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When Is It OK to Skip Sunscreen?

when to not wear sunscreen

It's easy to find information on the importance of wearing sunscreen, heck, that's our main purpose here at Seriously FAB! It doesn't matter if it's summer or winter, sunny or rainy, outside or inside. There are, however, times that you can take a break from wearing sunscreen.

Now, before we dive into that discussion, we wanted to share a few situations that you may assume don't require sunscreen, however, it is absolutely essential to apply and reapply.

Sunscreen Misconceptions

According to board-certified dermatologist, Elisabeth G. Richard, MD, it’s essential to wear sunscreen even when indoors. This is because though glass effectively blocks UVB rays, unfortunately, it doesn’t block skin cancer causing UVA rays. It actually allows up to three-quarters of UVA radiation, yikes! Also, don't forget to reapply every four to six hours while indoors.

It’s also important to note that even though most car windshields are treated to protect you from UV rays, the side and rear windows are not. Therefore, when driving to and from work, you’re still being exposed to harmful rays, so, be sure to use SPF.  

Lastly, there is a common misconception that rain and clouds offer protection from UV rays. Research has shown that clouds can only filter 25% of the UV rays that penetrate a human’s skin to cause cancer. Remember, skin damage is cumulative so you definitely should be wearing sunscreen no matter what the weather is outside.

When You DON'T Have to Wear Sunscreen

Now, back to the point of the article! It has been proven that the only safe period when we are naturally protected from the sun's UV rays is at night; therefore, this is the only safe time to skip the sunscreen. In fact, it's actually recommended not to wear sunscreen at night to allow your skin to breathe. Instead, you should be practicing a nightly skin care routine. So, unless you use a light, hydrating sunscreen mist, it's best to avoid wearing sunscreen to bed. This type of SPF is also a good idea if you spend a significant amount of time on your computer or mobile phone while in bed. Sunscreen containing titanium oxide or zinc oxide can help protect you from HEV aka blue light rays.

Final Thoughts

Finally, if you relentlessly avoid sunlight or windows when you're inside, your probably safe to not wear sunscreen. This is pretty rare, however, so we recommend playing it safe and just applying it anyway!

There has not been any firm evidence that any sunscreens do anything damaging to your skin. However, there have been incidences of reactions due to sensitivity or allergies to some chemicals, ingredients, fragrances, and preservatives. Therefore it’s recommended that you perform a usage test or opt to switch the sunscreen fragrance or a general switch from chemical to mineral.

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