Health Advocate Blog

Summer has ended, but your sun protection shouldn’t

Even though the sunny days of summer are behind us for now, it does not mean the safe sun habits you practiced for the past few months should come to an end. The sun’s rays are still shining down every day, all year round (even through clouds!), so it’s important to keep up with the protection even when your shorts and swimsuits have been packed away (did you know that snow reflects up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays?!). However, the steps you take to make this happen may change slightly with the seasons. Here are a few ideas to transition your sunscreen routine into the fall and winter months.

Continue applying SPF! It is important to apply sunscreen every single day wherever your skin is exposed. In the summer, this may have meant applying to most of your body, but even in the cooler seasons, you should apply sunscreen to your ears, neck and face. Look for an SPF of 15 or higher, but from here, you have options! Some people prefer separate formulas for their face versus their body, and in the winter months, a sunscreen with added moisturizers is a plus to help combat dry skin. Make sure you use a lip balm or product with SPF as well. And if you wear makeup, feel free to layer products like makeup that also include SPF – there is never such a thing as too much sun protection!

Accessorize appropriately. You’ll likely be dressed in more layers as the temperatures drop, which definitely helps protect your skin, but do not forget other accessories. If you’ve ever driven on a sunny winter day, you know how bright it can be! Wearing sunglasses can not only prevent glare but will protect your eyes from UV rays. It’s also important to wear brimmed hats to further shield your face.

Check in with your dermatologist. If you haven’t been to the dermatologist recently, now is a great time to schedule your annual skin check. The doctor will take a close look to ensure there aren’t any moles, birthmarks or other spots that may need to be examined more closely or monitored. They can also make specific recommendations and help you come up with a sun protection plan that fits your needs.

Do regular self-checks. While it’s important to visit the dermatologist each year, you should also be keeping an eye on your skin more regularly on your own to identify anything that looks new or has changed and bring it to the doctor’s attention.

Protecting your skin from the sun year-round can help ensure it stays healthy now and for many years to come!