Do You Need To Wear Sunscreen If You Work Inside All Day?

a woman standing at her work desk

Updated 11/5/20. We all know to apply sunscreen when outdoors, but what about wearing sunscreen if you work inside all day? If your skin never is exposed to the sun, is sunscreen really necessary? The answer is yes. Let me explain why.

You Need to Wear Sunscreen Inside if Your Skin is Exposed to Daylight

At any point from sunrise to sunset, the sun gives off daylight. Even if it’s pouring rain, snowing or cloudy, daylight can still be found. If you work inside and can see through any windows to the outside world, then daylight is absolutely coming in and seeing you—and your precious skin.

Damaging Rays Can Penetrate Through Windows and Damage Your Skin

UVA rays

These rays are responsible for changing the DNA in the skin causing premature skin aging and skin cancer. UVA rays are approximately the same strength from summer to winter and can penetrate through clouds, windows in your home, office, or car. These are the true damaging rays because you can’t feel them yet they are affecting your skin in a BIG way without you even realizing it. It is because of these rays that you should wear sunscreen if you work inside. Why get UV damage when you’re not even getting a tan for it? This is why sunscreen should truly be called daylight screen. Every time daylight shines on your skin, it absolutely accelerates the aging process of your skin.

UVB Rays

These rays are responsible for giving the skin a suntan or sunburn, strongest from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (and less strong in the winter) but they don’t penetrate through glass. These are the ones that damage your skin when outdoors.

Find a Sunscreen That is Compatible With Your Skin Type and Wear it During All Daylight Hours

From the moment I wake up in the morning (even if I haven’t even showered yet), I’ll apply sunscreen to my face and neck. Sometimes I’ll apply a cream or sometimes I’ll just dust on an SPF mineral powder. This small, easy habit can make a big difference throughout a lifetime.

Because my skin is prone to clogged pores (and breakouts in my earlier years), I developed a really lightweight sunscreen called Weightless Protection SPF 30 that doesn’t feel greasy and won’t cause problems. I have been using this sunscreen FAITHFULLY since I developed it back in 2000. Pick up a sunscreen that uses both physical and chemical protectants and feels really good using on the skin every single day of the year. I’m a skin type #2. Find your skin type.

To Reapply Sunscreen Throughout the Day, Dust on an SPF Powder

Throughout the day, the natural oils in your skin can degrade sunscreen which can allow the UVA rays to get into your skin. An easy way to ensure that your skin is protected is to brush on powder. Many of the mineral powders do contain sunscreen. Jane Iredale and ColoreScience have ones but their shades are limited. Another option is to find a regular pressed or loose powder that contains the ingredient titanium dioxide. This can give sun protection properties to the skin, even if it doesn’t list an SPF number.

Do your skin a huge favor and wear sunscreen if you work inside. Doing so can greatly contribute to slowing down the visible signs of aging and contribute to healthier-looking skin. Learn the differences between chemical and physical sunscreens.

Want to know some of my favorite skin tips? Read the 10 skincare rules I swear by.

Disclaimer: Content found on and, including text, images, audio, or other formats were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website or blog.


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  1. Hi, I’m working inside warehouse 6 am to 2pm so I need to wear sunscreen or not?? Im always wearing sunscreen summer and winter time but i never re-applying but I’ve got melasma on my face. Does sunscreen cause melasma ?

    Posted By: Anu  | 

    • Hello, Anu! At any point from sunrise to sunset, the sun gives off daylight. Even if it’s pouring rain, snowing or cloudy, daylight can still be found. If you work inside and can see through any windows to the outside world, then daylight is absolutely coming in and seeing you—and your precious skin.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  2. HI,

    I realize this post is a bit old but I have a window / sunscreen related question I can’t seem to find an answer for. I work in front of 2 large windows but I keep the blinds (venetian style) closed so I can’t see through to the outside all day, no matter what. I’m applying suncreen to my face 4 times a day just in case but I feel completely gross and my eyes burn by the end of the day with this method. Do I need to reapply this much with this type of window exposure. Also, do I still have to wait 15-30mins before going outside after a re-application of sunscreen or just after the first application?

    Thank you so much for your help!

    Posted By: Jessie  | 

    • Hey! If your sunscreen is burning your eyes, it may be a sign that you need to switch to a different formulation. Our Weightless Protection SPF 30 is formulated to be gentle and soothing. As far as re-applying, I suggest using a mineral powder with titanium dioxide throughout the day. It’s really easy to dust and won’t make your skin feel sticky or gross! I like the brand Colorescience.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  3. Hi Renee,

    My skin breaks out to every sunscreen products. I ordered the Daily Protection SPF 30 and I am still breaking out. What would you suggest for my skin? I am 26 years old and sensitive yellow skin tone that I am skin type #3. I do not know how to protect my skin from the sun anymore since I keep having acne from sunscreen.

    Thank you and have a great day!
    Pa Houa

    Posted By: Pa Houa  | 

    • Hello Pa, Are you sure it’s the sunscreen that is causing your skin to break out? So without using sunscreen your skin would never, ever break out? You mentioned that you are a skin type #3 so did you choose that skin type because of sunscreen? The way to truly determine if a sunscreen is the real cause of your breakouts is to just use a regular oil-free moisturizer in the morning (so don’t use a sunscreen moisturizer at all) but to get sun protection, dust on an SPF-infused mineral powder, as those should not cause breakouts. Do this for two weeks (14 days). If you don’t get any breakouts at all, then on the 15th morning, use the Daily Protection SPF 30 and if breakouts appear on the 16th day, then it could possibly be the sunscreen, although ours really doesn’t do that. You really have to experiment like this to try to figure it out. Hope that helps.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  4. Does your sunscreen last longer if you are inside? If you go out in the sun, is the sunscreen used up faster? I don’t know why you should reapply.. Does it depend on “using up” the active ingredients faster if you are in the sun, thus having to reapply more often?

    Posted By: Susan  | 

    • The active ingredients in sunscreen will degrade with direct UV sunlight so reapplication is most important when outdoors.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  5. Hi Renee,
    I just recently started using sunscreen and I would like to know if I have to reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours even though I rarely step outside plus I work in a place that has no sunlight but has air condition all day is it really necessary that I have to reapply sunscreen.
    Thank you!

    Posted By: Tori  | 

    • If you don’t see sunlight then no, you don’t need to reapply. Your morning application should suffice.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  6. Hi Renee,

    I work in the basement of a research lab. I rarely ever go out, not even for lunch. Would I need to reapply sunscreen still? I’m wondering how protected I’d be when I walk to my car after work. I don’t sweat or do any arduous work either.

    Also, I just learned how valuable sunscreen is to maintain youthful skin. At age 28, do you think I’m starting too late to do any good? I know its better late than never, but I wonder how much damage I’ve already accumulated. I don’t go into the sun very often.

    Thank you!


    Posted By: Connie Lee  | 

    • Hi Connie,
      No, at 28 or anytime, it’s never too late. Let me use this as an example. A smoker who has smoked for 20 years will show significant damage in their lungs. When they stop smoking, the lungs will actually start to repair themselves. Or when you have a cut in your skin, the skin will heal itself and repair the wound. So in the case of UV exposure, since that works on a cellular level to change (damage) the DNA, when it’s no longer being damaged—by wearing sunscreen—then it will start to reverse itself. Bottom line: It’s never too late (or too early) to protect your skin from the #1 cause of wrinkles—the sun. Wear sunscreen with both UVA and UVB protection 365 days a year, rain or shine.

      If you haven’t been wearing sunscreen because they feel too heavy on the skin or you feel like they clog your pores, then try Renée Rouleau Daily Protection SPF 30. It’s our #1 best-seller because it dries to a matte finish and will not cause break outs! You can see it here. And yes, if your skin sees any daylight, then yes, do wear it daily.

      If your skin ever sees daylight, then you do need sunscreen.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

  7. Hi, I have another question about the amount that needs to be applied when I’m at work.

    Is there less of a need to re-apply sunscreen while at work while windows are facing me? As in, do I need to apply every 2-3 hours like is suggested when I’m out directly under the sun.

    The same question for the amount I have to apply, does being in an office for the whole day allow me to apply less lotion at the start of the day? Or is a ‘shot glass’ of lotion still needed to protect myself fully.


    Posted By: Walter  | 

    • If you’re directly near a window then yes, I would highly recommend reapplying. The thing is, your natural oils will degrade the sunscreen so along with the windows, you should reapply. They say a shot glass but that generally refers to areas of the body but I would suggest the size of quarter for the entire face. I’d say reapply every four hours when you’re at work.

      Posted By: Renée Rouleau  | 

      • Another brief question, if you don’t mind.

        I’d like to know if my chances of getting natural tans from the sunlight are diminished greatly while wearing sunscreen? Or does wearing sunscreen take away any chance of a tan at all?

        Posted By: Walter  | 

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