Whether you're working from home, at the office, or simply spending your weekends indoors, sunscreen is important wherever you are- even indoors.
While you may have an industrial-sized bottle near the front door or a tube in your bag for quick reapplication, it can be easy to neglect your sun protection if you're not planning on leaving the house.
Wearing sunscreen indoors may seem counterintuitive, but it has many benefits for long- and short-term skin health. Today, we'll look at it in more detail.
Do I really need to wear sunscreen indoors?
It may sound unusual, but yes, we recommend wearing sunscreen indoors. Daily sunscreen application, whether you are leaving the house or not, is important. It can help protect you from skin cancer, slow the ageing process and boost your skincare routine.
The 5 benefits of wearing sunscreen indoors
You may not be spending hours sun baking in the sun's harsh rays while inside on your couch during a day at home, but you are still exposed to UV rays. While no one is preaching that skin cancers are caused by sun exposure at home or in the office, applying sunscreen indoors is considered best practice. Daily sunscreen application is one way to boost your skincare and sun safety to ensure ultimate protection.
1. Prevent premature ageing
The sun produces two types of ultraviolet light that can damage the skin - UVA and UVB rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, ultraviolet A rays (UVA rays) can penetrate deeply to cause damage, even through window glass and on cloudy days. You may not experience sunburn (caused by UVB rays), but the skin damage happens to the skin cells below the surface that you may not find until later when spots arise.
Consistent exposure to UVA rays can result in premature skin ageing, such as loss of elasticity and wrinkles.
Board-certified Dermatologist Dr. Robyn Gmyrek insists that it's crucial to wear sunscreen indoors year-round, as premature ageing is only a symptom of a more significant problem - a breakdown of collagen and tissue, which can contribute to skin cancer.
Without showing any signs of tanning or burning, it can be impossible to determine how much UVA exposure you are experiencing, making broad-spectrum sunscreen application the safest rule of thumb.
2. Protect yourself from skin cancer
This may be the most obvious reason to slap on some sunscreen; however, many are under the false assumption that the sun can't harm them while indoors.
Whether sitting at a computer by the window, spending your lunch break enjoying the fresh air or driving the kids around to various activities, UVB rays are at work constantly and will damage your skin.
UVB rays are the rays responsible for causing the inflammatory response which leads to sunburn. Once this sunburn peels, the cells that remain are susceptible to further damage over time, increasing your risk of developing skin cancer.
This is why skin cancer detection checks are recommended for everyone, even for the most 'indoorsy' people.
3. Block blue light emitted from screens
You may wonder if blue light is a myth or fact, with products such as blue light filters and lenses flooding the market.
We can't speak for the effect on the eyes, but many studies have been completed to determine the impact of blue light on the skin. Blue light is produced from digital screens, including phones, tablets, computers, and TVs.
Sunscreen is helpful for more than just 'screening the sun'. Mineral sunscreen, in particular, can provide a barrier between your skin and environmental pollutants, such as blue light, perfumes, aerosols, carbon monoxide and microplastics. Sunscreen reduces eczema flare ups, premature ageing, and of course, skin cancer.
Despite blue light not being able to cause sunburn, it can be incredibly harmful to the skin. The free radicals formed by blue light can cause premature ageing, age spots from increased melanin and sagging from a decrease in collagen.
A study in the Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Journal found that blue light decreases carotenoids in the skin, indicating exposure to free radicals.
4. Boost your skincare routine
Skincare routines are one of the hottest topics lately. Chemical compounds like "retinol" and "hyaluronic acid" are suddenly a part of everyday language.
However, the fact remains that you could spend hundreds on the best skincare products on the market, and they won't live up to their potential without the use of SPF 30+ to prevent anti-ageing. Not only will neglecting sunscreen make your products less effective, but the products could put your skin at higher risk while exposed to the sun.
According to Healthline, the use of retinol can make your skin more prone to sunburn. Products such as retinol can thin the outer layer of the skin, increasing sun sensitivity and, therefore, the risk of developing skin cancer.
In addition, certain exfoliants and salicylic acids used in many skincare products can leave your skin more susceptible to damage from UV rays, and it can be challenging to make sure that every product you use is safe when combined with the sun.
After applying your cleansers, toners, serums, and oils, a good slathering of sunscreen will keep all the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.
5. Keep your skin moisturised
Gone are the days of squeezing out a thick, poorly absorbing blob of gunk and applying it to your face, feeling acne instantly forming at the point of contact.
Sunscreen has come a long way in the past decade, as scientists and skincare companies have begun to realise that people don't want to sacrifice their skin health or carefully applied makeup by smattering a thick white sheen over their face.
In fact, many sunscreen options have now been developed to be combined with daily moisturising options, or as additions to makeup application, making wearing sunscreen year round an easy task.
Sunscreens are now packed with high-quality, skin pampering ingredients. It absorbs fast, works effectively and feels luxurious. Not only will you enjoy applying it, you won't even notice it once rubbed in. Think of your sunscreen application not as a chore but as an essential part of your skincare routine.
What is the best sunscreen to wear indoors?
The best sunscreen is the one that you will remember and want to use, whether that is a luxurious organic sunscreen, powdered sunscreen to top up your protection throughout the day, or an affordable family-sized pump bottle always placed within easy reach.
Ensure your SPF is at least 30+, and keep your application regular. You will soon thank yourself for the peace of mind and glowy skin that will quickly become your new normal.
Indoor sunscreen options we love
- La Roche Posay Anthelios 50 Mineral Tinted Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
- Lightweight, tinted, broad spectrum, SPF 50 sunscreen designed especially for sensitive skin types.
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen
- Lightweight, non-greasy, broad spectrum sunscreen
- CeraVe Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50 Face Lotion
- Designed as a moisturising face lotion as well as a sun protective barrier for daily use
- Mecca Cosmetica Broad Spectrum UVA and UVB Defence Skin Protecting Sunscreen
- Created to go under makeup while still providing excellent protection from the sun's rays
- Alpha-H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+
- Combining antioxidant moisturising with protection from sun damage
- Ultra Viollete Clean Screen SPF 30
- A mineral based sunscreen designed for oily skin, combination skin or acne prone skin types
- DermaVeen Sensitive Sun SPF 50
- An Australian made body moisturiser crossed with sun protection to prevent skin damage while combating dry skin
- Cancer Council Face Day Wear Moisturiser Invisible SPF50+
- Hydrating, protective and affordable for daily use.
- Avene Aqua-Fluid SPF50+
- Ultralight with a fluid consistency to make application simple, with a sheer finish
How often do I need to reapply sunscreen indoors?
It's always important to apply sunscreen regularly, whether you are indoors or outside. We recommend reapplying sunscreen every 4-6 hours indoors. It may seem like a lot at first, but remember, sun damage is cumulative and exposed skin is at risk of UV rays inside and out.
The friendly doctors at SunDoctors are happy to answer your skin-related questions.
If you want to take your skincare to the next level, there is nothing better than a professional skin check to provide a unique certainty to your skin health.
To book your annual skin check, click here or call us on 13SKIN for more information.