Unexpected Places You Should Never Be Caught Without Sunscreen

Busted? (Photo: Shutterstock)

Multiple choice question: When is it okay to skip sunscreen?

a. When it’s cloudy outside

b. When you’re in a car

c. When you already have a tan

d. Never.

Answer: “d” for “duh.

As a general rule, “I tell all of my patients that they ought to be using an SPF of at least 30 every single day, regardless of the weather,” says Harold Lancer, M.D., a Beverly Hills, California–based dermatologist to celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Kim Kardashian. Load up a shot-glass worth of sunscreen to your body and about a quarter-sized dollop to your face daily.

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(Photo: Shutterstock)

Plus, you want to be EXTRA diligent about covering the skin most exposed to the sun while driving. Pay special attention to your face, neck, ears, décolletage, and hands, says Ava Shamban, M.D., a Santa Monica, California–based dermatologist and author of Heal Your Skin. "UVA [rays] will penetrate through the glass and can damage the skin that is exposed to the light,” she says.

RELATED: 11 Skin-Care Habits to Start NOW to Get Gorgeous Skin for Years to Come

If you’re prone to forgetting these areas, stash a sunscreen like Dermalogica Pure Light SPF 50 ($62, dermalogica.com) in your glove compartment for quick touchups. Just make sure your car is parked in a cool or covered place, as the inside of a hot car can reach upwards of 120 degrees, making the ingredients in sunscreen ineffective. “High temperatures can destroy the potency and cause the SPF to degrade,” says dermatologist Jeannette Graf, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York,“ and when you apply sunscreen that has been degraded, you won’t get the full effect indicated on the bottle.” Instead, you’ll basically just be applying thick moisturizer. A good alternative is to keep UV protection in a handbag or in your desk at work.

RELATED: 7 Places You’re Probably Forgetting To Put Sunscreen

(Photo: Shutterstock)

Using a portable SPF is also a good strategy if your hometown’s climate warrants a more indoor routine. Fluorescent bulbs, like those found in many offices, emit UV light, which can damage unprotected skin over time, says Lancer. “Thus, if you are very strict about protecting and caring for you skin, it is in your own interest to wear sunscreen indoors,” he says. Try Mary Kay Sun Care Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($17, marykay.com).

More from Women’s Health:

The Part of Your Face You Absolutely Need to Protect from the Sun

Where on Your Body You’re More Prone to Getting Skin Cancer

This Is the Best Sunscreen to Use for Outdoor Running

By Alexis Farah