NOW READING Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors — Even If You’re Not Near a Window
April 9, 2020

Why You Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors — Even If You’re Not Near a Window

Photodamage is no joke, and apparently it can find you even in self-isolation.


Now that we are all quarantined in our home, binge watching Love is Blind or Tiger King, baking sourdough, or playing Stardew Valley while listening to audio books (highly recommend this method of coping with isolation), we may or may not be skipping some skincare steps. Me, personally? My routine is down to three or four steps. I just can’t be bothered to do much more than that, seeing as no other human has seen my face in 14 days except for my boyfriend.


But even though I’ve pared back my skincare routine to the bare essentials, there is one step that I still definitely do not skip: sunscreen. You might think it’s counterintuitive. I mean, you’re not going outside, who cares? Sun? I don’t even know her. Yet the sun’s pesky rays can still damage your skin, even while you’re working on the couch. Yes, it’s me, Sheryll, telling you yet again, that you should wear sunscreen indoors, outdoors, and at all times, even during this period of stay-at-home self-isolation.



wear sunscreen indoors
Unsplash/Thought Catalog



UVA rays penetrate windows


So, we know that there are different kinds of harmful rays that the sun emits. Let’s break them down.


UVB Rays: B = Burning

These are the rays that give you painful sunburns, tan your skin, and cause melanoma (aka skin cancer).


UVA Rays: A = Aging

These are the rays that cause cellular damage and you literally can’t escape them. These rays are still able to damage your skin through clouds, windows, rainy days, snowy days, and everything in between.


So, you see that even though you’re inside and not really receiving tons of UVB rays (according to Chicago esthetician Ashley White, most windows filter out these harmful rays), you’re still susceptible to damaging UVA rays. UVA rays cause a myriad of problems: They decrease collagen production (bye bye bouncy, plump skin), they cause fine lines and wrinkles, dark spots, and that signature leathery skin look. UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays and cause an incredible amount of photodamage to the skin. In other words, UVA rays are no joke.



wear sunscreen indoors
Unsplash/Lenin Estrada



My work desk is right next to a window. The right side of my face is constantly in the sun. My couch is also right next to a window where the left side of my face is exposed to the sun. I’m getting sun at all times, which is nice, but I’m trying to look a youthful 30 for the next 20 years, okay!



But Sheryll, I’m not near a window


So, what if you have your windows closed? What if you literally get no sunlight at all? Not so fast! All of those Zoom meetings (and Zoom happy hours with friends) are also taking a toll on your skin. Our computers, iPads, and cell phones emit HEVL, or high energy visible light, aka blue light. These rays also penetrate the skin and cause photodamage, resulting in melasma and hyperpigmentation. Who knew?!


And also, if you do happen to take a nice walk outdoors (which I highly recommend that you do, at least once a day for your mental health, as long as it’s safe), you’re going to need sunscreen. Don’t get caught slippin’!



Unsplash/Avel Chuklanov



So, any way you slice and dice it, wearing sunscreen indoors is imperative if you don’t want to get sun damage. I recommend using an SPF of 30 or more with broad spectrum protection. Broad spectrum protection means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays. My current favorite sunscreens? Black Girl Sunscreen, which has 30 SPF and zero white cast. It feels just like a moisturizer and is perfect for a day spent indoors. I also like the Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel, which is perfect for people with oily, acne prone, or combination skin.


Do you wear sunscreen indoors? If not, are you going to start? Let me know where you stand!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.




Sunscreen is definitely a skin saver all the time! Try it out for just a week at first and I guarantee you’ll feel a difference!


This is so true. The only time sunscreen isn't needed is at night, otherwise you should always have it on to prevent aging, uneven skin tone, and possibly health complications.


Sunscreen is my holy grail. I usually get a moisturizing one with 50 spf and my skin glows instead of looking greasy. It’s my must have in my bag. I can stress enough about how important sunscreen is for your skin.


Very true and informative.


I never took sunscreen seriously until I enrolled in esthetician school. SPF is a MUST ! It is one of the most important steps in a skincare regimen.


Yes and YES! I wear sunscreen indoors in my face and exposed skin. It definitely makes a big difference, my skin is glowing and protected always!


wearing sunscreen indoors?! YES !!! SUNSCREEN Is like the holy grail lol
If theres one thing I would tell my younger self is Sunscreen is your BFF! and yes even indoors. Im always telling friends, family and clients the importance of sunscreen even on a rainy day.


As a California native, sunscreen wasn't something I took seriously. Then I got skin cancer. Round one was basal cell, but round two was melanoma. While late to the "wear it every day without fail" party, sunscreen is now a staple every day of the year. I can't stress this enough ... your past will come back to haunt you. When you see my surgical scars, you'll change your ways. I guarantee it. Thanks for keeping everyone updated, Sheryll.


Yesss sunscreen is a super important step in your skincare routine even if you go outside to go just go check the mail! Love this information


So glad I always put my spf on every day! Never even thought of the screen lights taking an effect! Genius!


Best from @beautytapoffical

Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.