Do I Need To Wear Sunscreen Indoors?

Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors?

Let’s cut to the chase, yes, you should probably be wearing sunscreen indoors for a couple reasons. First, many of the windows present in office buildings and residences aren’t UV-proof, meaning there’s harmful UV light bouncing off the walls and floor even as we speak. Granted, it’s not as intense as sitting in direct sunlight, but the potential for causing premature aging in exposed skin isn’t nothing.

Second, if you’re like pretty much any other American these days, you spend a lot of time face-to-face with a screen, whether on your phone or working at a computer. Although not as penetrative as ultraviolet light, the high-frequency visible blue light emitted by screens of all sorts also has a negative effect on your skin. Wearing the right kind of sunscreen protects against this third enemy of healthy, smooth skin, although it’s important to note that not all sunscreens are created equal.

Sunscreen vs. Ultraviolet Light

There are two types of sunscreen you can buy. One is formulated with chemicals that react with ultraviolet light to absorb it before it reaches your skin, transforming in the process and creating thermal energy. These are chemical sunscreens. The other kind is known as mineral or physical sunscreen, which uses compounds like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to physically reflect ultraviolet light away from the skin.

In either case, as long as a sunscreen is broad spectrum, that is, can help protect your skin from both UV-A and UV-B rays. Re-applying every two hours or more is our recommendation for all-day protection.

Sunscreen vs. Blue Light

The difference between physical and chemical sunscreens becomes more apparent when you test them against blue light. When your day is less full of sun and more full of screens, only mineral sunscreens are proven to protect your skin. Again, although blue light doesn’t affect your skin as deeply as ultraviolet, it can still accumulate over time, resulting in premature aging signs that are compounded by the effects of sun exposure.

Best Sunscreen Types for Indoors

As mentioned, mineral sunscreen is the only type of sun protection that can block both ultraviolet rays and blue light. This makes it the best type of sunscreen to use every day, regardless of whether you’re planning to spend time in the sun or not. Some people choose to use powder-based sunscreen, as it is easily reapplied throughout the day without messing up makeup and to help mattify oily skin. Whatever mineral sunscreen you choose, make sure to apply it to both your face and hands; the hands are another key area that is commonly exposed indoors that people don’t think to protect with sunscreen on a daily basis.

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