22nd June 2021
Over the past year or so, staying indoors has become the norm, and people will have made
changes to many things, including their skin-care routine.
But now things are starting to open back up, and with Summer well and truly here, it’s important
that we remember the most important step of our skincare routine: SPF. Even if you’re still
working from home, your skin isn’t exempt from sun exposure as UVB rays can beam through
As well as the sun causing harm to your skin, spending time on computers, tablets and phones
can be damaging too, as the blue light from these devices can cause photo-aging and cell
If you want the best skincare routine, then you need to add an SPF of at least 30 to wear on
your face. SPF 30 blocks out 97% of the sun’s UVB rays, and SPF 50 blocks out slightly more,
but unfortunately, no sunscreen can block out 100 percent of the sun’s UVB rays.
The best skincare routine starts with SPF, and if you want to keep your skin looking radiant and
healthy long term, you need to wear sunscreen daily. Here are a few of the benefits of wearing
It can reduce your risk of skin cancer – Sunscreen is one of the best protectants against skin
cancer and pre-cancers. The Skin Cancer Foundation has even stated that wearing SP5 15 on
a daily basis can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent
and can lower melanoma risk by 50 percent.
It can protect you can against sunburn – Sun light consists of two types of harmful rays, UVA
and UVB rays. UVA rays are associated with skin damage such as wrinkles and can be the
cause of some skin cancers. However, UVB rays are responsible for sunburn and are thought to
cause most skin cancers. Sunburn can be extremely painful, and it can cause the skin to
become red, hot and sore to the touch. It may even flake and peel after a few days, especially if
the burn isn’t treated with after sun.
It can reduce inflammation and redness – Along with sunburn, spending too much time in the
sun can cause reddening and inflammation of the skin. The redness and inflammation is caused
by the body directing more blood to the most skin damaged area.
It can prevent early onset of wrinkles – Long term exposure to UVA rays can prematurely
age the skin, and it results in a loss of collagen and skin elasticity. Collagen is a major
component to the skin, and it plays the role of strengthening the skin and keeping it hydrated.
It can stop blotchy skin and hyperpigmentation – Hyperpigmentation occurs because some
parts of the skin are exposed to the sunlight more than others, which causes darkening of the
skin in inconsistent way.
It can stop DNA damage – Many studies have found that sunlight can induce DNA damage,
including skin carcinogenesis and photoaging. Research shows that up to 90% of all symptoms
of premature skin aging are caused by UV.
SPF & the pandemic
Comparing the whole of last year, to the first 6 months of this year, there has been a combined
increase of 66.10% more people searching on Google for SPF products and hyperpigmentation,
even though we have been working from home and staying indoors more!
With plenty of time to focus on bettering one’s self during the pandemic, people are improving
the way they do things, including skincare. This year, there has been a few moments that have
encouraged people to up their SPF game, including doctors warning against the ‘sunscreen
contouring’ TikTok Trend, and the disastrous Gwenyth Paltrow SPF advice as seen on vogue.
We asked Elle MacLeman, Skincare Biochemist at The Derm Review, about wearing SPF
indoors, and she has this to say:
Why is wearing SPF indoors just as important as wearing it outdoors?
Wearing SPF indoors helps to prevent UVA rays from damaging your skin. While glass windows do filter
out some UV rays, in particular UVB rays, UVA rays are still able to pass through. In particular UVA rays,
which can not only lead to wrinkles through the breaking down of collagen and elastic tissues in the
skin, they can also lead to skin cancers.
Whilst SPF outdoors might often be seen to prevent sunburn, the other key reason to wear SPF is to
prevent and block out UVA which, unlike its UVB sibling, does not tan or burn you to reveal its impact.
In what ways can the sun get to you indoors?
The main ways the sun rays get to you indoors are through standard windows. Some windows now
come with protection against the UV rays, but many do not and especially in residential settings.
Though untreated glass can protect against UVB rays (on the whole), UVA can very easily pass through,
meaning it can directly fall on you if you work by or near a window.
Even if it’s cloudy outside, UVA rays still get through standard glass, meaning hot or cold, UVA can easily
damage your skin if you work by or near a window. This also goes for when you are in your car.
What could the possible damage be to skin if you don’t wear SPF indoors?
UV exposure indoors might lead to sunburning and resultant skin damage and potential cancer risks.
But, this is the more “visible” damage that can occur from wearing no SPF indoors and requires a
window to be open or for direct sun exposure, not filtered by glass.
For UVA rays, which can pass through most glass, not wearing SPF indoors may lead to the breakdown
of collagen and elastic tissues in the skin, leading to photo-aging; often eventually seen as dark spots,
wrinkles, and leathery textured skin.
In addition to the impact of UVA in terms of skin ageing, the regular damage of cells from UVA rays can
lead to skin cancers. Making the wearing of SPF indoors not only an anti-ageing tip but a health tip too.
So, if you’re not wearing SPF every day, indoors and outdoors, you need to get on the hype!