Sun cream: Should you wear sun cream indoors? What factor sun cream should i wear?

If you have ever watched a celebrity interview about beauty routines, you will know that most of the people we idolise for their looks swear by wearing sunscreen every single day. Not only is sun protection the key to a youthful complexion as we age, but it’s also essential in preventing sun damage and lowering your risk of skin cancer. It is 35C today, with the rest of the week predicted to be sunny too. We all know we should be wearing suncream, but should we wear it inside and what factor should we wear? chats to Dermatologist at Urban Retreat Dr. Luca Russo for find out all you need to know.

When should I wear sunscreen?

Dr. Russo said: “Suncream should be worn whenever the daily Ultraviolet index (UV index) is above two.”

The UV index is an international standard measurement of the strength of sunburn-producing UV radiation at a particular place and time.

You can check the daily UV index for your area on the Met Office website here.

If it is two or more, you must wear suncream.

Today, it is as high as 4 in parts of the UK and definitely more than 2 everywhere else in the UK. 

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Should I wear sunscreen indoors too?

Whether you are indoors or outdoors, if the UV index is more than two, you must wear sunscreen.

Dr. Russo explained: “UVA penetrates clouds and glass, so you must wear sunscreen if the UV index is above two, even if you are staying indoors all day.”

This means it is time to slather on the suncream even while you’re inside by the cool fan. 

Suncream expires, so check the expiration date on the bottle of any bottles you have lying around before you use them.

Should I ever let my skin in direct sunlight?

Dr. Russo recommends letting your skin have a little time in the sun without suncream on.

He said: “Allow direct sun exposure for 15 minutes a day, ideally between 10am and 12am.

“You can expose any part of the body, except your face, décolletage and hands.

“This will allow Vitamin D production.”

Vitamin D is essential for the regulation of the immune system and helps to keep bones, teeth and muscles health.

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What factor suncream should I wear?

You might need a different factor sunscreen for your face and body.

Dr Russo said: “The ideal level of SPF should be chosen according to your skin type for both face and body.

“As a general rule, children up to the age of 16, skin types one and two, and anyone with a family history of skin cancer should use an SPF 50+.

“Any other skin types should wear an SPF 30.”

When Dr Russo talks about skin types one and two, he is referring to the Fitzpatrick scale.

You can find the scale online and use it to find out which skin type you are.


Do different skin types need different sunscreens?

Yes, different skin types have different needs when it comes to selecting the right sunscreen.

Dr Russo said: “The main difference between the 6 Fitzpatrick skin types classification is the level of endogenous melanin and the capability to burn and develop a suntan.

“Skin types 1 and 2 have minimal endogenous melanin, burn easily and do not develop a suntan.

“These are the most vulnerable skin types, at risk of premature sun damage, skin ageing and skin cancer.

“The recommendation is to use an SPF 50+.”

If you are skin types three to six, you will require a lower SPF.

Dr Russo explained: “Other skin types have more endogenous melanin but most importantly, they develop a tan after sun exposure.

This increases the level of endogenous melanin and therefore sun protection.

“The recommendation for those individuals is to use an SPF 30.”

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