Why you need to wear sunscreen everyday (even indoors)

Why you need to wear sunscreen everyday (even indoors)

Any dermatologist's number one tip for younger looking skin is likely to be about the importance of wearing sunscreen each day, regardless of your daily activities and staying indoors. 

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By Sheree Mutton

Many of us enjoy spending time outdoors and while most of us apply SPF to help reduce premature ageing caused by sun exposure and to help protect against skin cancer, we don’t often take the same care when we’re indoors. Ask any dermatologist for their number one tip for younger looking skin and it’s likely to be about the importance of wearing sunscreen each day, regardless of your daily activities. 

Yet, there’s a misconception that you don’t need to apply a good-quality broad spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen when you’re at home or in the office. While it might not be front of mind, the truth is UVA rays can still penetrate the skin behind glass¹, subjecting you to premature photo-ageing (think wrinkles and pigmentation!) and skin cancer. The Melanoma Institute Australia states that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light causes 95 per cent of melanoma².

UVA rays penetrate further into the deeper layer of the skin (the dermis), breaking down collagen and elastin, and causing cell mutation³. It’s particularly important to wear a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50+ when driving, sitting by a window or working in an office or room with sunlight as standard window glass provides little protection in blocking UVA radiation. In fact, this type of smooth ordinary glass can allow about 75 per cent of UVA through, according to a study⁴. To protect against skin cancer, Cancer Council Australia recommends that people who spend extended periods of time in a vehicle when UV levels are 3 (Moderate on the UV Index) and above use sun protection⁵. Although you might not feel the sun’s rays warming your skin as you would at the beach, it doesn’t mean that skin cell damage is not occurring. 

So what is a great product to help keep your skin protected and looking healthy on a day-to-day basis? If you step into any supermarket or pharmacy, you will find a selection of moisturisers that have some form of SPF. But wearing a SPF50+ moisturising sunscreen daily is your greatest protection against the sun’s harmful rays and will help keep skin hydrated. Many women choose not to wear sunscreen everyday because they associate it with an oily, thick consistency that can affect the look of makeup and clog pores. 

Thankfully, SunSense has answered the calls of women for a lightweight everyday moisturiser with their SunSense Moisturising Face SPF 50+. This Australian made product contains moisturising Vitamin B3 (Nicotinamide) to help maintain the normal skin barrier function and Vitamin E, an antioxidant beneficial in improving the appearance of skin tone and texture. Better yet, it’s oil-free and has a non-comedogenic formula so it won’t clog pores. It’s also dermatologically tested and fragrance free, making it suitable for sensitive skin types. Just don’t forget to apply it to other exposed areas such as the neck and hands. 

Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Avoid prolonged sun exposure and wear protective clothing, hats and eyewear to further reduce risk. Frequent re-application is required.

 

1. UV Radiation & Your Skin | Skin Cancer Foundation [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 7]; Available from: https://www.skincancer.org/risk-factors/uv-radiation/

2. How do I protect my skin? | Melanoma Institute Australia [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 17]; Available from: https://www.melanoma.org.au/preventing-melanoma/how-do-i-protect-my-skin/

3. How ultraviolet (UV) radiation causes skin cancer | Cancer Council [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 7]; Available from: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/63295/cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sun-protection-sport-and-recreation/sun-protection-information-for-sporting-groups/how-ultraviolet-uv-radiation-causes-skin-cancer/

4. Duarte, Ida & Rotter, Anita & Malvestiti, Andrey & Hafner, Mariana. (2009). The role of glass as a barrier against the transmission of ultraviolet radiation: An experimental study. Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine.

5. Facts About Solar Ultraviolet Radiation | Cancer Council NSW [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 17]; Available from: https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/workplace_skincancerbooklet_uvradiationfacts.pdf