Sun & Skin News

Layering Is the Key!

By Julie Bain • October 8, 2021
Two female friends walking down a Brooklyn alley wearing face masks

When the air turns cool, you may not feel the heat of the sun’s rays. But they still have the power to damage your skin, so follow our autumn guidelines to protect yourself!

Fall weather is here, and in many part of the country, that means lower temperatures and less humidity. Experts agree that one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being — and to reduce stress — is to get outside.

Walking among trees and plants, whether in a park, a pumpkin patch or your backyard, connects you to the earth and can help you feel rooted and centered. Doing something active while you’re outside, whether it’s hiking, biking, picking apples, raking leaves or stacking firewood, releases “feel good” chemicals and is more fun when someone else is doing it with you. It’s easy to socially distance and protect yourself outside while spending time with family and friends. When the air is crisp, you sweat less, and if you’re wearing a mask, it will feel more comfortable.

Before you head outside, though, remember that it’s also crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays in all kinds of weather — all year long. Every exposure adds up and can lead to the signs of aging as well as skin cancer. Share and follow our tips:

Fall Skin-Protection Strategies

Clothing is a good start. Fall temperatures are variable, and if you’re active outside, you can warm up quickly. Layering a lightweight jacket over a long-sleeve shirt over a T-shirt provides insulation and sun protection, while allowing you to peel off layers if you get overheated. Many athletic wear manufacturers offer shirts that can keep you warm and wick away sweat while providing an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Add a hat (preferably with a wide brim) and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Apply sunscreen strategically. Clothing can’t do it all, though. You will still need sunscreen to fill in the gaps. Before you head outside, plan for skin that you know will be exposed, as well as the areas that might become exposed as you warm up and shed layers of clothing, such as:

  • your face, lips, ears and neck (front and back), in case you warm up and take off your hat — or if your hat doesn’t have a wide brim.
  • your hands, for when you take off your gloves or after you wash your hands.
  • your chest, for when you unzip a fleece shirt or unbutton your jacket.
  • your arms, in case you push up the sleeves of your sweater, remove your jacket or peel down to your T-shirt.

Pick the right products. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 for everyday use and at least SPF 30 for extended time outside, no matter what season it is. Cool fall weather often means drier air, which can make your skin dry and flaky. Slather on a rich facial moisturizer with the SPF you need to help keep skin soft while protecting it. You can layer an SPF foundation over that for extra protection, too. You may want to switch to a richer sunscreen formula for your neck, chest, arms and hands, too. And don’t forget your SPF lip balm when you remove your mask!

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