Do You Need Sunscreen At Night?

by Gio
do you need sunscreen at night?

I thought I was obsessed about sun protection. Until I heard there are people who use sunscreen at night.


It’s called SUNscreen for a reason. It protects you from the sun. Why put it on when the star has left the building?

Computers. And the moon. At least, those are the reasons moonscreeners give for their weird behaviour. Do they have a point?

Let’s see what the science says:

Do You Need Sunscreen At Night To Protect Your Skin Again Screen Light?

Did you know that computer screens, televisions and lighting can emit some UV rays?

(Seriously, there is no escaping those pesky UV rays, is there?)

But, their radiation is NOTHING compared to the sun’s radiation. Like, it’s so minimal, it doesn’t really cause any problems.

To put things into perspective, the visible light emitted from an iMac is 100 less damaging than the radiation from the midday sun (when its rays are the strongest). A 4 inch smartphone is 2000 less damaging!

I get wanting to keep your skin safe from ultraviolet radiation, but this is bordering on paranoid, imo.

If you’re really worried, turn the lights off or don’t spend too much time in front of your computer. You should turn it off at least two hours before going to bed anyway (don’t complain you can’t get any sleep if you stay up late checking out Facebook).

Related: Should You Wear Sunscreen In Front Of Your Computer?

How effective is your sunscreen? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the β€œSunscreen Audit” Worksheet and find out if your sunscreen is really up to the job:

Is Wearing Sunscreen At Night Bad For Skin?

You don’t need to wear sunscreen at night. But, let’s say you’re the paranoid type who feels like doing it anyway. Is it gonna harm your skin?

Some experts think that wearing sunscreen at night is a recipe for pimples. They say sunscreen clogs your pores, so you have to take it off before going to sleep.

There’s some truth in that. If you let your sunscreen accumulate too much, yes, it will clog your pores. But if you remove it at the end of the night and then put on a new coat, you’re safe.

Unless, you have breakout prone skin and use a sunscreen with comedogenic ingredients. Wear it night or day, those pimples are gonna get you anyway.

There’s a more serious reason why you should’t wear your sunscreen at night. Your wallet.

Sunscreen is expensive. Piling it on when you don’t need it is a waste. You’re throwing money down the drain.

Related: What Happens When You Sleep With Makeup On?

The Bottom Line

Save your sunscreen (and your money) for they day. You don’t need it at night.

Do you wear sunscreen at night? Share your experience in the comments below.



Tammy September 27, 2010 - 10:44 pm

I didn’t know that computers and TV’s emit UV rays. Maybe that’s why the lines under my eyes are getting deeper. Eeep!

beautifulwithbrains September 28, 2010 - 8:20 am

Tammy, if you have a LED monitor you should be fine, they shouldn’t emit any. But yeah, some computer screens can emit UV light but I wouldn’t worry too much about it. πŸ˜‰

Krystle September 30, 2019 - 2:25 pm

I wear sunscreen at night because I work the graveyard shift and go home in the morning. then I wash it off before going to bed.

Sarah J August 5, 2017 - 6:45 pm

Rubbing the skin under your eyes can make bags/lines under them. I did that for awhile (rubbed under my eyes) because my mascara didn’t stay put and eek! I was getting bags under my eyes over time. Now I try to only carefully dab on eye cream without rubbing: but you may already knew that!

Gio August 19, 2017 - 10:11 pm

Sarah, oh no! The eye area is so delicate, isn’t it?

Ria September 27, 2010 - 10:48 pm

I don’t see any point in doing this.I mean the skin has to be able to breathe non chemical stuff(because sunblovk is good,but it’s not all good).I agree with you!

beautifulwithbrains September 28, 2010 - 8:26 am

Ria, I agree! We should give skin a rest at night so that it can regenerate and repair itself, wearing sunblock is useless.

makeup morsels September 28, 2010 - 12:07 am

haha, yes it really doesn’t make sense to wear it at night. I do wear it on cloudy/rainy days though for the reason that you mentioned

beautifulwithbrains September 28, 2010 - 8:27 am

Makeup Morsels, good for you! Sunscreen should be worn every day regardless of the weather but at night it’s taking things too far imo.

Jeni September 29, 2010 - 9:26 am

I laughed when I saw the title of this post because I used to be paranoid I was ruining my skin by not wearing sunscreen at night. I also read that household lights emit UV rays, and I never knew how much, so a long time ago I did wear sunscreen at night. Now I don’t. However when I don’t leave the house in the day time, I get paranoid when I’m not wearing sunscreen because UVA rays can come through the windows and cause wrinkles! My boyfriend loves opening all of the blinds, and sometimes I put on sunscreen, just to be safe!

beautifulwithbrains September 29, 2010 - 10:29 am

Jeni, I wear sunscreen at home during the day too. Everyone thinks I’m crazy for doing it but you’re right. UVA rays can penetrate through windows and cause premature aging and so I’d rather be safe than sorry. After all, putting on some sunscreen doesn’t hurt at all. At home, I use my sunscreen in the summer but in winter when the weather’s bad I use a moisturizer with SPF as that should be enough.


[…] Should I wear sunscreen at night? by Beautiful with Brains […]

Stavroula Plag October 3, 2010 - 7:31 am

I hate sunscreen in general (I use a powder with sunscreen instead), because I have very oily skin, so do you think I would wear it at night? lol πŸ˜‰

beautifulwithbrains October 3, 2010 - 8:48 pm

Stavroula, finding a good sunscreen for oily skin is so hard. Cosmetics with SPF are a great alternative. πŸ™‚

Stavroula Plag October 4, 2010 - 7:14 am

I’m using Physician’s Formula Healthy Wear Bronzer SPF50! πŸ˜‰ I can’t stand cream/liquid sunscreens, they make my face sticky and more oily, yikes!

beautifulwithbrains October 4, 2010 - 10:58 am

Stavroula, that’s a common problem for people with oily skin and it’s a shame cos wearing sunscreen is so important. But I’m glad you found a great alternative. I’ve heard raves about that bronzer, but unfortunately it’s not available here.

Stavroula Plag October 4, 2010 - 10:59 am

It’s not available here either girl !! I got it on ebay and it really works!!! πŸ˜‰

beautifulwithbrains October 4, 2010 - 12:06 pm

Stavroula, that’s great! I usually use ebay for discounted high-end products but I will have to look for this one now, thanks. πŸ™‚

Morgan April 3, 2018 - 2:20 am

Oh no!! I know this post is years old, but I’m seeing people talking about powder sunscreens. They don’t protect your skin! You can’t get an even application with those (same for sprays speaking of that). Also, powder is too light, nobody is going to apply enough powder for it to be effective.

Please, if you’re reading this in 2018 or later, stay away from powder sunscreens!! They should be illegal. Put them on top of lotion sunscreens if you want, but they don’t work alone.

CeraVe makes sunscreens that feel wonderful to wear on my oily skin, also Neutrogena Sheer Zinc is good, and doesn’t burn my eyes. I like to layer them.

Gio April 8, 2018 - 11:38 am

Morgan, thank you for the remainder, I couldn’t agree with you more. Powder and sprat sunscreens are very convenient but they don’t protect you as well. It’s not worth the risk. πŸ™‚

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