really thought about getting sunburned in a plane! Thanks for informing me!

8/01/2008 11:48 PM  
Anonymous elle said...

i've read and watched and listened to different sources including top dermatologists that a woman should start using sunblock at least SPF30 the moment she hits 20. and the amount to apply is a 50cent coin size for half the face, or a tablespoon of sunblock for the entire face!!

it's mortifying cos sunblock can be SO greasy and inhumanly white..

having said that, a few friends have suggested neutrogena's helioplex sunblock range, which is both affordable and not as greasy as most.

8/01/2008 11:59 PM  
Blogger Tulz said...

I don't care about the UV rays, if I'm sitting by the window (which I usually am) my blind will be up.

8/04/2008 8:31 AM  
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8/07/2008 10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anne said...

This points out realy about correct thing. Todya a environmental experts say that due the demage of Ozone layer in the air the rate of UV radiation is increase which reach at the earth. As normally said that it casuse skin cancer but Actually UV radiations can causes many other skin disease like skin condition Vitiligo and Lupus etc.
So everyone should care about it and As you suggest Bioderma's SPF products, this good thing for protecting from UV and saving your skin form skin cancer and vitiligo skin condition etc.

8/25/2008 5:36 PM  
Anonymous Sunblock Fan said...

It makes perfect sense to apply sunscreen, UV ray blocking lotions, sunblock, and UV ray prevention skin care products when preparing to fly.

It should not be a surprise to your readers.

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