Should You Wear Sunscreen while Working from Home?

Why slapping on some SPF30+ is required even when at the home office.

Should You Wear Sunscreen while Working from Home?

It’s hard to imagine our morning routine once consisted of rushing out the door to face an uncomfortable, crowded commute to work. Many of us have embraced the new normal (attending virtual meetings in our pyjamas, that is). As we crawl over from our beds to our desks, I’m sure the last thing on our minds is our proximity to the window. Or the UV rays that may be seeping through it.

Recently, I’ve seen several posts written by dermatologists that discuss the importance of wearing sunscreen indoors. Now, I know what you may be thinking:

“I barely wear that greasy stuff outside. Why would I subject myself to that torment in any other situation?”

True, but hear me out.

According to my research, many factors determine whether you need to wear sunscreen (indoors or outdoors). You see, there are two types of ultraviolet radiation that affect our skin. Although both types can cause skin cancer and premature ageing, UVA rays are far more harmful. We grew up believing we should only wear sunscreen when it’s sunny outside. Unfortunately, this is an outdated piece of advice skincare specialists are still trying to defy.

UVB rays help the body make vitamin D, and they also cause sunburn. These rays can’t pass through windows and are mostly a problem when the sun is at its highest point in the sky. The sun is at its highest point when a) it’s summer, and b) the time is somewhere between 11 am – 3 pm.

UVA rays are always in the atmosphere, no matter what time of day, month, or year. They are known to pass through glass and can penetrate more layers of skin than UVB can.

So, what can we do about it?

Well, chances are, if your desk is away from the window, you might be okay. Most of the time, however, we’re exposing ourselves to sunlight every day, even amid the strictest lockdown measures. Going grocery shopping, taking the dog for a walk, or even hanging up the washing could potentially lead to harmful sun exposure.

When in doubt:

Buy a sunscreen that’s SPF 30 (or above) and reapply every two hours, seek shade when necessary and, give up on achieving that summer glow. Chances are, we’ll still be in lockdown before anyone gets to see it.