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Don’t Forget to Pack the Sunscreen!

Why travelling with skin protection is so important...

With the world opening back up post-pandemic, many Australians are flocking to the closest airport to spread their wings once more.

Whether you are travelling interstate to finally see family after a long time apart, or you're planning to check Europe off your bucket list - no one could blame you for hurriedly packing and rushing out the door. Although, before you leave home, there is one important travel companion you should never leave behind - sunscreen. 

Apply sunscreen wherever you land

Keeping your sunscreen applied during travel is important whether you're sitting in the window seat or sprawled out on the beach. The sun exposure you can get from sitting behind an aeroplane window can cause a world of damage to your skin.

If you've ever been sitting by the window on a particularly sunny day, you will know how hot and uncomfortable your seat can get, and worse, how red your skin can turn. Flying at 30,000 feet puts you much closer to the sun and doing so for 60 minutes can be as dangerous as spending 20 minutes in a tanning bed, according to Dermatologist Dr Doris Day.

While you’re sitting in an aeroplane, UV rays don't have to travel as far to cause damage, given the elevated altitudes increasing their intensity. While enjoying the sun on your face during your mid-flight nap, the UVA and UVB rays could be wreaking havoc on your skin, increasing both your rate of ageing and your risk of skin cancer. 

Sunscreen is important even when you're flying

Use travel sizes while you're on the move

Before jumping into a plane or an Uber, ensure a travel-sized tube of broad-spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen is handy in your carry on. A broad-spectrum sunscreen should be applied approximately 30 minutes before your flight takes off and reapplied every 2 hours. You may feel silly applying sunscreen while technically 'indoors', but you will be able to rest easier knowing harmful rays are being kept at bay.


Pack your sunscreen to protect your skin during travel

Travel Tools to Keep You Sun Safe

When travelling, it is likely that you're planning to download some helpful apps and bookmark some useful websites to keep your trip safe and fun.

A great tool regarding sun safety while travelling is the SunSmart sunscreen calculator app, which will tell you how much sunscreen to apply based on your location in Australia.

The app uses information from the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPNSA) to inform your risk of sun exposure and alert you to reapply when needed. The app will allow you to plan your trip based on the UV prediction of your area, which should be just as closely monitored as your risk of getting caught in the rain. 

If you're interested in monitoring the UV index manually, the ARPNSA have an incredibly accurate, location-based Ultraviolet Radiation monitor that can be found here. 

All About Sunscreen Application...

The Cancer Council recommends using sunscreen on days where the UV Index is at a 3 or above. Many people, both travellers and locals alike, can get caught out because they don't apply the right amount or type of sunscreen at the right time. According to SunSmart, 85% of Australians don't apply enough sunscreen daily. Pair that with the fact that most of the country is in a UV Index of 3 or above for most of the year, and the risk of skin cancer speaks for itself. 

No sunscreen can block out 100% of danger from the sun; however, when paired with clothing, shade, and a hat, it forms a strong line of defence.

The best practice is to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside and reapply every 2 hours, more frequently if swimming or sweating. 

The recommended amount of sunscreen for an adult is 5ml for each limb plus the chest, back, face and neck, equating to approximately 35ml over the entire body. You may be tempted while escaping to a warmer climate to stock up on Vitamin D. However, according to the Cancer Council, sitting in the sun doesn't cause your Vitamin D levels to increase. When the UV levels are above 3, you will get all the Vitamin D you need in just a few minutes while completing everyday activities, so you can skip the sun-baking and head out for sightseeing instead. 

young girl with sunscreen on her nose

Our Recommended Travel Sunscreens... 

Sunscreen has certainly come a long way in the past few decades, with it being easier now more than ever to get broad-spectrum sunscreen that is affordable and rated over 30 on the SPF scale. The Cancer Council doesn’t recommend aerosol sunscreens, with tubed and roll-on options forming a much more reliable choice.

Some of our top recommendations include:

The Cancer Council Active Travel Sunscreen 50+ 

At under $10, this sunscreen is dry-touch, fast-absorbing and perfect for adventure-seeking travellers who spend their time hiking or running to the next train. 

Shop active travel sunscreen here

The Cancer Council Roll-On SPF 50+ 

There isn't a handier application method than a roll-on sunscreen. Perfect for a range of skin types and simple to reapply whenever needed, this broad-spectrum, fragrance-free SPF 50+ sunscreen will protect against sun rays while avoiding dripping sunscreen in the taxi or impacting your aeroplane neighbour with strong scents. 

Shop roll-on here. 

We Are Feel Good Inc. Cocoa Lip Balm 50+

Many people fall into the trap of forgetting their lips when considering sun protection, but the delicate skin in this area is one of the areas most prone to skin cancer. This broad-spectrum SPF 50+ lip balm will nourish your lips while protecting them from the sun with up to 4 hours of water resistance. 

Shop lip balm here

The Cancer Council Repel Sunscreen 

This sunscreen is worth a mention as Australians across the country hook up caravans and pack the tent for outdoor adventures. This SPF 50+ sunscreen has insect repellent within the recipe to protect even the most avid outdoors people from both insects and the sun during hikes, marshmallow toasting and sightseeing. 

Shop Repel sunscreen here

sunscreen in a baby's palm
Sunscreen is important for every traveler

Travel with peace of mind... 

You deserve to spread your wings and explore the country, escape overseas, or cuddle your long-lost loved ones interstate.

Before you head off, ensure a clean bill of health with a skin check at one of our clinics located near you. We can't wait to hear about your travel plans and will remind you to pack plenty of sunscreen to keep you safe from the sun during your adventures. 

Book your skin check today!