Sunscreen does damage your car
While it’s something you almost possibly never thought of before, chemicals found in products like sunscreen lotion and hand sanitiser can react with the materials used in your car’s interior, causing them to wear prematurely and stain.
It is only going to get worse for your steering wheel – as the market for hand sanitiser, including gel, foam and wipes, many of which contain ethanol, is expected to rise by 60 per cent by 2024, while higher sun protection factor (SPF) sunscreen lotions contain greater quantities of titanium oxide that can react with plastics and natural oils that are found in leather, especially when it is hot.
Diethyltoluamide (or DEET), the most common active ingredient in insect repellents, is also a problem for your car’s interior materials, making summer a particularly hard time for car interiors.
To reduce damage to your vehicle’s interior, place a towel on your seat if you have just applied sunscreen or insect repellent.
Make sure your sunscreen is rubbed well into your skin before getting into your car.