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Do you need to use sunscreen when at home?

sunscreen when at home
Posted date on May 31, 2021

Amid the current pandemic situation, we have been spending the majority of our days working or simply lazing about the house. Because of this,  most people tend to slack off on their daily skincare routine, especially the application of sunscreens.

In this blog, I will answer some of the most common questions regarding sunscreens, their benefits and how to incorporate them into our daily skincare routine for a blemish-free, healthy looking skin.

Q. Should one wear sunscreen when at home?

It is a common misconception among most, that sunscreen is only required when stepping out into the sun. Not applying sunscreen while at home can be very damaging to your skin and even increases risk of skin cancers. 

The sun’s rays are primarily divided into two, UVA & UVB rays. While all windows in your house, car and offices are designed to keep out the UVB rays, UVA rays which can penetrate deeper than the UVB, can cause a significant decrease in the collagen production.

Some of the benefits of using sunscreen at home are:

  • Help protect against visible skin damage such as wrinkles, sunspots and pigmentation due to sun.

  • They are the best defence against melasma and other skin related cancers.

Q. How frequently should we reapply sunscreen while at home? 

Typically, a dermatologist would recommend that you reapply sunscreen every 3-4 hours. This ensures that you get the sun protection that you are looking for. If you take a swim or step out in the sun for errands, it is advised that you reapply after 80-120 mins for maximum defense against the sun.


Q. Should we wear sunscreen while sitting in front of a computer screen?

Devices such as computers, mobile phones and even fluorescent bulbs emit blue light that can cause serious damage to your skin. They are known to cause:

  • Hormonal changes

  • Skin discolouration and pigmentation

  • Inflammation

Therefore it is imperative that you make sunscreen a part of your skincare routine, even while at home to help protect your skin against prolonged blue light exposure.

Q. How do I know which sunscreen is the best for my skin type? 

For a thorough review of your skin type and requirements, it is always better to consult an expert dermatologist. They will access your skin based on several factors and recommend the best suitable one for you.

Generally, broad spectrum sunscreens, i.e, sunscreens that offer protection from both UVA and UVB rays are highly recommended. Keep in mind that your sunscreen should have an SPF of 30 or above, as they are proven to effectively keep away harmful rays and reduce the risk of skin cancers.

Q. How much SPF is ideal for Indian weather conditions?

Keeping in mind the weather conditions in India, a sunscreen with an SPF between 15 and 30 is suggested by dermatologists. If you are someone who spends a significant amount of the day outside, consider opting for a sunscreen with an SPF of 50.

Q. Do I need sunscreen if the moisturizer has SPF?

The benefits of a sunscreen vs a moisturizer with SPF has been a common concern among many patients. As a dermatologist, I would not recommend the use of a moisturizer with SPF over a skincare routine that involves both a moisturizer and a sunscreen.

This is because the method of action of both these products is very different. While a moisturizer’s purpose is to penetrate the skin, a sunscreen is meant to sit on your skin shielding the sun’s rays that may cause harm. So if you are applying a moisturizer with an SPF and skipping the sunscreen, the actual SPF that’s protecting your skin is almost halved because it gets diluted and soaked into the skin. Where you should be getting an SPF 30 protection, you’ll now only have an SPF 15 working against the sun’s rays which is not enough for your skin.

Therefore it is always advised that you first apply a moisturizer and then apply sunscreen and make it a part of your daily skincare routine.

I hope this helped you get some of the answers that you are looking for. If you are looking for any further clarifications or have any other queries, do write to me in the comment section below. 

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