With temperatures in the triple digits it is a no brainer to apply sunscreen before heading out for some fun in the sun, but do you think about sun protection while you are out for your daily commute?
While many of us associate sun damage with outdoor activities. We do not often think about the UV damage we are receiving while sitting in rush hour traffic, at the office or sitting on the patio for lunch. according to Skincancer.org "Dermatologists have observed that patients in the US often have more sun damage (which can lead to wrinkles, leathering, sagging, brown “age” spots and even skin cancers) on the left side of their faces than on the right. Why? Research increasingly points to ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation penetrating through car windows.
UV radiation from the sun, associated with about 90 percent of all skin cancers, reaches the earth as long- wavelength UVA and shortwave UVB rays. glass effectively blocks UVB, and windshields are specially treated to block UVA as well, but a car’s side and rear windows allow UVA to penetrate.
UV exposure is cumulative, and research has proven that skin exposed to sun shining through window glass, even in the office, can over time lead to significant skin damage. The UV exposure we receive driving a car especially adds up. In a US study by Singer, et al, the researchers found asymmetric photodamage (sun- induced skin damage) on the face, with more brown pigment (color) and deeper wrinkles on the left. The more time subjects spent driving a vehicle, the more severe their photodamage on the left side. Reinforcing this research, in countries where the driver’s side is the right side, people tend to develop more sun damage and skin precancers on the right. Certain precancers can turn into squamous cell carcinoma, the second most common form of skin cancer."
Being fair skinned I am prone to burning quickly, I have received more than my share of sunburns from being in the car. Until a few years ago when my mother in law shared this tip with me that I am now sharing with you! Sunscreen sticks! You will rarely find me without one of these tiny little gems. Pop one in your hand bag, kids backpack, car console, at your window front desk, anywhere! Apply to all exposed skin, I especially focus on applying it to the back of my hands when driving. after all hands are usually one of the first places to show age. Bonus tip, apply to the back of your hands and fingers when getting a gel manicure!
You can purchase sunscreen sticks anywhere at any price point, for babies, kids and even in waterproof options. I usually pick up one of the two Neutrogena ones pictured when I am at the drugstore or grocery shopping.
Stay cool out there!