According to dermatologists, the reason individuals are advised to continue slathering on sunscreen despite spending the majority of their days inside at home has to do with windows.
Standard glass windows block UVB but not UVA rays, which can penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB rays, are the main contributing factor to photo-ageing - which are changes seen as dark spots, wrinkles, and leathery textured skin.” A good way to remember is to think of UVA rays as 'Aging' and UVB as 'Burning.'
In addition to ageing, UVA rays are also proven to contribute to the development of skin cancer, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation.
The risk is especially high for those who are sitting close to a window, or in a room with lots of sunlight.
There is a cumulative effect of exposure from UVA that is often not recognized, for example sun damage on the left side of the face (as opposed to the right side) can be found on drivers since UVA penetrates the driver side window.
Dermatologists add that it doesn’t hurt to protect yourself against blue light. Blue light is neither UVA or UVB light. It has a short wavelength and high energy. There are natural sources of it (like the sun), but it can also come from man-made devices like LED, smartphones, computers, and fluorescence. Your movie, TV watching, FaceTime and Zoom meetings, all of your screen time all contribute to your blue-light exposure.
And while it may mean adding another step to your skincare routine, most dermatologists recommend using a broad spectrum sunscreen rather than relying solely on cosmetic products that have added sun protection factor (SPF), as SPF in cosmetics alone does not protect against UVA rays and blue light.