Newsflash: Even if you avoid the sun at all costs, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook when it comes to sunscreen.
But do you need sunscreen at home?
You already know that you need sunscreen when you’re spending time outdoors—the sun’s rays can damage skin in as little as 15 minutes.
Believe it or not, yes – sunscreen can protect your skin even when you’re inside. Here’s what you need to know:
When do you need sunscreen indoors?
There are two potential culprits for skin damage indoors: windows and electronic devices.
UVA rays from the sun can penetrate the windows of your home, making sunscreen essential even when you’re inside, says Joshua Zeichner, MD, of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in the Department of Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Exceptions: If you live in a windowless room or at night, you don’t need to worry about UV rays.
It’s also important to consider your exposure to blue light from LED screens and how it might affect your skin.
“When you’re indoors, you’re at risk of exposure to high-energy visible light,” says Zeichner.
HEV light, aka blue light, may be associated with signs of aging. Certain types of sunscreen will protect against blue light along with UV rays.
What kind of SPF should I use indoors?
There are many different sunscreens on the market and it can be difficult to figure out which one is the best.
When you’re looking for an indoor SPF, Zeichner recommends making sure a product with SPF 30 and higher is broad spectrum (meaning it protects against both UVA and UVB rays).
“I generally recommend using a zinc-based sunscreen when you’re indoors,” says Zeichner. “Zinc oxide provides UV protection and also some level of protection against high-energy visible light.”
Follow the usual rules for application, Zeichner adds: Use a quarter-sized amount and apply it all over your face and any exposed skin.
Reapply every two hours.
3 Indoor Sunscreens to Try for Daily Suncare
When you’re choosing a daily wear sunscreen, look for a gentle, mild mineral sunscreen that won’t irritate your skin.
Here are three great options to try:
1. Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
2. Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50
3. Solara Suncare Time Traveler SPF 30