The importance of SPF all year long

As the days grow longer and the sun begins to shine, you might start asking yourself: when do I need to start using SPF again? But the reality is, you should be wearing sunscreen all year long, in the winter, summer and all seasons in between. Although you might not notice it as much, the protection you give your skin each summer is needed in the winter too, because your skin is affected by the sun no matter the temperature or the season.

What are the long-term effects of sun exposure?

In the summer, we all recognize tell-tale signs of sun damage: a bad sunburn, peeling, skin rash or even sun poisoning. But everyday exposure to UV rays also has damaging effects. When our skin is exposed to the sun, the UV rays can damage cells at every level. This can affect collagen and elastin fibers, which triggers premature aging. UV rays can also impact the DNA in our skin cells, putting us at an increased risk for skin cancer. Every little exposure to the sun culminates in lasting cell damage, no matter what time of year it is.

What kind of SPF should I use?

The best way to protect yourself is by adding a broad spectrum SPF to your skincare routine. When choosing an everyday SPF, make sure it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA light damages the skin at all levels, while UVB light damages the skin’s outer layer. A physical sunscreen with at least 5% zinc provides sufficient protection against both UVA and UVB rays.  A sunscreen such as the EltaMD Moisturizing SPF 30 is a great option, providing broad spectrum protection while keeping your skin hydrated.

When should I apply SPF?

When using SPF daily, the best time to apply the product is after your moisturizer in the morning. Your makeup can be applied directly afterwards. If you are spending a lot of time outdoors, make sure you reapply throughout the day for optimal sun protection.

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