Should you wear sunscreen indoor?
It seems to be a common misconception that sunscreen isn’t needed indoor, no matter if you sit at home, enjoying your favorite show without intention of going outside, or sit at your desk for work all day. In fact, there are still factors that may harm your skin and increase the chance of skin cancer, they are UVA, UVB, and blue light.
UVA and UVB
UVA, or Ultraviolet A rays, are generally linked to signs of aging like loss of elasticity and wrinkles. While UVB, also called Ultraviolet B rays, can cause damage on skin’s DNA, and lead to inflammatory response and red sunburns. Many home, car, and office windows can block most UVB rays, but they don’t offer protection from UVA. Even in the gloomy winter days or summer thunderstorms, UVA will still penetrate the clouds and reach your skin. So, scientists suggest that you’d better wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen no matter you’re outside or indoor.
In addition to UV rays, you may have also heard of another type of light — blue light, an artificial light released by electronics. Blue light from the electronic devices and the LED smartphone flashes can increase the production of melanin or pigmentation in the skin, leading to melasma and age spots. Also, it will activate free-radicals in your skin, which can damage skin cells.
That said, you’re living in an environment full of UV rays and blue light. To be on the safe side, wearing sunscreen should be on a daily basis. How to choose a sunscreen then? Either physical sunscreen or chemical sunscreen is good, and you just need to make sure the sunscreen is labeled “broad spectrum”, which means it blocks both UVA and UVB rays on exposed areas. Cover the sunscreen on your face, neck, back of hands, and décolletage.
For better protection, use an antioxidant serum before the sunscreen. Antioxidants can help block damage from free radicals, which usually come out from the sunlight, smoke, and pollution. You can also simply find a product that includes “antioxidant serum” on the label or in its name or contains the ingredients like vitamin C.