As summer is coming to a close many of us are putting our sunscreen bottles back into the bottom of our skincare drawers. You may think sun exposure is much more limited in the fall and winter months and it may be safe for your skin to discard your sunscreen until sunnier days, it’s not.
Your skin still needs UV protection! It is important to keep your skin protected from the sun during the fall and winter months while you’re outdoors, indoors, and throughout very sunny or even the cloudiest of days. UV rays can damage our skin any month of the year.
Do I Really Need to Wear Sunscreen Indoors?
It is a common question most patients ask. Although at first thought it may seem unnecessary to wear sunscreen to protect your skin while you’re indoors, it’s truly not since UV rays can pass through windows. This includes the windows inside your home, your office, or even your car.
In fact, aging on the hands is mostly caused by UV rays penetrating through car windows while you drive. But, it is not just your hands that are at risk when you drive. Many patients feel they experience significantly more sun damage or even deeper wrinkles on their left side of their face when compared to their right.
Our face, neck, and chest also are at risk while driving in the car. More specifically, the left side of your face may face the most sun damage due to rays penetrating through the window closest to the driver’s side of the car. Therefore, SPF should be applied to your face, neck, chest, and even your hands everyday whether you’re inside or outside.
What SPF Strength Should I Use?
It may be easy to think that an SPF (sun protection factor) of 100 provides more than three times the sun protection of an SPF 30 sunblock, but this isn’t necessarily true. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of the sun’s rays, while higher SPFs will block only 1 to 2 percent more.
NO sunscreen can block 100% of rays! Also, the SPF of your sunscreen also has no impact on the length of time sunscreen will last on your skin. SPF 30 provides your skin with the necessary amount of protection from harmful rays, and if applied properly, has the potential to last the same amount of time as any other sunscreen strength.
I recommend reapplying an SPF of 30 or more every two hours or less.
Does the SPF in My Makeup Suffice?
Using a makeup product with some SPF protection is better than no SPF and will give some layer of sun protection for your skin. It is important to note that sunscreen in makeup does
not work as well as traditional sunscreen.
The layer of application is thinner, and you will be less likely to reapply your makeup as often as you may sunscreen. So even if your makeup has an SPF, use a traditional sunscreen underneath in addition.
Do All Sunscreen Ingredients Work the Same?
Sunscreen ingredients can include chemicals to absorb the sun’s rays, or minerals, such as titanium dioxide, that block them. See the photo below.
Oxybenzone, a common ingredient listed in chemical sunscreens, has been linked to hormone disruption and cell damage. Rather than producing chemical reactions on the skin to absorb harmful rays, these mineral ingredients reflect UV rays away from our skin leaving us protected from the sun.
Therefore, I recommend picking up a physical mineral-based sunscreen that will work more efficiently and safely and protect your skin from damage. The two sunscreen ingredients that are indicated by FDA as being “generally recognized as safe and effective” are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
The 411 On Millefiori Sunscreens
At Millefiori we offer Skinceuticals sunscreens. If you prefer a sheer blendable coverage then the Sheer Physical SPF 50 sunscreen is your pick. If you’d like to ditch the heavy makeup and prefer a sheer tinted sunscreen then the Physical Fusion SPF 50 sunscreen is your pick. Both are physical sunscreens, and they are sure to protect your skin from the harmful rays that cause aging and discoloration.
We also offer a brightening option for those interested in preventing discoloration, as well as a tinted mattifying option.