You heard it right, the windows and walls that separate you from the outside world don’t necessarily protect you from sneaky UVA and UVB rays. Learn how-and why- the arguments you’ve heard about foregoing sunscreen while inside are wrong and get the scoop on which sunscreens keep your skin safe while you’re safe inside.
This last year has been one consisting of sitting inside- in massive proportions. A vast majority of people have earnestly never spent this much time at home until now, and as such our routines have changed. Loungewear sales spiked, shoe sales slowed, Zoom memberships skyrocketed, and many have confessed to leaving one crucial step out of their skincare routine, naively thinking they don’t need it.
That’s right, I’m talking about sunscreen. Whether you’re a fan or not, sunscreen will always be a crucial step in the routine, no matter how much time you spend directly in the sun’s rays.
Remember, There’s Two Kinds of UV Light to Protect Yourself From
The argument that windows block out damaging UV light is the most common rebuttal when trying to get someone to wear sunscreen inside, so let’s get to the bottom of it.
This argument is only half true: glass in common household windows and cars filter out about 90% of UVB rays (the rays that cause immediate sunburn), so there is little risk of sunburn, but it does not filter UVA rays one bit. These rays are sneaky, causing long-term, sometimes serious, sun damage that will appear with age, like sun spots and wrinkles. This means that if you’re driving or even sitting next to a window reading without proper UVA / UVB sun protection, you are putting your skin at risk in the long term.
Skincare is a marathon, not a sprint, and if that requires wearing SPF in my apartment or while commuting on the subway, then so be it!
Protect Yourself With What You Know
Our grandmothers and mothers would have been lucky to have had half the information about sun protection that we have access to today, so don’t let it go to waste!
“Sunscreen is important” is not the end of the conversation. Substituting instead “sunscreen is a long-term lifesaver” is much more accurate. Windows and glass do not filter out UVA rays, which are known to cause longer-term damage to the skin because they penetrate the dermis deeper than UVB rays. With this, prolonged UVA exposure can increase the possibility of cell mutation and DNA damage (aka various forms of skin cancer), which is something we all want to work to avoid.
Studies have shown that instances of skin cancer are far more common on the driver’s side of the face and body, demonstrating how ineffective glass is when it comes to filtering out those harmful rays. In addition, visible photodamage (think: deeper lines, loss of elasticity) is far more likely to occur on the left side of the face due to pesky and dangerous sun rays.
Antioxidants Can Help
If you don’t have a favorite antioxidant, do you even have an extensive routine? Kidding! While antioxidants are not equivalent to sunscreen, they can be helpful in terms of reducing damage on the skin. While UV rays weaken collagen and elastin, antioxidants help to repair elastin and produce more collagen, thus counteracting some of the visual effects of sun damage.
Products with green tea (a natural antioxidant), like Then I Met You’s Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel, work to protect the skin from free radicals. Vitamin E, a hero antioxidant, increases the skin’s production of collagen and nourishes the skin barrier. If you’re looking for a fix of this saviour compound, you can apply Klair’s Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask.
It can be hard to see effects from using an antioxidant but like we said, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, and you’ll reap the benefits with time and consistent usage.
Sunscreens You Won’t Mind Wearing Every Day
By now, you understand the importance of applying sunscreen, but you still might be thinking, “Sunscreen is still one of the least favorite parts of my routine.” We don’t blame you, but we don’t think you’ve looked hard enough into the world of sun care. Sunscreen has just as many interesting products and variants as serums and acids.
See some of our top picks and best reviewed on Soko Glam that you won’t mind wearing every day.
Neogen Day-Light Protection Sun Screen: One of the most reviewed sunscreens, and one of the highest, this lightweight fluid feels barely there on skin and leaves behind a subtle dew. It even won a Soko Glam Best of K-Beauty award in 2016! Added ingredients such as rose and raspberry extracts add deeper nourishment to the skin, leaving your skin plump and bouncy – the AC or heat in your apartment won’t stand a chance at dehydrating your skin.
Acwell UV Cut Waterproof Sun Cream: Listen, one of the most common concerns around wearing sunscreen, especially inside, is the fear of breakouts – this is totally understandable! This formula contains niacinamide, which is great for sebum control, and other calming ingredients like aloe and chamomile. Together, this works to reduce breakouts and help calm the look of irritated or sensitive skin.
Papa Recipe Bombee Moist Sun Essence: Sunscreen that hydrates is one thing, but sunscreen that actually works to strengthen your skin’s natural moisture barrier? That’s a whole other level. This sun essence is, just like an essence: lightweight, non-greasy, and of course, no white cast. But the added benefits of honey, propolis, and royal jelly are the true saviors, as they work to repair damaged skin barriers to lock in all other ingredients and moisture.