Should You Wear Sunscreen At Night? Here’s The Answer

The debate about wearing sunscreen at night has been raging for years. Some say it’s okay to wear, others disagree.

So what is the verdict? Should you wear sunscreen at night? The short answer is no. While sunscreen can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays in the morning, it doesn’t serve any purpose at night.

Keep reading to know why you shouldn’t wear sunscreen at night (and more).

Should you wear sunscreen at night?

As I mentioned earlier, the answer is no. When it comes to protecting yourself against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, there is no point in wearing sunscreen at night. Why? Because there’s no sun in the sky at night.

Some say that it’s still important to wear sunscreen at night as the body can still be exposed to UV rays from artificial light sources such as light bulbs.

While there is some truth to this, the amount of UV rays these artificial sources emit is very low and therefore does not require the use of sunscreen.

Why you shouldn’t wear sunscreen at night

May cause acne

To prevent acne, you might have been told to wash your face regularly and avoid scrubs or anything that can irritate your skin. These steps are all good advice, but one thing you haven’t been told is that wearing sunscreen at night may cause acne.

Sunscreen contains oils that clog your pores while you sleep, making them more susceptible to bacteria buildup. Over time, this can cause acne and can even make existing acne worse.

May dry out your skin

Sunscreen contains few hydrating ingredients, which your skin needs to stay healthy. When you slather on sunscreen at night, your skin dries out and becomes more prone to wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven pigmentation.

You spend more

Sunscreens are more expensive than most nighttime products because of the SPF in them. They have to have a high SPF value and other additives that make them more effective at protecting against sun damage.

You’re missing out on other products

Sunscreen contains ingredients, such as SPF and oils that your body doesn’t require at night. By using sunscreen at night, you’re missing out on nighttime products with more benefits, such as retinoids and night creams.

For instance, some night creams contain ingredients such as niacinamide and vitamin C, which help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, and uneven pigmentation while you sleep.

SEE: Why You Should Be Using Both Niacinamide And Vitamin C Together

Should you wash off sunscreen at night?

Yes, you should.

The main purpose of sunscreen is to act as a barrier between you and the sun’s rays, so washing it off at night when the sun is gone is the best thing to do.

As a general rule, you should wash off all daytime products, including moisturizer at night. This will help prevent them from clogging your pores while you sleep and causing breakouts.

Should you wear a moisturizer with SPF at night?

No, you shouldn’t.

When you wear a moisturizer with SPF during the day, your skin is protected from the sun. However, when you wear the moisturizer at night, it will most likely clog your pores, leading to breakouts.

Moreover, a moisturizer with SPF is not as hydrating as a regular nighttime moisturizer. Using it at night for a long time can cause your skin to lose its moisture and become dehydrated.

The result is that your skin will become dry and flaky. You may also have a burning sensation on your face when you wake up in the morning because of this dryness.

SEE: How Does SPF Work To Protect The Skin

Should you wear sunscreen every day?

The answer is yes.

Sunscreen is your best line of defense against the sun’s harmful rays. It prevents burning, peeling, and redness, as well as any long-term damage to your skin caused by sun exposure.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, people should apply sunscreen liberally 15 minutes before going outdoors during the day and then reapply every two hours or as needed (depending on your activity level).

Doctors also recommend using broad-spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30 when spending time outdoors.

Sunscreens with higher SPF are better for everyday use since they protect against both UVA rays and UVB rays, which can cause sunburns and skin cancer.

SEE: Is Sunscreen Good For Dark Skin Tones?

Should you wear sunscreen indoors?

Yes, but only during the day.

The sun’s UV rays are classified into two: UVA rays (which have short wavelengths) and UVB rays (which have long wavelengths).

Because of their long wavelengths, UVB rays can penetrate through glass doors and windows. That’s why it’s important to wear sunscreen during the day — regardless of whether you’re indoors or outdoors.

Can you use sunscreen as a moisturizer?

The short answer to this question is no.

While sunscreen does contain some hydrating ingredients, it’s primarily designed to protect the skin from sun damage. Moisturizers, on the other hand, are designed to hydrate and improve the overall appearance of your skin.

If you are looking for a product that will hydrate and protect your skin from the sun, you may be better off using a moisturizer with SPF.

However, be sure to look for one that has a high SPF to prevent sunburn and has hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid (HA). HA helps retain moisture in the skin so you can achieve soft, smooth-looking skin.

SEE: Everything You Need to Know Before Buying A Moisturizer

What kind of sunscreen should you wear?

It depends on your preference.

There are two types of sunscreens: physical and chemical.

Physical sunscreens contain zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which sit on the skin’s surface and deflect UV rays. Chemical sunscreens contain many ingredients which absorb UV rays and convert them into energy to prevent them from damaging the skin.

Before buying sunscreen, make sure you do your research and check with your dermatologist. They will help decide which sunscreen is best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

should you wear sunscreen at night

How many hours does SPF 30 last?

2 hours. SPF 30 is only fully effective for 2 hours, which means you need to reapply it every 2 hours for full sun protection.

Can you apply sunscreen on makeup?

Yes, you can.

Makeup shouldn’t be an excuse to skip using sunscreen on your face.

To avoid ruining your makeup while applying sunscreen, use a powder sunscreen or a makeup setting spray with SPF. You can also use a spray sunscreen if you have one handy.

What happens when you don’t wear sunscreen?

When you don’t wear sunscreen, UV rays penetrate through the protective barriers of your skin and cause damage.

This can result in sunburns, premature aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles, and even skin cancer.

Can you apply sunscreen on sensitive skin?

Yes, you can. However, be sure to use a fragrance-free sunscreen, as some sunscreens can cause irritation and inflammation in those with sensitive skin types.

Is it okay to use expired sunscreen?

No, it isn’t. You should avoid using expired sunscreen or any other skincare products that have expired. Using expired skin care products can lead to dryness, inflammation, and irritation of the skin.


Sunscreens are designed to protect you from the sun’s UV rays, which can lead to premature aging and other health issues such as cancer.

But since there is no sun in the sky at night, it’s best to swap your sunscreen for other skincare products, such as night creams and retinoids.

That being said, ensure that you’re protecting yourself during the day by applying sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

Thanks for reading.

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