“People often don’t think to put on sunscreen when they are in the car. But, particularly for people who spend a lot of time driving in the car, commuting or as part of their job, the left side of their body may be exposed to UV radiation more than the right,” says Heather Patrick, Ph.D., a health scientist and program director at the National Cancer Institute. “This is an issue that is particularly salient now as a lot of people load up the car and hit the road for summer vacations—perhaps getting more sun exposure than they bargained for.”
That car exposure alone, even if it’s not enough to cause sunburn, is still enough to heighten your risk for skin cancer, Patrick says. She suggests reducing your risks by wearing protective clothing, avoiding sun expose between the hours of 10a.m. and 4p.m. and, of course, applying sunscreen—at least 15 SPF—every two hours.
Here are some of our picks for protecting your skin while driving:
While heavy sunscreens may not be pleasant for your everyday commute, products such as Aveeno’s Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer SPF 30 is designed to offer you daily protection without leaving behind the greasy residue (Aveeno.com)
Another convenient option is the Skin Cancer Foundation-endorsed Solar Gard, which offers an option of clear to tinted thin films that can be applied to your car windows. The film is designed to let in visible sunlight while blocking up to 99 percent damaging ultraviolet rays (Solargard.com).
Lastly, it is also important to shield your eyes from the sun because excessive sun exposure can also lead to ocular skin cancer. Invest in a pair shades like Oakley’s Caveat sunglasses, which block 100 percent of harmful UVA and UVB rays (Oakley.com).