4 Facts to Keep You Applying Sunscreen This Fall & Winter

Sunscreen is an everyday staple, it’s not just for the summer months. As you feel the crisp, cool air hitting your face as fall moves in you may feel tempted to toss out your sunscreen. Don’t do it! Even in the dreary cloud filled days ahead of us, your skin is still at risk for UV exposure. Keep reading for facts on why you should continue applying sunscreen in the colder months ahead.

1. “The temperature has no influence over the sun’s strength. Just because the weather is colder, you still have to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours if you’re out in direct sunlight. The rays are exactly the same as the summer rays,” states Jennifer Jordan, Physician Assistant at Sanova Dermatology in Austin, Texas. Snow and ice can reflect up to 80% of the UV light from the sun. This causes a reflection similar to being in a pool, which causes the rays to hit you twice.

2. One common myth is that glass blocks UV rays. Certain window films may decrease your risk for exposure, but glass itself only blocks UVA rays, not UVB rays. You still need sunscreen to protect yourself from these rays.

3. Sun Damage can occur at any time of the year. You should especially avoid the sun between the hours of 10 am – 4 pm. Even if it’s cloudy, a sunburn can occur in any month of the year. Sun damage can lead to skin cancer, rapid-aging, and skin damage. Just one sunburn every two years can triple your chances of getting melanoma (a type of skin cancer).

4. Using an SPF in your make-up or moisturizer everyday is beneficial for minimal sun exposure and to prevent rapid-aging. “The daily recommended SPF is 30 or greater; most makeup, light moisturizers and powders that contain SPF are very often SPF 15 or less. And wearing two together, i.e. light moisturizer followed by powder, does not have an additive effect. It is best to look for a moisturizer that has an SPF of 30+,” Jordan explains. For longer periods of exposure make sure to slather up with a more efficient sunscreen product. SPF level should remain the same, there’s no need to lower it.

“Some patients report that they can not wear sunscreen that it burns and stings and I will explain this is most often due to wearing chemical sunscreens that contain ingredients like avobenzone also known as Parsol 1789.  Physical sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide function as a barrier from UV rays and are better tolerated,” reveals Jordan.

So get out and enjoy those crisp fall days, just don’t forget your sunscreen!

Contact Sanova Dermatology for all of your sunscreen or skin care questions today.

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