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We all know sun protection is important, and you’re probably a person who protects your skin religiously. You wear sunscreen all spring and summer, making it part of your morning skincare routine and slathering it on liberally throughout the day. You probably have different sunscreens for different occasions, depending on if you’re inside or outside, at the beach or in the yard. It’s important to you to protect your skin, but do you drop the sunscreen when the summer is over? If you do, you’re making a common mistake. Many people put their sunscreen away after Labor Day, mistakenly believing it no longer matters. Here’s why it’s important to keep wearing sunscreen, even when beach days are just a fond memory.

Why Sunscreen Matters in Fall

Just because the season changes, that doesn’t mean that the risk of sun exposure goes away. Even though the number of cloudy days is higher in the fall, it’s important to note that UV rays can penetrate these clouds. Just 15 minutes of sun exposure can damage your skin and raise your risk of skin cancer, the most common type of cancer.

It is true that you’re less likely to burn in fall than you were in summer. That’s because sunburn causing UVB rays weaken in the fall. However, the UVA rays, which cause fine lines and aging, keep going strong all year long. Both kinds of ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer, and because sun damage is cumulative, it’s important to use sunscreen all year. In fall, choose sun protection with hydrators like glycerin and hyaluronic acid and antioxidants like vitamins C and E, as well as SPF 30.

Why Sunscreen Matters in Winter

In the winter, sunscreen may be more important than in the fall. As in the fall, UVA rays are more prevalent than UVB rays in winter, because the earth Is tilting away from the sun. Ice and snow reflect the sun in winter, and in fact can direct about 80 percent of UV radiation at you. UV-protective sunglasses are necessary in winter to protect your eyes from the glare, and sunscreen is needed to protect your skin from cancer. Because UVA rays are longer than UVB, they can penetrate more deeply into your skin, so their impact is bad regardless of the time of year.

For Best Results, Layer Your SPF

While you may have SPF in your makeup or moisturizer, you need a nickel to quarter sized dollop to get the right level of protection. Since you won’t apply that much makeup, layer your SPF, putting it on under your makeup and then applying an SPF powder as your last step, so you can touch it up midday. Make sure all of your products are similar in texture and base, whether they’re all oil based or all water based, for best results.

Trust Swinyer-Woseth With Your Skin

In the battle to protect your skin, sunscreen is important, and so is partnering with a good dermatologist. Swinyer-Woseth Dermatology is committed to providing superior, professional skin care in a manner that’s practical, efficient, and compassionate. With over 30 years of experience providing dermatological services in Salt Lake City, we provide a variety of services, from cosmetic skincare to treatment for skin cancer. Our team of board-certified dermatologists and licensed cosmetic service providers are here to provide you the care you need in a comfortable, professional atmosphere. Call (801) 682-4715 or contact us through our website.