Wearing sunscreen when out during the day is absolutely essential. Whether it is cloudy or sunny out, sunscreen helps to protect your skin from UV rays, which could cause premature aging of skin and dreaded sunburn!
One question that pops up every now and then is if you need to wear sunscreen at night.
Is there any benefit to wearing sunscreen at night? Sunscreen is designed to protect your skin from the sun, and as there is no sun at night, there really isn’t much point in wearing it. There is a claim that blue light from TV screens and laptops emit UV rays, but these are negligible and won’t have an effect on your skin.
Whether you wear sunscreen at night will also depend on how late the sunsets, and the environment you are spending time in. To help you work out if you need sunscreen in the evening, we have gone through the pros and cons and everything else you need to know!
Should You Wear Sunscreen At Night?
There are those who believe that you need to wear sunscreen at night because you are still exposed to the UV rays emitted from your devices, such as television screens, laptops, and even your mobile phone.
While there is some truth in these devices emitting UV rays, the amount they give off does not have much of an effect on your skin at all, so it cancels out the need to wear sunscreen. This really is one of the only reasons why people might consider wearing sunscreens when it is dark.
The definition of an evening is also different depending on where you are in the world. In some places, it gets dark early depending on the time of the year, but at the same time somewhere else, it might still be light and bright outside.
You will obviously need to use your judgment when working out when you need to wear sunscreen in the evening, and if the sun is still out, then you probably still need to wear sunscreen.
However, if the sun has gone down and it is dark out, then you don’t really need sunscreen anymore, and you can use other facial moisturizers instead.
It is better to save your sunscreen for the sun, when there is a real risk of the sun causing damage to your skin, and when it needs as much protection as possible.
Pros Of Wearing Sunscreen In The Evening
If you are considering wearing sunscreen in the evening, then it helps to get to know the pros and cons of why you should, and why you shouldn’t.
Here are the pros of wearing sunscreen in the evening:
The one reason you might want to wear sunscreen at night is if the sun is still out later in the day and you need some extended protection to ensure that your skin is not sunburned.
If it is getting later in the day and you are not sure when the sun is going to set fully in the evening, then it is just better to give your skin the best protection just to make sure that it isn’t sunburned, even if the sun is weaker later in the day.
You could also use sunscreen if you are worried about the UV rays emitted from your devices, but these do not have enough of an effect on the skin to warrant the extra protection.
There are some sunscreens that have been formulated with nourishing ingredients, which are always a benefit to your skin.
It is always worth adding nourishing ingredients to your skincare, and if you find a sunscreen that has hydrating and soothing ingredients, then your skin will likely be better for it.
However, it might be better to opt for a hydrating moisturizer that contains ingredients specifically made to care for your skin in the evening.
Calming Sunburned Skin
Some sunscreens contain soothing ingredients such as aloe vera, which can help to calm skin after a sunburn. Other ingredients, such as vitamin E and shea butter, can also help hydrate sunburned skin, to prevent peeling and further inflammation.
This is mostly true for a sunscreen that has been formulated to help soothe and nourish skin, so it is a good idea to look for a natural, nourishing sunscreen that contains the right ingredients to help calm sunburn skin.
You can use sunscreen to protect your skin during the day, and then to help soothe your skin in the nighttime.
Cons Of Wearing Sunscreen In The Evening
There are pros and cons to wearing sunscreen in the evening, and knowing the cons can help you give the best care to your skin!
Here are the cons of wearing sunscreen in the evening:
Not Moisturizing Enough
Sunscreen can contain moisturizing ingredients, but they are not as hydrating as pure moisturizers which are formulated to be used at night.
At night, especially while you sleep, your skin goes through repairing and resting processes, so you need to give it the right ingredients to make the most of this.
Instead of using a sunscreen that is likely lacking the hydrating ingredients your skin needs at night, use a nighttime moisturizer that gives your skin all it needs, without having to work through the SPF which might act as a barrier to your skin becoming hydrated.
Pores Become Clogged
Sunscreens contain heavier ingredients that can clog up pores and cause your skin to break out. Certain skin types are more susceptible to breakouts and congestion, and if you use sunscreen at night and sleep with your face on the pillow, it can definitely lead to breakouts and clogged pores.
There are non-comedogenic sunscreens, which are formulated to not clog pores, but they will still contain heavier ingredients, and your skin would be better off with something lighter and more focussed on hydration as you sleep.
Expensive Over Time
Sunscreens can be more expensive than nighttime moisturizers, so using sunscreen at night instead of a moisturizer can put more strain on your budget than what is needed.
It really isn’t worth spending extra to use sunscreen at night, when it is likely to cause you breakouts and even irritation, and if you do not even need SPF while you sleep.
There are ingredients in sunscreen that your skin does not need at night while you are sleeping. You do not need SPF, and you do not need the oils that some sunscreens contain.
It is always best to avoid putting unnecessary ingredients onto your skin at night, especially when your face will be pushed against your pillow.
Only use essential, nourishing ingredients on your skin at night, otherwise, you might land up with clogged pores, irritation, and breakouts.
Missing Out On Other Ingredients
Sunscreens are not formulated to care for your skin overnight, and using sunscreen in place of moisturizer is robbing your skin of the necessary ingredients it would need to be nourished and hydrated.
You would be able to pick out a night cream that contains beneficial ingredients for your skin type and to help your skin rejuvenate and rest overnight. Sunscreen is not the best option for this, and you would be just missing out on more important ingredients.
Your skin type will require specific care, whether dry, oily, or combination, and sunscreens don’t always see to this, whereas a nighttime cream will, and it will help treat any skin conditions that you do have, to clear your skin up and give it a healthier look and feel.
Should You Wear A Moisturizer With SPF At Night?
There are many different types of moisturizers that contain some sort of SPF. These are mostly used to hydrate your skin and see to specific skin needs, but just with the added protection of SPF during the day.
If you use SPF moisturizer during the day and do not have SPF-free moisturizer, then there will not be much harm in using it at night. The SPF will have no point while you sleep, but using a moisturizer with SPF is better than not using a moisturizer at all.
Keep in mind that sunscreen and moisturizer with SPF are two different things. Sunscreen is formulated to offer you proper protection while in the sun, and it is more focused on protection than nourishing your skin.
A moisturizer with SPF is not as effective at protecting your skin as sunscreen is, and it is more focused on nourishing and caring for your skin, instead of offering too much of an SPF.
However, this small amount of protection can make a difference in how well your skin is cared for, especially when used every day and when you are in the sun, so it is a must for the daytime.
At night though, you do not need the SPF, and it is best to use a nighttime cream. You might not want to have too many products though, and it is better to use a moisturizer with SPF at night than using no nourishing cream at all.
Should You Wash Sunscreen Off In The Evening After Wearing It All Day?
No matter whether you have sunscreen on or not, it is good practice to wash your face in the morning and at night. There are so many environmental pollutants and other germs and debris that can clog pores and cause your skin to break out, so you need to cleanse your skin twice daily.
When it comes to wearing sunscreen, it is definitely a good idea to wash it off in the evening. There will be no benefit in keeping the sunscreen on throughout the day and then in the evening again, and there is no reason to keep it on.
Sunscreen can clog pores and act as a sticky substance on your skin, and collect dust, debris, and other impurities throughout the day. Leaving sunscreen on all day and not washing it off will not have absolutely disastrous effects, but it might lead to clogged pores and sensitivity.
To be safe, it is best to follow a skincare routine where you wash your skin in the morning and night, to cleanse your skin from any impurities and sunscreen, and to give your moisturizer a good base to work on!
Can You Wear Sunscreen While You Sleep?
You can wear sunscreen while you sleep, but there really is no reason at all to do so. You will not need sun protection while you sleep, and there is a chance that sunscreen could clog your pores and irritate your skin while you sleep.
We will always recommend wearing sunscreen when out in the sun, but when you are indoors at night and the sun has set, there will be no need for it. Rather choose to use a nighttime cream that is formulated to care for your skin and which will do good and no harm.
The right moisturizer will have great nourishing ingredients for your skin and will have some anti-aging benefits too. During the night is when your skin can make the most of these ingredients too, without having SPF getting in the way.
Using sunscreen while you sleep will just take away all the skincare hours you could have with a good nighttime cream!
Do I Need To Wear Sunscreen Indoors?
There is no point in wearing sunscreen at night, as your skin does not need any protection as there are no harmful UV rays from any source that could damage your skin.
This is because the sun has set, and there are no harmful UV rays emitted from the moon, and the UV rays emitted from your blue screen devices will also not cause any harm to your skin.
So while you do not need to wear sunscreen at night, do you need to wear it indoors during the day?
It is recommended that you wear sunscreen or at least a moisturizer with SPF every day, even if you are only staying indoors. If you do not plan to go outdoors, then a moisturizer with SPF is a great addition to your daily skincare routine.
You can be affected by the sun when indoors. The sun emits different types of UV rays. Ultraviolet B rays (UVB) have short wavelengths and are responsible for sunburn, however, these cannot really penetrate glass windows.
Ultraviolet A rays have longer wavelengths and are the rays responsible for skin again. UVA rays are not blocked by glass, and your skin can be damaged by UVA rays when you are driving in your car or sitting near a window indoors.
Exposure to UVA rays, without the protection of sunscreen or a moisturizer with SPF, can lead to hyperpigmentation and premature aging. So while you might not notice red sunburn, your skin can still be damaged.
What Type Of Sunscreen Should I Wear?
If you are wanting to wear sunscreen at night, or apply sunscreen during the day and leave it on until nighttime, you should choose a good sunscreen that will be kind to your skin.
It is better to choose a mineral-based sunscreen. These work more as a physical barrier to UV rays, rather than the chemical resistance to UV rays caused by chemical sunscreens.
Mineral sunscreens are made with titanium and zinc, which protect your skin from UV rays, and they are considered a safer option for your skin. To be even better, mineral sunscreens are also better for the environment.
The other option is using a chemical sunscreen, but these contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, along with other chemicals, which can irritate your skin, and which are known to be harmful to marine life.
The more natural the sunscreen is, as long as it offers protection, the better, as it will be less likely to irritate your skin and clog up pores, even if you wear it at night.
What Are Nighttime Moisturizers?
Nighttime moisturizers are different from daytime moisturizers. They are specifically formulated to care for your skin while you sleep, which is when your skin is at rest and when it has the best time to rejuvenate.
Daytime moisturizers are often formulated with SPF, and nighttime moisturizers are not, which is likely the biggest difference between the two. It is fine to use an SPF moisturizer at night, but a nighttime cream would benefit your skin more.
Nighttime moisturizers often include certain ingredients such as glycolic acid, which helps smooth and polish the skin, and retinol, which helps to plump the skin up. These are mostly only found in nighttime moisturizers, as they can make the skin sensitive to the sun.
It is always a good idea to make use of SPF moisturizers during the day and a nighttime cream for when you sleep, as both have great benefits that your skin will absolutely love, and there is no point to miss out on either.
Do I Need To Wear Sunscreen After Retinol At Night?
Retinol is an ingredient found in many different nighttime creams, and it is known to plump up the skin to give it a more youthful, firmer appearance.
The problem with retinol is that it can cause your skin to become sensitive to the sun, and if you use retinol during the day, then it is highly recommended to wear sunscreen to protect your skin and keep your skin out of the sun when possible.
Do you have to wear sunscreen if you apply retinol at night? Your skin will not need protection from the sun at night when you have applied retinol, but it is so important to apply sunscreen to your skin in the morning, after having the retinol applied all night.
Your skin will likely still be sensitive to the sun the morning after using retinol, which is why it is so important to wear sunscreen. Sunscreen can also help maintain how effective the retinol is, and it may give your skin better results.
So you do not need to wear sunscreen at night when applying retinol, but you should definitely apply it in the morning before you leave the house or spend any time in the sun.
Benefits Of Wearing Sunscreen At Night
There really are no benefits of wearing sunscreen at night, and it is actually advised to wash your sunscreen off once the sun sets.
There are no harmful UV rays at night that your skin needs protection from, and the sunscreen could land up clogging your pores when you sleep and causing breakouts.
Instead of wearing sunscreen at night, choose to wear a special nighttime cream, which will see to your skin’s needs as you sleep, and ensure that it is only given the hydration and nourishment it needs, and nothing more.
While you do not need to wear sunscreen at night, it is so important to wear it during the day, to prevent your skin from burning, and to try and hold off premature aging that is caused by the sun!
Here are some more questions and answers that you might have on the above subject!
Can I use sunscreen every day?
Most of us are used to only taking out sunscreen in the summer months, but in reality, you should be wearing sunscreen, or an SPF moisturizer, daily. You might not notice the effects that the sun has on your skin daily, but over time it can cause premature aging and hyperpigmentation.
Does sunscreen remove a tan?
A sunscreen will not remove a tan. If you use a strong SPF, the sunscreen will prevent you from tanning, but sunscreen should never strip your skin of a tan.
There are certain ways you can reduce the appearance of a tan, such as by exfoliating, but this is a separate process that needs to be done outside of just using sunscreen.
It is also important to note that you can still tan when using a low SPF sunscreen, your skin will just not burn.