Fluorescent Lights Are Giving You Wrinkles

As a skincare specialist, you can count on me to ask about the skincare routines of my patients. Among this inquiry is the dreaded “do you wear sunscreen?” question. Too often, I hear this question answered in the negative. One of the most common reasons why people aren’t wearing sunscreen? Because they work indoors and therefore think they don’t need sunscreen. 

Sunscreen isn’t just for beach babies - even those of us who work indoors all day need some extra help protecting our precious skin from the sun’s rays. Here are some of the common reasons I hear why people aren’t using sunscreen, and why you need to re-think these solar myths:

Myth #1 I’m indoors all day, I don’t need sunscreen!

Not True: Did you know UVA rays (the ones responsible for aging your skin) can penetrate through windows in your home or office, on the train, bus  - and especially in your car? UV rays from daylight (even in the winter) are the #1 reason for skin aging. It’s not genetics, smoking, and, believe it or not, even age. Daylight is the skin’s WORST enemy. Wear sunscreen year round for the best wrinkle prevention. 

Work in a windowless office and think you’re safe? Think again - fluorescent bulbs, besides being the most unflattering light ever, also give off UV rays.  While your office may not be the beach, your skin doesn’t know the difference; protect accordingly. 

Read More: 5 Things Your Skin Is Trying To Tell You

Myth #2: My makeup has sunscreen in it, so I don’t need extra.

Not True: I get it. I’m a minimalist and I hate multi-step skincare routines. But sunscreen is one step you shouldn’t skip. If you apply a regular non-sunscreen moisturizer to your face and then apply a foundation with an SPF, the sunscreen in the makeup cannot penetrate your day cream to effectively coat and protect your skin cells. Plus, people often only apply foundation makeup sparingly (especially in summer when the skin may produce more oil) so a thin coat may not even do that much. For the best protection, make sure your daily moisturizer contains sunscreen and then consider your sunscreen makeup adding in additional protection

Read More: Sleeping In Your Makeup Is Giving You Crow's Feet

Myth #3: I heard I need sun exposure in order to get my Vitamin D fix.

Not True: This is a common misconception. First, most of us don’t apply sunscreen well enough to prevent skin from producing vitamin D. Second, you need much less time in the sun to make adequate levels than you might think - just 15 minutes per week is all you require. If your skin just kept making vitamin D in response to sunlight, it would reach toxic levels. Being tan isn’t a good indicator of healthy vitamin D levels either: a study of Hawaiian surfers found that although all participants were tanned, many were still vitamin D deficient. You can get enough vitamin D from a mix of diet, supplements, and incidental sun exposure. 

Read More: Can You Spot Skin Cancer?