Why You Need SPF Indoors
The sun is out, but we hoomans are not out as much as we might be ordinarily at this time of year. You might be wondering why you need SPF indoors. We’re entering a summer period where many of us are going to be very well-acquainted with our back gardens, our balconies, or our local parks, and we are happy to be so. Some of us might choose to skip the outdoors altogether and keep more closely to our homes.
Keeping ourselves and our loved ones and neighbours safe and well will be something that we’re all super vigilant about over the next period. The summer weather and sunshine can give us a great boost, but some of us might think that if we’re skipping the sun in a big way, and not taking our sun-holidays, then we can be SPF-free. In what may be a surprise to none of you, I’m about to bust this myth.
There’s a reason that I preach the nerdie gospel of SPF, 365. Even on Christmas Day, we should be applying our SPF. This is because there is more than one way that light can affect our skin, and wearing SPF indoors is more important now than ever.
What Is UV Light?
There are two main types of UV light that we discuss when talking about light and the skin. These are UVA and UVB rays.
UVB rays are the kind of rays that can burn the upper layers of our skin and result in the red, peeling sunburns that we’re all familiar with. In Ireland, these are generally only present from May to September, but this is not an exact science. UVB rays are associated with the development of skin cancer, as well as accelerated skin ageing.
UVA rays penetrate more deeply into the skin, and can be associated premature ageing, eye damage, and skin cancer. UVA is around all year-round. It can penetrate some glass, which means it streams into the house through windows. This is the reason that we say that all non-cave-dwelling hoomans need SPF every days of their lives.
It’s easier to remember to apply SPF before we head outside, but we can get complacent in our own homes!
Protecting ourselves from sunlight is very important, but sunlight is not the enemy – we do need it to prompt our bodies into producing vitamin D, and it’s also very important for our mood. Keeping sun-safe while keeping positive has never been simpler. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF before heading out into the great outdoors and into sun exposure, and make sure you’re wearing sun-protective clothes. This is as simple as a funky pair of sunglasses (yes, please), a big Grace Kelly-style sunhat, and sleeves!
Why Do I Need To Wear SPF Indoors?
Apart from UVA and UVB light, there is such a thing as HEV light. HEV stands for high-energy visible light. HEV light is emitted by the sun, which is why we suggest a broad-spectrum SPF, but it is also emitted by things like our phones, our screens, and our electrical lights. I don’t know about you, but I have definitely found myself more reliant on screens than ever before, whether it’s for work, play, or keeping in touch with my friends and family through video chats!
The studies on HEV are in their infancy now, as our lives have become swiftly more centred on technology, but there is evidence to support the notion that HEV light can cause similar damage to the skin as UV light, which is another reason to protect the skin even while indoors.
Mineral SPFs which contain zinc oxide can be particularly effective when it comes to minimizing the effects of HEV light on the skin.
Exposure to UV light (and HEV light) can cause the skin oxidative stress, which is the effect for which we apply antioxidants to our skin. In order to continue protecting our skin, we might need to consider SPFs with antioxidant protection, too.
Applying antioxidant serums can also be a wise move in order to protect skin from this stress, as well as preserving general skin health – and eating an antioxidant-rich diet, too.
This everyday mineral SPF cream uses a mineral filter (zinc oxide), and has a light peachy tint to avoid post-SPF ghostliness. It does not cause photo flashback, and is non-comedogenic, meaning it does not sit in pores and block them which can create breakouts. It’s protective against blue light, UVA, UVA, infrared – everything, which makes it ideal to put on before your Zoom calls. It’s also perfect for wearing outdoors. Tap half a spoonful of it into your skin after applying your serums in the AM - make sure to tap and not rub it in, as we believe that tapping is the most effective mode of application. It’s suitable for all hoomans, and is non comedogenic meaning that it doesn’t block pores, so suitable even for hoomans more prone to oiliness!
This shine-reducing broad-spectrum SPF day moisturiser is suitable for breakout-prone skin and providing a matte finish. It’s UVA and UVB protective, and uses natural tapioca to help to control shine. It contains antioxidants in the form of green tea extract, willow bark extract, and vitamin C to protect against pollution. It’s ideal for hoomans with more oil or congestion-prone skin.
This SPF is suitable for hoomans who might be seeking a bit more hydration in their routine. This SPF provides long-lasting moisturisation and protection against UVA and UVB rays. It is particularly suited to dry, dehydrated or rosacea-prone skin. It’s formulated to be sheer and residue-free. This SPF contains a blend of antioxidants to help tackle the oxidative stress of which environmental factors and sun exposure can cause to skin. Apply it post-cleanse in the morning and ideally wait 30 minutes before sun-exposure!
This ultra-sheer, mattifying treatment comes complete with a tint to help it blend into your skin. It also has a PHA/Bionic complex which is commonplace in many products from NeoStrata. This SPF is full of antioxidants to provide protection from oxidative stress. It’s protective against UVA and UVB rays, and is particularly suited to hoomans who might suffer from redness, sensitivity, and congestion!
Tips for Indoor Light Protection
Apart from wearing a broad-spectrum SPF, you might consider wearing glasses with a blue-light filter in them, if you’re spending a lot of time in front of the screen. This can help to reduce eye-stress and strain and help to protect eyes from HEV light. They might make the word appear very slightly yellow, but it’s unnoticeable unless you’re doing very colour sensitive work on your screens.
One of our nerdiest favourites when it comes to blue light blocking glasses has got to be Ambr Eyewear. They stock glasses which don’t require a prescription but will simply protect your eyes from blue-light, as well as stocking prescription specs for the daily glasses-wearers among us!
You can also apply a blue-light filter (either physical or digital) to your screens, which can cut down on exposure. There is usually a setting on your phone which can do the same thing.
Choosing the correct setting can also help your body to find its natural Circadian rhythm – skin savvy AND sleep hygienic? A winning combo.
If you’re wondering what SPF might suit you the best, then we might direct you to our team of Nerds and Nerdettes on the Nerd Network. They can help you to select the best SPF for you and your skin concerns, and help to decide on a routine which can help to nourish and protect your skin for years to come.