Cooler temps and earlier sunsets may have you shoving your sunscreen on a shelf and forgetting about it until spring. But, as any dermatologist will say, protecting your skin from UV damage needs to be a year-round routine. Incidental sun exposure—the kind experienced on a daily commute—has a cumulative effect that results in fine lines and sagging skin. The Skin Cancer Foundation suggests that a thick layer of broad-spectrum SPF that protects against UVA and UVB rays are just as important for those who are holed up in a Manhattan office as it is for those who spend their days hitting the slopes or taking snowy walks during winter weekends.
Most of us are exposed to large amounts of UVA throughout our lifetime. UVA rays account for up to 95 percent of the UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface. Although they are less intense than UVB, UVA rays are 30 to 50 times more prevalent. They are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, and can penetrate clouds and glass. UVA, which penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB, has long been known to play a major part in skin aging and wrinkling, as well as damaging skin cells in the basal layer of the epidermis, where most skin cancers occur.
UVB, the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn, tends to damage the skin’s more superficial epidermal layers and plays a key role in the development of skin cancer. The most significant amount of UVB hits the U.S. between 10 AM and 4 PM from April to October. However, UVB rays can burn and damage your skin year-round, especially at high altitudes and on reflective surfaces such as snow or ice, which bounce back up to 80 percent of the rays so that they hit the skin twice. UVB rays do not significantly penetrate glass.
Maybe a simple powder block is best for you:
Before you dash off to the store to stock up on cold-weather SPF, you might wonder what exactly to look for. If you’ve already got a favorite thick moisturizer for day, layering over it with a simple powder block will work wonders: jane iredale’s Powder-Me SPF 30 is recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation and is water resistant for up to 40 minutes. This sun-repelling powder is quick and easy to use and it ensures to give an even coverage. This powder helps reduce inflammation; just rub a little on sunburn for a calming relief.
For those who need moisture with sun protection:
For purists who prefer a dedicated cream to counteract the season’s dry indoor heat and humidity, a richer, more hydrating sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, like Revision Intellishade SPF 45. This lightweight, non-greasy, tinted moisturizer with SPF protects skin from both UVA and UVB rays, giving skin healthy radiance glow. Or go with EltaMD UV Clear SPF 46. This tinted oil-free facial sunscreen adds tinted coverage to the face to even out most skin types. The lightweight, silky sunscreen leaves no residue. It contains vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid and lactic acid that promote the appearance of healthy-looking, moisturized skin.
For a combination foundation and SPF protection in one:
Exuviance CoverBlend Skin Caring Foundation SPF 20 lasts up to 8 hours and is gentle enough for sensitive skin. This illuminating foundation contains a patented polyhydroxy acid that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also provides moisturization, and a non-chemical SPF 15.
Whatever product you choose, make sure that the product states it is good for both UVA/UVB or broadscreen protection. This ensures you’re keeping your skin protected from damaging UVA rays year-round. Don’t forget to cover hands, lips, neck/chest, or any skin exposed to the sun.