Staying In? Don't Forget Sunscreen!

By Minji

  • Even if you're indoors mostly these days, it's important to remember to wear sunscreen daily
  • Harmful UVA rays can penetrate most windows and cause sun damage to your skin
  • Also take a look at your car windows to make sure your skin is adequately protected from the sun, skincare enemy #1!

I mostly work from home so am used to staying home a lot. As a natural introvert, I actually love staying in usually.  However, with the recent Coronovirus related closures, even I’ve started to feel a bit of cabin fever.  Even when indoors, I find myself gravitating towards big windows through which I can see and feel the outside world.  It’s never been so enjoyable to see squirrels in the trees, the neighborhood dogs and their owners taking leisurely walks and the fresh flowers starting to bloom with the arrival of spring.  Equally pleasing is to feel the outdoors, mostly through the natural sunlight coming through my windows.

Did you catch that last part … UV rays (numero uno enemy to the skin!) penetrate windows!  These days, many of us are getting up with almost no intention of going outside so you might not be actively thinking about sunscreen application.  If you’re anything like me, you also might not even ever get out of your cozy pjs and bathrobe and the most exciting decision to make is what to binge watch on Netflix and what type of food to order in…but I digress.  In any case, recently it’s hard to imagine putting in the effort to put on sunscreen daily. 

According to the American Cancer Society, the glass generally used for home windows is effective at blocking out most UVB rays, but doesn’t offer much protection from UVA rays.  I discussed UVA and UVB rays in detail previously in my article about sunscreen, but to recap, UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply than UVB, and cause wrinkles, sagging and other bummers.  UVB rays damage the skin’s upper surface and cause sunburn.  Both can contribute to causing skin cancer.  The key takeaway here is that even if you’re indoors all day, if you’re near windows, you likely are still getting exposed to harsh UVA rays.  If you want to prevent possible skin damage and unnecessary fine lines and wrinkles, applying sunscreen daily is still a must!

In addition to being careful and wearing sunscreen while indoors, you should also take a look at your car.  Although in most cases your main windshield should be treated to protect against both UVA and UVB rays, often your side and rear windows are not.  Studies have shown that for people who drive prolonged periods of time (I would guess that’s most of us in LA!), sun damage is noticeably worse on the left side of the face as compared to the right – maybe check your sides!

So it becomes even more important to make sure that you’re applying sunscreen regularly, not just to your face but also your neck and hands.  Besides sunscreen, for your car windows, I recommend you get them tinted to add an additional layer of protection from the sun – I have.  Just remember that there are rules and regulations related to tinting your car windows so talk to experts in your area to ensure you’re in compliance. 

I hope all of you are making the best of being indoors – it might be a perfect time to revisit your skincare and wellness rituals and considering building a multi-step daily routine that works for you.  In any case, to adequately protect your skin, be sure to apply sunscreen on a day-to-day basis, whether you plan to venture out or not. Skincare is a long-term game and your skin will remember the difference in effort and care!