Harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the leading cause of visible skin aging and skin cancer. While you might be taking precautions against UV when venturing outside, you probably don’t realize that you aren’t safe from UV even if you’re indoors.
Keep the Sun Away from Your House
Your house was probably built to take advantage of sunlight. Large glass windows and doors might make a home more inviting, but they also make you more vulnerable to UV. Protect your house by installing a UV-filtering film on your windows and doors. UV film can keep out more than 95 percent of UV radiation while still letting sunlight in. A more aesthetic measure to keep your house safe is with custom window coverings.
Custom coverings from a reputable company or brand can add to the overall aesthetic design of your house and allow you to regulate the amount of sunlight that enters your home. If your yard has enough space, plant a tree or two to get a bit of shade. Note the times you’re most often in your house and plant trees accordingly—at the east if you’re at home during mornings, at the south if you’re home mid-mornings until the afternoon, or at the west if you’re home late afternoon. These measures will not only keep you safe from UV. They will also keep your house cooler and lower your electric bills.
Sunblock in Your Car?
If you’re not an outdoor person, then a good part of your UV exposure will be due to your daily commute. Those few minutes of driving every day expose you to significant amounts of UV radiation, and the damage can accumulate through the years. Several studies have shown that the majority of skin cancer and melanomas in the US develop on the left side of the body—the side exposed to the sun when driving. While you can certainly apply a bit of sunblock when driving, a more permanent solution is to shield your car from UV entirely. Your car’s windshield has built-in UV protection, so you’ll only need to treat your side and rear windows with UV film. If your parking spot entails a bit of walking, consider bringing an umbrella in mainly sunny days.
You spend most of your daylight hours in your office, and work can make you disregard UV exposure. However, big glass windows make you and your coworkers vulnerable to sun damage. Unlike in your home, avoiding UV exposure in the office will require a bit more effort. Opt for a desk away from the sun or place a barrier between your desk and the sunlight. If you have your own space, get it treated with UV film or appeal to the higher-ups if you share a space with others. Most companies will heed your safety concerns as long as you air them out, especially if you have other employees backing you up.
UV exposure and sun damage are the same, whether you’re outdoors or indoors. A few hours of exposure every day can lead to chronic damage that will age your skin and might eventually lead to skin cancer, so take measures to protect yourself from the sun wherever you might be.