Sun Fact: You can get sun damage in the car.
Even though you may not notice the sun while you’re comfortably driving around in your car, screaming along calmly listening to All Too Well (10 Minute Version, obviously), that doesn’t mean it’s not doing you any damage. The truth is quite the opposite. It’s completely possible for your skin to experience sun damage in the car.
When we think of sun damage, sunburn is usually the first thing that comes to mind – and yes, sunburn is possible when you’re driving, more on that in a bit – but that’s not the only kind of UV damage you’re vulnerable to in the car. You see, different UV rays damage the skin in different ways, which means that even if you don’t have hot, burn-y, lobster red skin, that doesn’t mean your skin isn’t experiencing damage in other, less-obvious ways.
We spoke with Dermal Therapist, sunscreen enthusiast, and all-round Skin Wizard, Yadira Cauchi to help explain what’s going on with the sun and your skin when you’re driving, and share her best tips on how to protect yourself.
How UV Rays Can Impact Your Skin While Driving
“Most types of glass will block out UVB light but not UVA. So, while you may not necessarily get sunburnt, you will still be prone to harmful skin damage from UVA light,” says Yadira, explaining that UVA light is the kind that “penetrates the skin more deeply and contributes to skin cancer as well as the visible signs of aging.”
This kind of sun damage from UVA rays is extremely common amongst her clients. “Many people put a lot of focus on protecting their face, which is great, however, they often neglect their neck, dec, ears, and even the backs of their hands,” Yadira says. Given that these areas are also typically exposed to UV while you’re driving and also susceptible to skin damage and premature aging, it’s important that they’re given the same amount of protection before you jump in your car.
So, while the glass in your car windows will provide you some protection from the sun, it’s not going to be enough to protect your skin completely from all kinds of UV rays. (And if it’s hot outside and your windows are down? There’ll be nothing at all, leaving you vulnerable to UVB rays, and as a result, sunburn. Ouch.)
What You Can Do To Protect Your Skin In The Car
Starting right now, here’s what Yadira recommends you do to avoid sun damage before you hop in the car to drive anywhere. “Obviously before you go for a drive in the car applying SPF is mandatory, however, you may also want to consider keeping sun safe clothing (long shirts/tops) or accessories like driving gloves/a hat or UV blocking glasses in the car as well.”
Hot tip: When picking out your new sun-safe squad, look out for clothing with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. These have been created with sun protection in mind, which is a great place to start to ensure that you get the coverage and protection you need.This article was written as part of a promotion with Toyota. Go-To and Toyota have teamed up to celebrate Go-To’s 8th birthday by giving one lucky squid A BRAND NEW DINGIN’ CAR. Want to know more about the competition? (Duh.) Head here!