When you think of sunscreen, you probably think of sweltering summer heat, skin for days, and that nasty sunburn your friend had that one time. You’re probably not thinking of crisp autumn weather, sweaters, and fleece lined leggings. But honestly, you shouldn’t think of protection from the sun as some sort of seasonal adventure in skincare. In fact, most experts say that you should wear sunscreen every single day. Yes, that means in the dog days of summer and when there’s snow on the ground.
This can be really hard to fathom and seem even harder to follow. Hell, I’m guilty of sniffing at the idea myself. But to be fair, no reasonable person is calling for slathering your arms and legs with sunscreen in the wintertime; those parts of your body are likely covered up and protected from the sun anyway. But you know what isn’t? Your face. Your face also happens to be the place where you’re ultra susceptible to long term effects of sun damage, especially when it comes to discoloration and uneven tone. This isn’t just happening in June, it’s happening when you’re walking around in November too. Need some convincing? Here are six reasons why you need to wear sunscreen even when it’s cold outside. Whether you’re pale and burn easily or have dark skin and tan in a snap, you need to listen up and get smart about sun protection year round.
The Sun's Rays Don't Lose Strength, Even When It's CloudyThe sun might not be out for as long, and there might be more cloud cover in the fall and winter than in spring and summer. But here's the deal: The sun's UV rays are basically just as strong as ever, even when it's cold outside, even when there are tons of clouds. It might not be hot out, but the sun is still doing its work, which means that it can still be doing some damage to your skin if you're outside pretty often. Just throw on some sunscreen and keep it movin'. Submarine
Sunscreen Will Help Prevent Uneven SkintoneUneven skin tone is a big pain in the butt, and it's a problem that many of my fellow women of color are especially susceptible to thanks to our ability to produce melanin like crazy. Yes, there's a cruel irony here: More melanin helps protect our skin from sunburn and sun damage, but the superficial effects can be tough to handle. That's why everyone--yes, even those of you with melanin that's poppin'--should wear sunscreen as much as possible. Pinterest
Your Skincare Regimen Might Already Depend On ItIf you're using any acne medication--prescription or even stuff from the drugstore--take a look at the packaging. You'll probably see a note about wearing sunscreen somewhere on there. DON'T IGNORE THAT. A lot of acne medications and skincare products are sun sensitive, which means that they're more susceptible to burns and other skin irritants if you don't wear sunscreen on top! Buy this at The Ordinary for $6.50
It Could Be A Literal LifesaverSorry to be dramatic AF, but wearing sunscreen every day can be a literal lifesaver. This is especially true if you have light skin, burn easily, or have a history of skin cancer in your family. Rates of skin cancer are increasing, and wearing sunscreen is a big factor into preventing it in the first place. Pinterest
It's Easier Than Ever To Wear Sunscreen, So Why Avoid It?It can be really hard to find a sunscreen that works for you--some are too greasy, others leave a white cast that's terrible for darker skin colors--but it's easier than ever to get a little SPF in your makeup. Whether you rock a foundation, tinted moisturizer, or BB/CC cream as your preferred makeup base, check to make sure it has an SPF of at least 15; 30 and you're golden. Sunscreen is most effective when reapplied throughout the day, but if you're not outside too much, one application should be fine. Buy this at Sephora for $44
Your Skin Will Look Better, LongerOn the one hand, screw worrying about looking older and no longer adhering to super sexist standards about women's looks going down the drain thanks to a few wrinkles. On the other hand, it doesn't hurt to do what you can to make your skin look as on point for as long as possible, wrinkles be damned. The fact is that the sun can cause premature aging, so if you care about that stuff, getting into the habit of wearing SPF at an early age can help prevent some of the brunt of that damage. If you don't care, that's chill too: This is probably the least important reason to rock sunscreen. Brazil
Do you wear SPF every day? Is it in your makeup or do you put on sunscreen as a separate step? Tell us in the comments!