A question that many people never think about, is whether or not UV rays can be harmful through glass. If you’re sat by a window feeling the sun on your skin – does risk causing sun burn or other damage? Perhaps you’re sitting by a window as you read this right now; are you in danger?
The unfortunate answer is yes – to at least some degree, you can experience sun damage through glass windows.
More specifically, glass windows block as certain wavelength of light known as ‘UVB’ while allowing UVA to still come through. UVB is the ‘shorter wavelength’ of light and is the main kind that is primarily responsible for sunburn and skin cancer. So that’s good news – if you sit by a window at work then you probably won’t get sunburn.
But UVB does make it through to some extent, at which point it’s weak enough to make it through to the epidermis. This can still cause damage but nothing near the potential amount of damage that you might experience were you to sit in direct sunlight. On the other hand though, UVA rays are the longer wavelengths and these can pass directly through glass and still cause problems. This is the same type of light that is used in tanning beds and which is known to penetrate into the deeper levels of the skin through the epidermis and to the dermis.
Compared with UVB, UVA is actually worse when it comes to aging your skin. In fact, there are a number of pictures doing the rounds online of people who have spent their whole lives driving a truck or working in an office with a window on one side. These people look considerably older on the side exposed to sunlight through the window than on the other side!
Wearing sun block throughout the day – even in doors – is unfortunately NOT the solution. The problem with this, is that it actually damages your skin (and your general health) in a number of ways due to harmful ingredients. Did you know that products you apply to your skin actually get absorbed into your bloodstream?
That means that you should never apply a product to your skin that you wouldn’t be happy to eat! Wearing these products all throughout the day is out of the question.
And that is why using organic sunblock is such an important strategy.