Is Sunscreen Required Indoors?


After months of solitude, you’ve probably become acclimated to the new normal of working from home, social isolation, and little time spent in public places. You could have created an adult summer camp in your garden, complete with evenings spent sipping wine from your decanter over a fire pit. Your outdoor projection screen is showing your favorite movie at the same time, and your portable Bluetooth speakers are providing high-quality audio.

You undoubtedly already know how important it is to reapply sunscreen after swimming or working up a sweat outside.

With no intentions to leave the house, you are at home enjoying your favorite program. Does using sunscreen still make sense?


If you get out of bed, drive to work where you sit at a desk all day, then you may believe that you don’t need sunscreen. Or perhaps you’re enjoying a leisurely Sunday binge-watching your preferred program and have no plans to apply sunscreen or brush your hair.


Is it still necessary to apply sunscreen indoors now that most individuals who work from home spend their days inside? What facial sunscreen should you use while you’re working inside?

To get the answers to these questions as well as whether or not you should wear SPF inside, we spoke with medical professionals.

Is Sunscreen Required Indoors?

According to four of the five dermatologists we spoke with, you should apply sunscreen inside. Why is this happening, exactly?

If you’re seated next to a window or in front of a computer screen, you’re exposing yourself to light that might harm your skin. You should apply SPF indoors for three main reasons, all of which are connected to your level of exposure:

  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays
  • Blue light from smart devices, computers and TVs


Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays vs. sunscreen

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, ultraviolet radiation’s “A rays will penetrate windows and cloud cover,” leading to aging symptoms including loss of elasticity and wrinkles. Sadly, not all windows have been upgraded to block the sun’s harmful rays. There is no need to use sunscreen unless you are in a space with solar window films.

UVA radiation prematurely ages the skin by destroying collagen and elastic tissue, which promotes the growth of skin malignancies. You might not be aware of how much UVA you are exposing yourself to because it does not promote tanning.


Sunscreen vs Ultraviolet B rays

Contrarily, ultraviolet B rays can harm the DNA of the skin, resulting in an inflammatory response that causes red sunburns.

A sunburn peels when the cells are destroyed beyond repair and stop functioning. Exposure causes these cells to steadily deteriorate over time, which eventually results in skin cancer.

Sunscreen vs blue light

Your skin may be affected in two different ways by blue light from digital devices like your monitor, phone, tablet, and television.

  • By promoting the growth of melanin or pigmentation in the skin, blue light can result in melasma and age spots.
  • Blue light can also release free radicals, which can lead to inflammation and the breakdown of the skin’s collagen and elastic structure.

What if you decide against applying sunscreen while inside?

If you ask us, the solution to this issue is simple: To escape the heat, take a rest. Get up from your chair or close the curtains.

If you’re going to sit in front of a fan, definitely wear sunscreen.It isn’t the sole answer to the issue, though.

When you can’t escape the heat, as when you’re at the beach or out on a run, the risk of developing skin cancer outweighs any potential risks from chemical sunscreen use by a wide margin.


What happens, though, while you’re at home? Either leave the room or draw the drapes. If you merely keep sunlight out of your windows, no other indoor safety measures are required. The majority of medical professionals we spoke with advised wearing sunscreen indoors to shield yourself from the sun’s damaging rays, unless you work from home in a room without windows.

Whether you intend to be outside or not, use sunscreen every day to be safe. In the long term, it will protect your skin.


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