Can You Get Sunburned Through A Car Window?

At The Skinny Confidential, we’re complete SPF psychos. (i.e. we believe sunscreen is for EVERYWHERE ALWAYS.) 

But, can you blame us? One of the absolute BEST things you can do for your beauty routine is protect yourself from the fricken sun.

As great as some bronzy skin looks, there are other ways of getting that sunkissed look. You need to protect yourself anytime the sun is in the sky, not just when spending time outdoors.

YES, that includes when you’re driving a car.

This might sound like a little much. Like, come on TSC fam, you’re being a helicopter parent over our skin. But, guys, we’re serious.

If you’re still side-eyeing us and whispering, “Whatever . . .” under your breath. We get it, but hang on tight. Let’s get into why and how you should protect your skin while cruising:

can you get sunburned through a car window

Can You Get Sunburned Through A Car Window? 

The answer is TECHNICALLY no. But keep reading because not burnt doesn't mean you're not getting sun damage.

There are two types of ultraviolet rays that glitter down from the sun, UVA and UVB. Only one burns you (UVB), but the other still causes damage below the surface of the skin (UVA). Cars block the UVB only!

So, you can’t get sunburned in a vehicle, but you can still experience ill-effects of that blistering UV light. Spending a long time in the car with the sun beaming down on your left side might feel like summery bliss, but it can cause some real skin damage. 

And, you might not notice until it’s too late. We’re talking sun spots, redness, wrinkles, and even skin cancer. Studies find that 53% of skin cancers develop on the left side. Coincidence??? We don’t think so.

So, what can you do about it? Driving is inevitable. You’re like, I am not going to back out of that sunny roadtrip.

First of all, DEFINITELY go on your vay-cay. (We’re over here dreaming of warm vacation vibes too!) Second of all, DEFINITELY take precautions. Here’s how you can protect yourself from the sun:

how to protect skin from the sun while driving

Best Ways to Protect Yourself from the Sun

You better be wearing sunscreen. 

We’ve established you can’t get an actual sunburn from being in the car, but you should still be wearing sunscreen!

Remember, you don’t apply sunscreen JUST to protect from a sunburn. Sun damage can really creep up on you. Broad-spectrum sunscreen will protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

In other words, protecting your skin in the car still includes sunscreen to deflect those harmful UVB rays. And, don’t just apply sunscreen once! Reapply that shit every two hours, fam! (Here are some tips on doing that without fucking up your make-up.)

We recommend Replenix Skincare or Ombrelle Complete sunscreen, but really any product with a sun protection factor SPF 50 or higher will do. Just DO NOT skip it. 

Wear protective clothing.

Avoid as much exposed skin as possible. This is the best way to stop skin aging, because rather than hoping you still have a good, even layer of sunscreen, your clothes positively cover your skin! If the skin can’t see the sun, you know it’s protected.

Go with a long-sleeved shirt, a sun hat, sunglasses, and whatever else that feels comfortable and fits your outfit’s vibe. Scarves and wraps are definitely not out of the question!

Don’t forget your driving gloves.

When you’re driving, your hands are front and center, making them in special need of UV protection. And, the hands are one of the most common places to develop skin cancers

What’s the solution? BOUGIE DRIVING GLOVES are the solution.

They’re comfortable, functional, and TOTALLY chic.

More importantly, they’re UPF 50 and block out 98% of UVA and UVB rays. Plus, they’re stretchy, fingerless, and have grippies for the ultimate driving glove experience. 

Guyyyysss, these things are so stylish and so practical. So, don’t skip this part of your skincare. Be a trendsetter and rock these driving gloves to any sun-exposing excursion for a premier ensemble accessory. 

best ways to protect yourself from the sun

Get your windows tinted. 

Tinted windows are another one of those things that look fricken cool, while also having a practical application. That’s right, tinted windows aren’t just for show. 

Tinted car windows can block both UVB and UVA rays! So, to significantly reduce sun exposure to your skin (and your beautiful car interior), tint your windows. 

Def check with your state laws first. Every one has different levels of allowed tint. They also tell you where you can put it, with the least amount of restriction on the back and side windows, and the most on the windshield. 

This investment is bougie and also useful. So, get that car to the body shop. Just don’t go Sam Smith and do anything unholy. ;))))

DON’T drive between 10 and 2. 

Oh, you thought we meant the steering wheel? No, no, please drive at 10 and 2 there!

We mean don’t drive between 10:00 am - 2:00 pm if you can avoid it. (Really avoid the road until 4:00, if possible.) At that time, the sun exposure is the WORST. 

Since you can’t seek shade, seek a shady time of day to travel to and from places. You think we’re joking, but we take sun protection VERY seriously. We will avoid over exposure when possible.

how to protect yourself from getting sun burned in a car

How will you protect yourself from the sun while driving?

Look, do you want your skin to stay soft, smooth, and glamorous? Then, girl, you’ve gotta protect it when you're driving. Follow these tips, then check out the Get the F*ck Out of the Sun book and the GTFOOS podcast for ALL the deets on sun protection. 

Remember, sunscreen goes with you everywhere. Speaking of which, when was last time re-coated? It’s probably time. Let’s just give you a quick mist

::aggressively pulls out sunscreen mist for your own good::