Skincare tips: Keep up with SPF even in the winter in New Orleans

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Young woman applying Sun block
With the days becoming shorter and summer gone, many of us are tempted to stop using SPF sunscreen as part of our skincare routine. However, New Orleans, LA area dermatologist, Dr. Mary Lupo, encourages patients to keep up with high-SPF sunscreen use even in the winter for a variety of reasons.

Why should high-SPF sunscreen use continue year-round?

We may be tempted to eliminate sunscreen use during the winter, but there’s no good time to discontinue using sunscreen. Protecting the skin from UV rays and damage is a commitment that needs to be made all year round. Many patients don’t think about the cumulative effect of “incidental sun exposure.” This is the exposure that happens every day when we step outside or commute to work. This type of sun exposure can cause fine lines and wrinkles that can contribute to premature aging. It should also be noted that by not protecting the skin with high-SPF sunscreen during these incidental exposures, you are putting your skin at risk for damage and skin cancer.

Patients should continue to use broad-spectrum high-SPF sunscreen as part of their daily skin care regimen to avoid exposure to the sun even if you are not hitting the ski slopes but instead are spending your hours at the office.

What type of sunscreen should I use?

During the winter months, your skin may be drier than during the summer months. Therefore, you might want a different SPF sunscreen to use during the winter. Many patients benefit from using a moisturizing sunscreen that can help in locking moisture into the skin during these drier months. Patients should pay close attention to the level of protection they are obtaining from their sunscreen. There are also sunscreens that provide antioxidants, which can be great for protecting your skin against environmental pollution while also offering sun protection at the same time. We welcome patients to book a consultation appointment with Dr. Mary Lupo and her team to discuss the type of skin they have, and which products are best to not only offer protection from the elements but improve overall skin texture and tone during the winter months.

Who needs to wear high-SPF sunscreen daily?

Everyone! In fact, our team suggests making sunscreen a part of any skin care regimen. Some patients wear SPF underneath their makeup, while others may lather it on cosmetic-free skin in the morning for all-day protection. By making it part of a daily routine, many patients will be unable to forget using their sunscreen and therefore ensure their skin stays healthier and more youthful longer! Even families who are headed north for vacations during the winter months to enjoy skiing or other outdoor sports in the snow are urged to pack high-SPF sunscreen, as the snow can reflect many of the sun’s rays and, in some instances, double exposure.

What are the types of rays introduced with sun exposure?

young happy woman with closed eyes wearing straw hat relaxing and enjoying the sun on the beach Our team encourages patients to pay close attention to the sunscreen they use all year round, as they need to focus on broad-spectrum high-SPF products. This is because the sun emits two types of rays, UVA rays and UVB rays. UVA rays are considered long waves and account for 95 percent of the sun’s rays that reach the earth. They can penetrate deeper and are the type of rays that result in tanning. UVB rays, or short waves, don’t penetrate as deep but can cause redness and sunburn. While UVB is less during the winter, UVA, the longer wavelength, deeper penetrating UV energy is the same all year long. And it is the UVA that ages the skin more, impairs skin immunity and is also a factor in skin cancers and sun allergies.

Interested in more skin care tips?

Contact Dr. Mary Lupo today to book your consultation visit and take the time to develop an effective skin care regimen that works for your specific needs. The team at Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology is at 145 Robert E Lee Boulevard, Suite #302! Call (504) 777-3047 to make your appointment with our dermatological team and get recommendations for skin care products and treatments from the professionals!