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Is It Bad to Sleep with Sunscreen On?

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Is It Bad to Sleep with Sunscreen On?

When you go outside and apply sunscreen, do you feel like it’s going to make a difference? Is it worth the time and energy to reapply throughout the day, or are you just wasting your time? The answer is that, yes, applying sunscreen can help prevent skin cancer. But did you know that people also sleep with their sunscreens on sometimes?

It may sound crazy, but some say they find it helps them not burn much in the morning when they wake up. Now there’s finally an answer to this question. It turns out sleeping with sunscreen on isn’t bad because it reacts with your skin overnight. Let’s get into what happens when we sleep with our sunscreens on!

Understand How Sunscreens Work

Many people think that putting on sunscreen will continue to protect them the whole time they’re outside. But it is not true because there are two different categories for sun protection. The main one is known as “Broad Spectrum,” which makes up organic sunscreens.

When you’re putting on sunscreen, check for the words broad-spectrum protection. If it doesn’t have it, don’t think it’ll protect you from damaging UV rays.

If You Were Going Outside

If you are going outside and applying sunscreen, there are a few other things you should know about how long you should let it sit on your skin. The American Academy of Dermatology says that if you’re going to be out in the sun for about 15 minutes or less, you don’t need to worry as sunlight activates sunscreen pretty quickly.

If you are going outside and staying out for longer than that, make sure you give your sunscreen at least 20 minutes to sit on your skin to enable it to protect you for a longer period.

Is It Bad to Sleep with Sunscreen On?

What happens if you decided to take that extra hour nap, or you just couldn’t fall asleep until three in the morning and now need a new layer of sunscreen? If those are the times you applied it, then you can rest easy knowing you’re still protected.

Sunscreen will work better at night because your body temperature is lower. It won’t feel thick and heavy on your skin.

The Science Behind It

Most sunscreens work by absorbing the UVB rays that get to our skin. When you apply it to your skin in the morning, these rays have enough time to burn into your skin and cause damage. The sunscreen prevents that from happening by absorbing the UVB ray before it gets through the top layer of your skin.

However, when you sleep with your sunscreen on, it doesn’t have enough time to absorb all the UVB rays. Some of them get through and cause damage to your skin. But the damage is not as great because they still had to pass through a barrier before reaching your dermis, where most of the damage occurs.

The Dermis and the Epidermis

Here’s a quick anatomy lesson before we go any further! Two main layers make up your skin: the epidermis and the dermis.

The epidermis is on the top layer of your skin, and it does its job by absorbing UV rays from sunlight which can cause damage to your skin. It also protects your body from bacteria and germs that can infect your skin.

The dermis is beneath the epidermis. Most of the damage occurs at this point if you get burned during the day or when you sleep with sunscreen on! It’s also where most of your blood vessels, nerves, and hair follicles are.

Once the UV rays get through the first layer of skin (the epidermis), they cause damage to your dermis, which may result in a burn depending on how much sun you exposed yourself to and for how long.

Sleeping with your sunscreen on isn’t equivalent to getting burned during the day because the UVB rays have to pass through the second layer of skin before reaching the dermis.  While you won’t get burned as badly, you may still end up with some UVB damage to your skin if you sleep with sunscreen on.

The Difference Between Sleeping in Sunscreen and Not Sleeping in it

There is a big difference when you sleep with sunscreen on or don’t sleep with it. If you’re out in the sun all day, you should apply your sunscreen often to be safe. It will help make sure that you get home without getting burned badly.

But if you’re going to sleep and don’t want to get burned, it’s a good idea to wash off your sunscreen before getting some rest. After all, your body has been fighting the sun throughout the day. When night time comes along, and you decide to wash off your sunscreen, it will give your body a break just in time for bed.

Why You Should Wash It Off if Sleeping in Sunscreen

While sleeping with sunscreen on may not be bad for your skin, you should still wash your face and body before going to sleep.

Many people say that even when you’re sleeping, the UV rays will still damage your skin provided they have a chance to pass through your skin. It means that you should never wear sunscreen to bed. It may have SPF in it, but you still need to wash it off before sleeping.

The Takeaway

As you can see, it’s best not to wear sunscreen to bed. If you sleep with your sunscreen on and then get up in the morning without washing it off first, you might suffer from some UV damage even though you applied it during the day.

It is why you should always make sure that the sunscreen you use has an SPF of at least 15 or higher. You may not get burned in the daytime, but you still need to protect your skin from the sun. If you want to do all that you can to ensure that your skin won’t get damaged while sleeping, wash off your sunscreen before going to bed.

Don Mensa

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