It probably doesn’t feel like you need a layer of SPF during the colder months when the sweaters are out and the sun is nowhere to be seen. Before committing to skipping the step entirely, we reached out to our skin experts to find out if we could take a break from that layer of protection, and when they all responded with a resounding “no,” they surprisingly all recommended using the same sunscreen.
According to New York dermatologist Doris Day, MD, sunscreen is important every day, all year round. “Use a minimum of SPF 15,” she says. “Studies show that those who wore sunscreen every day instead of only on warm sunny days had a significantly lower risk of both skin cancer and also of signs of aging in the skin such as dark spots and wrinkles.”
When we asked our experts which sunscreen they liked best for use indoors and during the winter months, surprisingly each one came back with options from the same brand.
“Since we don’t have winter months the sunscreen we recommend in the winter is the same as the summer,” says Fort Lauderdale, FL dermatologist Dr. Matthew Elias. “EltaMD UV Elements Broad-Spectrum SPF 44 ($36) with hyaluronic acid is an excellent choice for those in cold weather places as it is very moisturizing for exceedingly dry skin that is ever present due to cold air and heaters, while offering full spectrum protection against the suns harmful UV rays.”
“UVA rays are always there and penetrate through glass so, during the cold weather and rainy days you should still wear sunscreen outdoors or when driving,” advises Short Hills, NJ facial plastic surgeon Alexander Ovchinsky, MD. “When indoors sunscreen is not necessary unless you sit in front of the window or computer screen—new studies show that the blue light that the computer and phones give us cause sun damage. For all of these scenarios I recommend a sunscreen like EltaMD.”
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