Should You Wear “Moonscreen”?

I’ve already written a post about whether wearing sunscreen at night was necessary, but in it I focused on the UV light emitted by lightning and computer screens, and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t strong enough to harm skin. Thus, sunscreen wasn’t needed. But what about moonlight?

Surely, most of us won’t spend many hours outside in the middle of the night, but now that the days are shorter and the sun sets earlier, leaving its place to the moon already in the mid-afternoon, do we need to wear “moonscreen” to protect our skin from its light, when we’re out running errands or taking our dog for a walk?

The short answer is no. The moon doesn’t emit any light of its own, but only reflects the sunlight that hits it. But can this sunlight, when reflected to the earth, damage our skin? Again no. Dr Neil Schultz explains why:

“The diameter of the sun is slightly greater than 400 times the diameter of the moon. So if the moon were a perfectly reflective mirror reflecting 100% of the sunlight that hits it, it could only reflect 1/400th or ¼ of 1% of the sunlight.

But the moon’s surface is a very poor reflector, instead absorbing most of the visible and UV light that hits it… reflecting only 7 to 12% of visible light, and only about 0.7% of UV light… that’s less than 1% of the UV light.

So between the small size of the moon and it’s poor reflectance, only about 1/40 of 1% of the sun’s UV is reflected to the earth… Said another way, 99.98% of the sun’s UV does NOT get reflected. It’s just like wearing a sunscreen that blocks 99.98% of the sun.”

But what about that tiny amount of UV light that the moon does reflect to the earth? There’s no need to worry about it either: it simply gets absorbed by the atmosphere. So, once the sun has set, you can stop reapplying sunscreen. After all, it’s called SUNscreen for a reason. 😉

Have you ever worn sunscreen at night?

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  1. says

    Love this post! And no, I rarely wear sunscreen during the day so I would certainely not consider it for “moontime”. I wear ss only when I know I’ll be outside more. The rest of the time it’s an SPF moisturizer. Canadian Winter knocking at my door, time to hibernate! 😀
    Icaria´s last blog post ..Face slapping for younger looking skin?My Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Icaria, I think moisturizers with SPF are a nice way to boost sun protection, but they shouldn’t be used on their own as it’s impossible to apply enough to get the SPF stated on the label. I guess if you’re gonna spend the day indoors they may just about do, but if you go out it’s best to apply sunscreen anyway. :)

      • says

        I’m in my 40’s, no wrinkles! I’ve always worn spf protection, since my late teens. I think the trick in my case is that I’ve never tried to tan since lying in the sun makes me fees woosy. This is probably combined with good genes. Now my daughter, that’s another story. She doesn’t leave the house without SS. 😀
        Icaria´s last blog post ..Face slapping for younger looking skin?My Profile

        • beautifulwithbrains says

          Icaria, well done for starting wearing sun protection so early and it’s great that you have no wrinkles. SPF protection is really the best anti-aging treatment. And also well done for teaching your daughter to always wear sunscreen. :)

  2. Janessa says

    I’m glad that we don’t need sunscreen at night! I often take off my sunscreen and apply a moisturizer in the evening when the sun sets :]. Now I don’t ever have to worry about wearing sunscreen under moonlight. Just another reason why you’re so awesome.

    I’m reading Pride and Prejudice and I LOVE it! My teacher is a huge Jane Austen fan and she is explaining the story and witty comments as we read. We’re annotating too. 😀 Should I read it once through without annotating just to enjoy it? I enjoy it both ways but you know best since you love to read.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, I agree. It’s good that we don’t have to worry about sunscreen at night and can just take it off.

      And I’m so glad you’re enjoying Pride and Prejudice. It’s one of my favourite books ever. I think it’s always best to read the annotated edition first as that will help you better understand what is going on and all the pun/comments the author makes. Once you know all the facts, you can go back and read it all again without notes. Pride and Prejudice is one of those books that is always a pleasure to read. :)

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