Summer is over, and leaves are changing colors. Sweaters are coming out of storage, and your skin care needs may be changing. However, one thing that should not change as we move deeper into autumn is sunscreen usage. Days become shorter, temperatures become cooler, and the sun seems less intense, but sunscreen is just as important as ever.
It’s easy to be lulled into a false sense of comfort during the colder months of the year when it comes to sunscreen. Although the temperatures have dropped, the rays of the sun are just as strong as ever. In fact, during winter, you are just as likely to receive a sunburn and the possible accompanying sun damage as during the summer, particularly if it snows. When it snows, the sun’s rays may be reflected back up at you by as much as 80 percent stronger!
During the winter months, the air tends to be dryer than at other times of the year due to decreased humidity combined with using heating when indoors -- drying out the skin. Dry skin is already at risk of skin damage, which may be compounded by the effects of the sun. In addition, windy weather can also cause the skin to become chapped. The combined effects are skin damage from multiple sources.
Without proper care, the compounded effects of dry air, the sun’s damaging rays, and the effects of wind may result in redness, dry skin, and irritation. When it comes to winter skin care, a healthy routine should include both a high quality moisturizer and sunscreen. Ideally, sunscreen should have an SPF (sun protection factor) of at least 30 and should be applied evenly over exposed skin several times throughout the day. In addition, be sure to include a lip balm containing sunscreen, as the lips are also vulnerable to sun damage and dry, winter weather.
During the winter months, in addition to applying sunscreen evenly across the face and a lip balm to the lips, be sure to continue using sunglasses during sunny days, as the damaging effects of the sun on the eyes are also present during the winter months, and may be stronger if there is snow on the ground. In addition, sunglasses or a wide brimmed hat may also help prevent signs of aging around the eyes at any time of year. This is particularly important as many sunscreens are not meant to be applied to the eyelids.
In addition to continuing a regular routine of sunscreen and moisturizer during the colder months of the year, be sure to request a consultation with your aesthetician before winter is in full swing. Beyond sunscreen and moisturizer, your skin care needs change during the course of the year as the weather changes. The products and routines that are ideal for your skin during the summer may not be the best products for you during the winter months.
To learn more about keeping your skin healthy and glowing during the winter, or options for treating cold weather skin ailments, please call Monarch Skin Rejuvenation Center today at (916) 317-9386.