When you’re indoors my friend, you are not alone. Statistics tell us its usual to spend 90% of our time indoors, behind glass windows and out of direct sunlight.
Sun protection advertorials show us scenes of white sandy beaches, snorkels and hotel pools… It’d be easy to conclude that sun protection is only for holiday time ‘eh. You, dear pal are savvier than this…
You know that sun protection is not just for white sandy beaches.
You know it’s not just for summer time. Remember that ski trip *winks*…
But what about when you’re behind a window? Can You Get a Tan Through a Window? Do you need to apply sun protection even when you’re indoors, in winter on an over cast day? Let’s find out…
Why Apply Sun Protection?
First up, let’s recap why you should be best friends with a bottle of suncream. Suncream, sunblock and sunscreen all protect you from 2 kinds of light.
- Light no.1 = UVA – Ultra violet A.
- Light no.2 = UVB – Ultra violet B.
UV is a kind of light you can’t see. If Harry Potter’s clock of invisibility were real, UVA light would have one heck of a large loan account! UVA’s stealth invisibility means your skin won’t tell you it’s being damaged until hours or even years later.
- When your skin becomes damaged from UVB light you’ll know within hours because your skin colour will be channeling Lobster.
- When skin experiences UVA damage you won’t know until years (& years and years) later. UVA light causes skin to develop fine lines and wrinkles prematurely. Skin damaged by UVA light channels Elephant.
Regular daily use of sun protection protects your skin from channeling any kind of animal other than its own spirit animal *winks*.
This is also just as important in the winter. UVB intensity changes from summer to winter, UVA intensity doesn’t.
— Cheryl Woodman (@HonestyForSkin) 6 October 2016
My friend, we’ve just answered one of our 3 questions. Do you need to wear sun protection on a winters day?
While there’s less likelihood you’ll get sunburn in the winter, there’s the same likelihood of UVA induced elephant skin![cp_modal id=”cp_id_9f775″]Sneaky note; Not all suncreams protect you from UVA and UVB light in the same amounts. In fact a lot only tell you how well they protect against UVB light. Want to know how to choose sun protection that puts a firm wedge between you and elephant skin? My free downloadable 1-sheet dictionary to sun protection tells all, click here to grab a copy.
Can You Get a Tan Through a Window?
When there’s a physical thing between you and something scary – you feel safe. Horror movie on… blanket pulled up.
In the same way some human beings believe they can walk through glass doors *winks*… UV light also believes.
Windows are great because unlike walls they let light in. That’s why you can see indoors, great trick that ‘eh. It’s why you can feel the warmth of sunshine through glass and it’s also how you can develop elephant skin when through a window.
Here’s some interesting UV light facts for ya;
- Of UV light that reaches our beautiful planet earth, around 95% is UVA.
- The amount of UVA light that reaches us in winter vs. summer is the same. It doesn’t change.
- UVB light is mostly blocked by glass.
- Up to 74% of UVA light can penetrate window glass.
Which makes my answer to our question – can you get a tan through a window? Mostly no. No you can’t get a tan through a window because there’s a big No-Entry sign to UVB light. UVA light can sometimes stir-up a little coffee au-lait, but realistically you won’t notice it.
This is the spinner… even though you can’t tan through window glass, you should still wear sun protection.
See window glass has a nice big no-entry to UVB light… so it went away, pulled dark socks over its white trainers, named itself UVA and you guessed it. Entry approved!
UVA light is the most stealth of all UV lights because you won’t see the damage it causes until years and years… and years later.
UVA light has the passcode to your skins deepest layers. These layers house important structural proteins that make skin plump and bouncy. You’ve probably heard of them before, welcome to the floor, collagen and elastin.
Collagen is like the scaffolding and elastin is like your lycra covering. Naturally with age collagen production goes down and elastin weaving becomes knotted. Add UVA light into this mix and those processes happen like they just devoured a red bull.
This is why you should wear sun protection even though you spend 90% of your time indoors.
…and the story gets even more interesting my friend.
Can You Get a Tan in the Car?
Did you know Jo-Bloggs (like who actually is he *winks*) spends an average of 1-2 hours a day in the car? and that when your skin is looked at under a sun damage microscope, a scientist would be able to tell you whether you drive on the left or right?
Can you tell which side of the road this truck driver spent his life on?
Which takes us somewhere interesting… Why does this truck drivers face not show sun damage all over? Afterall driving would be pretty hard without the front windowscreen ‘eh…
Great question my friend.
This is where certain types of glass borrow Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak for themselves… and obviously when one invisibility cloak meets another they cancel each other out ‘eh!?
This is the deal…
By law, the glass used in the windscreen of any car you’ve sat in, is laminated. That’s another way of saying it’s safety glass. invisibly sandwiched between 2 layers of glass is a thin layer of plastic which holds glass together when shattered and that also blocks up to 98% of UVA light.
Laminated glass denies entry to UVA and UVB light, which makes us skin happy, at least on the front side. While you can’t suffer from photodamage through your windscreen, your skin can still chat with UVA through the side window. Our Mr.Truck driver is proof of that.
Tell me dear pal… Had you seen Mr.Truck drivers face before? Do you think about UV light when your indoors? Chat to me below…
Cheryl Woodman is a scientist & award winning skincare formulator who is more friend next door than bow tie wearing professor. As creator of Honesty For Your Skin her aim is to help you care for your skin in the best ways possible. She is founder of the natural & fragrance free skincare brand Honesty while also hosting 1 to 1 skincare coaching to help you get your best skin yet. Learn more here at www.HonestyForYourSkin.co.uk/Skin-Coach