Should You Change Your Sunscreen Habits Come Fall?
We like to believe (read also: hope and pray) that everyone wears sunscreen all year. But because temperatures drop and it isn’t as sunny outside come fall, it might seem like you can get away with wearing a sunscreen with less SPF or even skipping it altogether. According to Miami-based board certified dermatologist Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, though, that thinking is misguided. She explains why, ahead.
Should you change your sunscreen formula in the fall?
In short, the consistency and texture of your sunscreen doesn’t matter, but the amount of SPF you’re applying everyday is non-negotiable regardless of the season. “You really should use the same level of SPF all year long,” says Dr. Ciraldo. “I recommend using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30.”
That being said, you may be more likely to experience dry skin when the temperatures drop, so it might feel like you need to swap your sunscreen for a richer, moisturizing products. While that’s certainly an option (we love the Lancôme Absolue Velvet Cream), Dr. Ciraldo explains that you can still make a lightweight sunscreen work during any season. “If you feel you need more moisture during fall and winter months, I recommend layering a more hydrating moisturizer and then applying the SPF you've used in summertime if this is the one SPF you prefer,” she says.
Ultimately, once you have found a sunscreen you like, you can use the same one year-round and adjust the rest of your skin-care routine as needed. One lightweight, non-greasy option we like is the CeraVe Hydrating Sunscreen with broad-spectrum SPF 30.
Why is it important to wear sunscreen in the fall anyway?
“Although UVB rays (the rays that cause sunburn) lessen in fall and winter, UVA rays, which penetrate much deeper into skin, and are the main cause of aging and more aggressive skin cancers, do not vary with the seasons,” says Dr. Ciraldo. “Redness, loss of elasticity and hyperpigmentation caused by UVA damage shows up within days to weeks respectively,” explains Dr. Ciraldo. “But the damage the sun does to our collagen and elastic fibers shows up much later than the exposure.”
So make sure to layer up on sunscreen every single day no matter the weather. Look for the words “broad-spectrum” on the bottle to ensure your SPF is shielding your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. One to try? The Dr. Loretta Urban Antioxidant Sunscreen SPF 40.
Photo: Chaunte Vaughn
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