CosmeticOBS - L'Observatoire des cosmétiques
July 30, 2015Scientific publications

Should we put on sunscreen indoors? Add to my portfolio
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We all know how useful it is to protect ourselves from sun rays outdoors. But should we also put on sunscreen indoors? This is what a study conducted by Brazilian researchers suggests. But why? UV rays get through our windows, and the lamps we use to get light also emit some. And although it is in limited quantities, they might be harmful for the skin.

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The study was conducted by researchers at the Department of Clinical Pathology of the University of Campinas in Brazil and published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science .

The researchers start by reminding their readers of the well-known effects of UV rays, as follows:

‘Solar radiation, especially ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB), can cause damage to the human body, and exposure to the radiation may vary according to the geographical location, time of year and other factors. The effects of UVA and UVB radiation on organisms range from erythema formation, through tanning and reduced synthesis of macromolecules such as collagen and elastin, to carcinogenic DNA mutations.’

Then, they provide details on the sources of radiation to which we are exposed indoors. Other than the radiation that gets through windows, the artificial light of illuminating lamps might also have long-term effects on health.

Incandescent, halogen, and fluorescent lamps do emit UVAs and UVBs, although obviously in much lower quantity than the sun; and according to these researchers, depending on the source intensity and on the distance from the source, this radiation can be harmful to photosensitive individuals’ . Nevertheless, they also specify that ‘in healthy subjects, the evidence on the danger of this radiation is still far from conclusive.’

This does not prevent them from suggesting in conclusion that sunscreen should also be used indoors. Now it only remains for cosmetic brands’ marketing departments to seize the opportunity and use this information to try and convince us!

Read more
• See the article published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science: Update on ultraviolet A and B radiation generated by the sun and artificial lamps and their effects on skin.

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