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Do you need sunscreen if you are indoors all day?

Sunscreen has the potential to be the missing force in your daily skincare routine. As per four out of five dermatologists, it is beneficial to wear sunscreen indoors. However, wearing sunscreen indoors is also a personal choice that you need to make based on how much exposure you have to blue light, UVB, and UVA light daily. Let us look at some factors you should consider when you decide if wearing sunscreen indoors is right for you:

Check your lifestyle and your interaction with devices

After months of dealing with COVID-19, lockdowns, and quarantines, you have probably become acclimated to working from home, spending less time in public places, social distancing, and generally, staying indoors. Perhaps you may have even transformed your terrace into an adult summer camp where you can spend your evenings talking to your friends and family. You may even be used to spending more time around screens such as your phone, laptops, computers, monitors, and outdoor projector screens. How much time you spend with these devices can also play a significant role in deciding if you should use sunscreen indoors.

How do screen time and your lifestyle affect your decision?

Based on the input obtained from four out of five dermatologists, it is recommended to wear sunscreen when you are indoors. Let us look at the three primary reasons why specialists say you should have SPF indoors. This decision primarily depends on different things that you may be exposed to:

  • The blue light that may have been obtained from TVs, computers, and smart devices
  • Ultraviolet B (UVB) rays
  • Ultraviolet A (UVA) rays

What is the role of UVA rays?

Ultraviolet (UVA) rays can induce signs of aging, such as wrinkles and loss of elasticity. These can easily penetrate through cloud cover and windows. Unfortunately, not every window in your home can be treated with defense from the harsh rays of the sun. Unless you live in a completely windowless room, you might want to think about slathering on SPF.

The fact is that even if the day witnesses thunderstorms or winters, there may be reasons to believe that you should apply sunscreen even when you are indoors. It is quite imperative to wear sunscreen that is of the broad spectrum when you are indoors throughout the year. When you are constantly exposed to UVA light, it can yield premature skin that ages due to the breakdown of elastic tissue and collagen, which can also contribute to the development of skin cancer. UVA does not cause any tan, so it is quite normal to be completely unaware of the UVA exposure that you witness daily.

What is the role of blue light?

The blue light that gets emitted from digital screens, such as your TV, tablet, phone, computer, and monitor, could affect the quality of your skin in given ways:

  • Blue light could increase the generation of melanin 
  • It can increase pigmentation in your skin
  • Excessive exposure to blue light could lead to age spots and melasma
  • Blue light could even create free radicals that can cause inflammation
  • The free radical formation could also lead to a deterioration of elastic tissue and collagen in your skin.


Wearing sunscreen indoors is important since even if you are inside, you may be exposed to UVA and UVB rays. For example, if you sit near a window or use a computer screen, you are essentially getting exposed to light that can be potentially skin-damaging.