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Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen Inside?

A woman holds up a tube of sunscreen while applying it to her face.
LightField Studios/Shutterstock.com

Whether you heard it from your dermatologist or have a skin-care-loving friend who shouts at you all the time, you probably know that wearing sunscreen is a must. From helping prevent skin cancer to assisting in anti-aging, keeping your skin protected is a must. But what if you’re not outside?

While it might surprise you, you should be wearing sunscreen indoors.

Wearing sunscreen if you don’t plan on being outside might seem odd, but the reason for this is that UV rays can still penetrate glass windows. If you spend a lot of time near windows—especially if you work or sit near them for prolonged periods—it is recommended to wear sunscreen even when inside. You should opt for a sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and apply it to all areas of exposed skin including your neck and hands.

UV rays are one of the main causes of skin damage and premature aging like wrinkles. They can also increase your risk of different skin cancers such as melanoma. While some window glass might block the rays that cause sunburns (UVB rays), it can’t block out everything. Some rays (UVA rays) can still penetrate and these can cause hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and more.

If you stay inside, you should still reapply your sunscreen every two hours as you would outdoors. However, the need is less pressing, especially if you stay away from windows. If you happen to sweat, wash your face, or wipe your face for any reason, definitely re-apply sunscreen.

If you’re not already applying sunscreen every day —whether you’re outdoors or indoors—now is the time to start.

Abbey Ryan Abbey Ryan
Abbey Ryan is a storyteller, preferably of stories in written form. Across the 5 years of her professional writing career, her work has been featured in The Chicago Tribune, Amazon, The Medical News Today, and more. When she's not writing (which is rare), she's likely traveling, painting, or on the hunt for a good snack. Read Full Bio »
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