We all know how important it is to wear SPF these days. Sun damage can lead to a number of skin and health issues, including cancers, so protecting ourselves from outside aggressors is crucial. But now we are all working from home and rarely leaving the house, do we still need to wear SPF inside on our faces?
Well, according to the experts, it’s best to still slather it on. This is because if we’re anywhere near a window, we are still in danger of sun damage. ‘Glass effectively blocks UVB, but about 75 per cent of UVA penetrates glass,’ explains Lisa Franklin, skin expert and facialist.
UVB rays are the ones that can cause sunburn, so you’re at little risk of that from inside. But UVA rays are the rays you really need to be concerned about, as they’re the UV wavelength that can cause skin damage, ageing, and even cancers. ‘The UVA rays are known as silent killers: you don’t feel them like you would the burning rays, but they penetrate deeper and do more damage to key ingredients that give your skin firmness and elasticity,’ explains Dr Yusra Al-Mukhtar, founder of dryusra.com.
It may sound extreme, but according to Hadley King, a board-certified dermatologist in New York (who spoke to Allure), you should also follow the same rules of re-application when inside. ‘If you are near a window, the same rules apply: reapply once every couple of hours,’ she advises. As many of us might be foregoing make-up right now while working from home, this may be slightly easier than normal.
Light from the outside isn’t the only thing you should be aware of while working from home, either. ‘Free radical damage emitted by UV light doesn’t only come from the sun but also the little thing that we keep staring at almost everyday: our screens,’ says Ksenia Selivanova, co-founder of Lion/ne.
She continues: ‘The evidence is still low, but it is believed that the blue light emitted by our screens can lead to premature ageing. Therefore, topping up your daily sunscreen with antioxidants can also protect your skin for this other light too.’
Therefore in short, if you’re sitting by a window, popping out for a lunchtime walk, or using your laptop and phone all day, you should absolutely still apply some facial SPF.