While many people limit sunscreen to the warmer months, sun protection is important all year round. Products that protect the skin from the sun’s UV rays prevent signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles—and reduce skin cancer risk. However, it’s important to choose the right products and apply them properly. Here are four of the most important products to incorporate into a skin care routine when the days get short.
Moisturizer with SPF
For optimal protection, a moisturizer should have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Check the ingredient list for zinc oxide and avobenzone, both of which provide long-lasting protection. Moisturizer should be applied not only to the face, but also to the ears, neck, and any exposed skin in the chest area. The eye area should be avoided, unless using an eye creams with SPF.
Layering the moisturizer with a foundation containing at least SPF 8 increases your sun protection coverage.
This type of makeup, made from naturally occurring materials like zinc oxide, provides soft and shimmery, natural-looking skin coverage that falls somewhere between a foundation and a powder. What’s more, it provides a layer of sun protection in addition to sunscreen. Both titanium oxide and zinc oxide have reflective properties that deflect some UV rays. Pressed powder versions have the added benefit of helping your other makeup layers stay put throughout the day.
The lips have very little natural sun protection, so it’s important to use a colorless lip balm of at least SPF 15, either on top of regular lipstick or on its own.
The combination of these four skin care products helps protect the skin from UV rays without heavy sunscreen. In addition, incorporating sun protection into products that are already part of a skin care routine makes it easier to prevent sun damage even in the winter.