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The Best “Travel Sunscreen”

Most people are familiar with the basics of packing for Travel Sunscreen. One thing is certain, no matter how long the flight or the climate at the destination, it’s easy to forget:

Travel Sunscreen

Travel Sunscreen: why is it so important? Sunblock is essential for all seasons. According to Dr. Patricia Wexler, Wexler Dermatology can allow 80% of the sun’s UV rays to pass through clouds. What is the difference? Wexler explains that UVB rays can cause sunburn and that their intensity varies between summer and winter. But, UVA rays penetrate deeper in your skin and can cause skin cancer and skin aging.”

You might be mistaken if you believe being in a plane is a way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. High elevations, especially if you are in a window seat high above the clouds, absorb some UV radiation which can translate into direct, unfiltered exposure.

Wexler says that almost all types of skin cancer can be linked to some form of ultraviolet damage. If fear is not motivating, consider brown spots, wrinkles and loss of elasticity increasing over your lifetime.

We’ve established that SPF is mandatory for every day of the calendar year. Let’s now break down the two types: chemical and physical. There has been a lot of emphasis on the physical in recent years. The word “chemical” doesn’t help our wellness-driven society, but it is important to have both.

Wexler explains that physical sunblock is applied on the skin to reflect the sun’s rays. The main active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They act as physical blocks. It is also less irritating than other sunscreens, and feels more heavy on the skin. Wexler notes that it is difficult to blend in with the skin and makes effective sun protection more difficult.

Wexler says that chemical Travel Sunscreen absorbs sunlight into the skin. It then converts it into heat and releases them from your body. “Active ingredients in chemical Travel Sunscreens are avobenzone and octinoxate.” (Disclaimer, the latter two can cause coral damage in the oceans. Chemical Travel Sunscreens are a better choice if you spend a lot time outdoors and need something that is water- and sweat-resistant. They are easy to use and can be absorbed quickly.

Wexler suggests a broad-spectrum SPF of at minimum 30 for casual and daily wear. If you are going to be out in the sun for more than two hours, particularly during peak hours (between 11a.m. and 3:30 p.m.), make sure to have at least 30 SPF. At least 44 SPF is recommended for sun exposure between 11a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Remember to apply every two hours. Also, ensure that the formula is free of parabens and fragrances, and not comedogenic to avoid clogging pores.

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