Free shipping on all orders over $50  |  Play smart. Play safe. Non-toxic suncare

Surprising Everyday Ways You Can Get Sun Damage

by kelly / August, 4 2021 01:30

Photo of a woman walking her dog on an overcast day

Most people think they only need sunscreen if they’re heading out for a day at the beach or pool. Or they think sunscreen is just a summer thing and don’t wear sunscreen year round. Not many realize they’re getting sun damage all the time - walking from the parking lot to the grocery store in the winter for example. Unfortunately all these little sun exposure moments add up throughout our lives and ultimately damage skin. So what are some of these surprising moments and what should we do? Read on…

Everyday Ways You’re Getting Sun Damage

Let’s let the experts explain why normal everyday tasks can add up to sun damage. According to dermatologist Dr. Sarah Adams of Kaiser Permanente Southern California:

“People are running errands — 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there — or walking their dog, and they’re not taking into consideration the cumulative, short bursts that they’re getting…All of the sudden, they’ve been outside for an hour and a half and they haven’t worn any sunscreen or any sun protection.”

So you see, these 5 and 10 minute moments add up over our lives and there are lot of them. Plus, there are tons where we don’t think we are getting sun exposure but actually are. Here are a few surprising examples:

  • Short trips outdoors, like walking from a parking lot to a building
  • Being under shade, like an umbrella – sunlight reflects up off the ground
  • Clouds covering the sun – UV rays penetrate clouds
  • Sitting next to a window at home, in the car, on a bus, or even in a plane – glass doesn’t filter out all UV rays

This past year is a great example. A lot of us have been cooped up indoors and yes, even indoors our skin can get sun damage. You see, windows only really protect against UVB rays not UVA rays. Both rays cause sun damage.

According to Dr. Adams:

“When I see patients in clinic, I notice more photoaging — more dark marks, more pigmentation — often affecting the left side of their face…I can often tell that someone was a driver versus a passenger because of the amount of sun damage that there is on one side of their face versus the other.”

I found that pretty surprising the first time I read it. We have even more on the subject in our post: “Staying Inside? Dermatologists Say You Still Need to Wear Sunscreen”.

How To Protect Your Skin

So now that you know the little bits of sun exposure you’re getting accumulate over time – what can you do to protect yourself? WEAR SUNSCREEN! That’s always my answer to life’s skin problems Smile.

Make applying sunblock part of your daily morning routine before you head out. I always say brush your teeth and then put on some sunscreen. Also make sure you apply sunscreen to all exposed skin - think face, neck, hands, upper chest, arms, and legs.

Practicing other sun protection measures like limiting your time in the sun during peak sun hours from 10AM to 2PM and wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, hats and/or sunglasses is a great idea too.

Finally, encourage your children to start these sun protection habits sooner rather than later as sun damage is cumulative.

Suncare Smarts

Simple everyday sunscreen changes to our routine can have a major impact on our skin’s health. So don’t forget to apply sunscreen before you take your dog for a walk or drop your kids off at school.

For even more tips on preventing sun damage check out our Education blog series.

Tags: , , ,

blog comments powered by Disqus