Do I really need to wear a sunscreen during the winter?

Answered by on Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 10:35 AM filed under general postings
Dermatologists warn that there is no off-season for sun protection. "You should never go below SPF 15," says Mary Lupo, M.D., assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Here's why: Though the burning ultraviolet B rays are stronger during the summer months, the aging ultraviolet A rays beat down with the same intensity year-round. The best protection for skin? A broad-spectrum sunscreen applied to all exposed areas—the face, hands, and the V of the neck. Which sunscreen to use? Look for one that contains Parsol 1789—also known as avobenzone—a compound that absorbs the highest percentage of those ubiquitous A rays. Or, if you have sensitive skin, opt for one with micronized zinc oxide—a physical, rather than chemical, block. "If you have that and an SPF of 15, it's better than using SPF 45 that doesn't have UVA protection," says Dr. Lupo

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