No one will disagree when I say we all are very much concerned about our skin’s exposure to sunlight. We do take a lot of precaution while we are outdoors. Wearing a day cream, a sunscreen, using an umbrella, a hat or a scarf, all these come from our same bother.
However, not all seem to be concerned of the same while we are indoors.
Of course, our home is the shelter but is it completely safe?
Very well, today we are going to burst a myth and advance in understanding skin vs sun relation indoors and specifically in terms of tanning.
We are going to deal about the possibility of getting a tan through the glass.
Are the glass windows completely protecting us from harmful sun rays? Do we need to wear sun protector while indoors? Most importantly, can you get a tan through a window?
Let us free ourselves from doubts and concerns.
Sunrays and Skin
As you can simply guess, there is a considerable relationship between the health of your skin and its exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is the greatest source of vitamin D. Having said that; let me make something very clear.
Sunlight is not giving your body vitamin D (essential for the strength of bones) directly. The UVB rays in sunlight help in the activation of a chemical called 7-dehydrocholesterol within the skin. This makes our body to produce vitamin D.
The intensity of this UVB rays changes according to the season, location and time of the day (no wonder why many end up with vitamin D deficiency in winters) but there are many food items which are an immense source of the same.
Coming to the topic, there are basically three types of UV rays:
- UVA rays
- UVB rays and
- UVC rays
The latter one is the most dangerous rays and is being blocked by the Ozone layer.
Overexposure to UVB rays causes skin reddening and sunburn, actively contributing to skin cancer in long-term. UVB rays can produce tan by the production of melanin in the body.
The UVA rays which account for 95% of UV radiations reaching earth is the major ingredient for the creation of a tan. UVA rays produce tan by oxidating the melanin.
The intensity of UVA remains same all around the year. Exposure to the same for different durations results in a tan, burn or in extreme case, melanoma.
When you are outdoors you must you a sunscreen which protects you from both these rays. Even when you are intentionally having a sunbathe you are recommended to wear SPF of 10 or 15.
But what about being indoors?
Is the window glass strong enough to protect you from these dangerous rays?
Let us have a close look.
Window Glass and Sun Protection
The degree of protection from the hazardous rays depends on how much of those are passing through the glass.
Can UV rays go through glass?
Yes but not all!
First of all, you need to understand that all the glasses are not the same.
- Nowadays, most of the offices have double glazed windows. These types of windows act like Ozone layers and will let none among UVA and UVB rays to penetrate inside. Yeah, you don’t get any tan.
- The second type is the ordinary glass. It blocks almost all of the UVB rays (shorter waves) from entering your house or office. Nevertheless, it won’t shield you from the UVA rays (longer wavers) completely.
Moreover, UVA contributes to skin aging, wrinkling and may even initiate the development of skin cancers.
UVA is the dominant tanning ray, and we now know that tanning, whether outdoors or in a salon, cause cumulative damage over time.
Do not forget that production of melanin after sunbathe is body’s act of protecting itself!
Can You Fetch all the Benefits through the Glass?
As you might have noticed, the ordinary glass panes will block the UVB rays which have a role to play in the production of vitamin D in our body. So absorption of the same is very much limited even you are sitting for hours near your windows.
In that case, you need to balance your diet, eat and gain the required vitamin.
Can You Tan through a Window?
Well, this depends.
As I have explained above, you will not get any tan through double glazed windows.
Up to 74% of UVA rays can penetrate ordinary window glass. You need to understand that you are not at all getting UVB rays and only 3 quarters of the UVA rays.
This means your chances of getting tan through windows is very minimal. Even if you expose yourself to sunrays coming through glasses, you will have to wait for a considerable amount to get a healthy tan.
Nerdy, yet useful stuff right?
The UVA rays pass so easily through the glass. However, the resulting tan, its intensity, burn or other harms depends on your skin type, your location, season etc.
Fair skin people are very sensitive to the sunrays regardless of its intensity. They tend to develop reddish patches or a burn rather than a tan! And it can be generalized that you can’t get a tan as compared to direct sunbathe, via the window.
It might take hours to develop a color but by that time the harm will be done. If ignored the UVA rays will easily cause you a burn in long run.
Haven’t you noticed a color change in your arm next to the window of the car after a long drive? The above-discussed principle applies here also.
There is a high correlation between the number of skin cancer cases diagnosed on the left arm side (the driver side) and the sun exposure! If not taken care of the sunlight results in the development of skin cancer whether or not exposed directly.
Do you need to wear sunscreen indoors?
The glass window may be able to block UVB rays, but not UVA rays.
UVA rays can have a deeper toll on your skin upon overexposure in a long duration. You might not be in a position to witness the gradual changes.
In order to protect your skin from UVA rays, you should wear sunscreen if you’re exposed to sunrays.
By far you might have analyzed that your skin must be protected using a sunscreen which shields you from both UVA and UVB rays. And you need to use the SPF no matter where you are.
If your working environment is near windows or if you are a driver by profession, you need to take good care of your skin and shield it from any harm.
Indoor or Outdoor Tanning Lotion?
Although the chances of getting tan through glass are very less, this is the doubt you might have.
Will you consider getting tan through a window as an indoor tanning or outdoor tanning?
Well, there is nothing much to get confused.
Even though you might be sitting inside your office or home, it is the sun rays that help you tan. There is no tanning bed or spray tanning machine to assist you here. This is purely outdoor tanning.
Getting suntan through windows may look like a golden idea to those who don’t have time. But, let me tell you that the tan will never be even.
Are you going to walk half naked in the office, exposing your body to those UVA rays coming through the glass windows?
No, not at all.
The greatest disadvantage of tanning through windows is you won’t get an even tan. You might be sitting in your office and all your body parts won’t be exposed to the UV rays.
What should you do to get an even tan? You have the following options:
- It is recommended to visit your nearby tanning salons. You can also use a tanning bed twice in a week to maximize the tanning. You can find the best ones here: https://tanvogue.com/best-tanning-beds/
- Another alternative is to spend the weekend on the beaches to expose other areas and get the desired amount of tan. Find the best tanning hours to get the golden sun-kissed look here: https://tanvogue.com/best-time-to-tan/
- Getting a fake tan through spray tanning has become trendy nowadays. You should make sure that you use the best spray tan gun available in the market for the best results.
Ready to Tan through Windows?
Our skin protects our body from its surrounding and related harms out there. I’m sure that everyone is quite aware that our skin does reflect the overall health of our body.
No argument against the fact that we do need to protect our natural protecting shield, our skin using sunscreens even while spending time behind glasses.
Unknowingly or knowingly our body gets tanned even when sitting in the office room or home. Said that, you can’t see surprises in a month time. Tanning through windows demand time.
But, the bottom line is that you can tan your body through windows. But I will never recommend this as the chances of getting an uneven tan is very high in this case.
Hiding your pale skin doesn’t mean that you are glowing with health. Health must reflect inside out and you must take good care of it regardless of your surroundings.
Let the sun kiss you and not curse you!
Nothing makes me happier than seeing that smile on your face after having a wonderful tanning session.
My name is Stella Cristin, the owner of Tan Vogue. I am in love with beauty and health products. My great passion is to help people learn about tanning. Read More
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