No, sunscreen does not need to be worn indoors unless you are near a window or other sources of UV rays.
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Sunscreen is a popular skincare product used to protect the skin from sun damage, but is it really necessary to wear sunscreen indoors? The answer is no, unless you are exposed to UV rays from windows or other sources of light that can penetrate through glass.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, UV rays can still reach your skin through windows, so it is important to protect yourself even when inside. This is especially true if you are near windows that receive direct sunlight or if you spend a lot of time in front of a computer or other electronic device that emits blue light.
It’s important to note that sunscreen should not be your sole form of sun protection. Wearing protective clothing and hats, seeking shade, and avoiding exposure during peak sunlight hours are all important measures to take when trying to prevent sun damage.
In the words of Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, a dermatologist and senior vice-president of the Skin Cancer Foundation, “Short periods of time, like while driving, add up over time and can lead to significant sun damage, including premature aging and even skin cancer.”
Interesting facts about sunscreen:
- The first sunscreen was developed in 1938 by Swiss chemistry student Franz Greiter, who suffered from sunburn during a mountain climbing expedition.
- In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration categorizes sunscreen as an over-the-counter drug.
- There are two types of UV rays that can damage the skin: UVA and UVB.
- SPF, or “sun protection factor,” measures a sunscreen’s ability to protect against UVB rays, but not UVA rays.
- Sunscreen should be applied every two hours, or more frequently if swimming or sweating.
Overall, while sunscreen does not need to be worn indoors, it is still important to protect your skin from UV rays when near windows or electronic devices. Be sure to use sunscreen as part of a larger sun protection strategy.
|Facts about Sunscreen|
|– Developed in 1938 by Swiss student Franz Greiter|
|– Categorized as an over-the-counter drug by the FDA|
|– Two types of UV rays: UVA and UVB|
|– SPF measures protection against UVB, not UVA|
|– Should be reapplied every two hours or more frequently when swimming or sweating|
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Dermatologists advise that wearing sunscreen is necessary all the time, including indoors, due to the UV rays emitted by indoor lights and visible light that can cause redness, DNA damage and eventually cancer. They recommend wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and reapplying every two to three hours and suggest using makeup products with SPF for easier reapplication. People with photosensitivity or DNA repair deficiency disorder should be especially cautious.
There are other opinions
There is typically no need to wear sunscreen when indoors, as the risk of sun exposure is low. If you are spending a lot of time by a window with direct sunlight you might want to think about sun protection, though clothing may be sufficient and sunscreen won’t usually be necessary.
According to four of the five dermatologists we interviewed, you should wear sunscreen indoors. Why? If you’re sitting near windows — or in front of a computer screen — you’re exposing yourself to potentially skin-damaging light. There are three main reasons why experts say you should wear SPF indoors, all involving what you’re exposed to:
The short answer is yes, you need to wear sunscreen indoors. As Green mentioned, UV rays can pass through glass windows. Because of this, it’s important to wear SPF inside your home and car. In fact, the vast majority of UV hand aging occurs while driving, so an SPF-infused hand cream like the Supergoop!
Sunscreen should be worn daily, no matter your location — indoors and outdoors.
Should You Wear Sunscreen Indoors? The short answer? Yes! "There are different types of ultraviolet rays that affect the skin," says Dr. Elizabeth Hale, a board-certified dermatologist at Complete Skin MD and senior vice president of The Skin Cancer Foundation. "We mostly talk about ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays."
Now that we agree that wearing sunscreen indoors is a must-do when working close to a window, let’s decide on just how much your sunscreen that will require. Depending on how much activity you engage in, should you spend most days laid back, barely breaking a sweat, one application of sunscreen should do the trick.
Must I wear sunscreen in my home? Yes, you must. Why? There are two types of damaging sun rays: long-ray UVA and short-ray UVB. Most windows filter out UVB rays, so you won’t get sunburnt sitting by a window. But UVA rays can penetrate through windows.
UVA rays can contribute to skin cancer, which is the main reason Park recommends slathering on SPF while inside, and especially if you’re sitting by a window or in a room with lots of sunlight.
Wearing sunscreen indoors may sound very weird, but it’s also very important. While your windows can protect you from the sun’s UVB rays, they actually don’t do much to filter UVA rays, and that’s the type of sunshine that could cause the most damage to your skin (via The Cut).
While the risk is less than if you were outside, you may still experience skin damage, especially if you spend a lot of time near windows that receive direct sunlight. 1 Therefore, it’s a good idea to continue protecting your skin even when you’re inside.
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As Green mentioned, UV rays can pass through glass windows. Because of this, it’s important to wear SPF inside your home and car. In fact, the vast majority of UV hand aging occurs while driving, so an SPF-infused hand cream like the Supergoop!
“Sunscreen is a daily essential for all skin tones, whether you’re indoors or outdoors,” says Engelman.