How staying indoors is impacting our skin and what your routine should look like


Since the dawn of time, beauty editors have preached the importance of sun protection in skincare; a day outdoors requiring nothing short of a big summer beach hat, sunglasses and of course, sunscreen.

RELATED: Is your skin breaking out or just purging?RELATED: Why a dip in the ocean might be the secret to clear skinBut now that most of us are spending our time indoors, what does this mean for our skin?
Are our atmosphere enemies UVA, UVB and pollutants still at play, or are there now at-home elements to worry about?
To give us both the bad and good news, BAZAAR spoke to PhD-qualified skin scientist, Dr Michele Squire and Director of Skin Education at Dermalogica, Emma Hobson, for their expert insight.Image: Romina Meier


If you’re sorely missing the beach and your favourite sunshine spots, take solace in the fact that staying away is also doing your skin a world of good.
“A 2015 study showed that daily application of a broad-spectrum, photostable, SPF30 sunscreen for one year not only prevented future damage, but also reversed signs of photoaging (and the results were apparent as early as 12 weeks),” Dr Squire tells BAZAAR.
“This included improvements to pigmentation and deep lines, that could not be attributable to the moisturising component of the sunscreen alone. It’s therefore feasible that a prolonged period away from sun exposure might also positively impact signs of photoaging.”
The only skin type that may suffer detriment due to lack of sun exposure, is those with psoriasis.
“People with psoriasis benefit from sun exposure, so may be affected by prolonged periods indoors,” explains Dr Squire. “Getting the right dose of sunlight is paramount however, so they should be seeking advice from their dermatologist on this issue.”


Taking a short socially-distanced walk in the early morning or late evening is not only a great act of self-care in these strange times, but it will ensure you’re giving your skin a dose of vitamin D, too.
“Your skin does need to be exposed to UVB light (5-10 minutes a day) to form vitamin D, essential for bone and muscle health,” Dr Squire tells BAZAAR. “Because UVB radiation is almost completely blocked by glass, a quick walk in the garden or enjoying your favourite sunny spot on the balcony early in the morning and late in the afternoon is enough to supply your UVB needs.”
It’s highly unlikely that you will develop a vitamin D deficiency, though Hobson says if you’re particularly concerned, you can discuss with your GP about taking a vitamin D supplement.


While UVB radiation may be blocked by glass, there are still other harmful forms of light that your skin needs protection from.
“If you are working at home on a computer screen or next to a window, don’t forget to apply a SPF 30-50 to protect your skin from blue light and UVA which can still penetrate through glass,” advises Hobson, who recommends Dermalogica’s Invisible Physical Defense SPF30 ($77, available from 31 March, Dermalogica)
To protect yourself from ‘Netflix face’, it might also be a good idea to switch your device’s light settings to yellow light, and add an antioxidant booster, like Niod’s Survival 0 ($35, Adore Beauty) into your routine for additional protection.


Both experts agree that the best move going forward, is to simply keep up your morning and evening skincare routines. It’s not only good for your mental health, but you still need to be applying SPF, even if you’re not going anywhere.
“This might also be an opportunity to start using products that come with downtime, such as peels or a prescription retinoid – but only if you can still access expert advice,” recommends Dr Squire.
Our advice? Treat yourself to an at-home facial massage. The benefits are endless, and you’ll use what you learn long after our time indoors is over.
Main image credit: Romina Meier

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Comments 12

  1. I still wear SPF indoors, but about -30, because there are several windows in my house and I often sit near them for prolonged periods. Otherwise, focus has always been on blue light damage as I work long hours in front of a computer screen.

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