Do I Still Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors?

So you’re lazing at your home on a lazy Sunday all sprawled out on your couch with no intention of stepping a foot outside. Besides, we’re still in an ongoing health crisis that there’s actually no other important things to go out for other than going on a grocery run. So if that’s the case, do you still need to wear sunscreen? 

One of the most common misconceptions that we know when it comes to sun protection is that “there is no need to put sunscreen on when you’re indoors”. Unfortunately, this is something that needs to be debunked. 

According to dermatologists, having SPF protection even when you are indoors is important because even at home, you can still be exposed to potentially harmful light that can harm your skin in the long run. How so? Even if you’re just sitting near your windows, chilling on your balcony and even in front of your computer screen or gadgets, you are exposing yourself to potentially harmful light. 

We are talking about UV rays as in Ultraviolet Rays — UVA, UVB rays, and blue light. As we all know, when you hear about UVs, you know they’re not good, particularly on the skin. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of electromagnetic energy that comes from both natural and artificial sources such as the sun which is the most significant source of UV radiation. You can also get exposed to UV via lasers, black lights, and tanning beds. The blue light on the other hand comes from the sun and screens such as from computers, TVs, and smart devices.

Here’s some context—- UVA and UVB can penetrate causing oxidative stress to the first and second layers of the skin while Blue light can reach the third layer. UVs can cause sunburn and exposure to UV rays can cause premature aging of the skin and signs of sun damage such as wrinkles, sunspots, and even cancer. 

What is the difference between sunblock and sunscreen?

Aren’t they just the same? This is just one of the most common questions that people ask when it comes to skincare products. Sunblock and sunscreen both do the same job of protecting the skin from the harsh rays of the sun. What differs them from each other is how they protect the skin from the sun. 

Sunblock 

Sunblock literally does what it’s named for because once applied, it works as a physical barrier to the skin that blocks the damaging UV rays so they cannot penetrate. A sunblock is normally opaque and forms a white cast when spread. Its consistency is thicker than sunscreen so you don’t really need to reapply much on the skin because it stays for long periods and can be waterproof. These products are formulated to protect the skin against the harmful UVB rays that causes sunburn. Typically, sunblock includes zinc oxide or titanium oxide as its main components which block the UV rays from the sun. 

Sunscreen 

Sunscreen on the other hand is a skin protectant that is of the chemical defense side. It does not protect the skin by blocking the UV rays but rather absorbs the UV rays, specifically the UVAs before they reach the dermal layers and damages the skin. Sunscreen is lighter in consistency than sunblock. While the sunblock protects the skin for prolonged hours, sunscreen, however, must be reapplied every two to three hours for continued protection as it tends to breakdown after prolonged sun exposure. 

Products to try: 

Neutrogena Ultra Dry-Touch Sunscreen SPF 55ANESSA Perfect UV Sunscreen Skincare Milk SPF 50+Clinique Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Face CreamAivee Skin Sunscreen Foundation Cream SPF40Banana Boat Light as Air Sunscreen SPF 50Neutrogena Beach Defense SPF 70Aivee Skin Sunscreen Cream SPF 35

How to choose a good sunscreen

When choosing a sun protectant to use, the most important factor to consider is definitely your personal needs, habits, and activity level. If you’re out on the beach often, or into sports that brings you more sun exposure, you most definitely use sunblock with a good SPF. But remember that sunblock often gives that sticky feels and white cast on the skin, nevertheless, it still does a good job at blocking UVBs that can cause you sunburns. 

If you are someone who isn’t that active outside, and one who wears makeup, you can opt to use sunscreens with a good SPF to protect your skin from the sun under all the makeup. If you don’t want to feel sticky or greasy, you can opt to use the gel sunscreen which has a lighter consistency that can be applied with makeup. 

Here are three tips when choosing a good sunscreen for your daily use: 

1. Choose a sunscreen with “broad spectrum” protection. Find products that can protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays which are the main causes of aging, sunburn, and skin cancer.

2. Choose sunscreens with SPF (Sun Protection Factor) 30 or higher. The SPF number is the level of protection it provides against UVB rays. SPF 30 sunscreens filter out about 97% of UVB rays, SPF 50 sunscreens about 98%, and SPF 100 about 99%. The higher the SPF the better.

This is exactly why applying sunscreen is always the last step of any skincare routine. To be on the safe side, give your skin the protection it needs by applying sunscreen on a daily basis, whether you plan on going out or not. Your skin will definitely thank you for that for sure. 

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