Use Sunscreen Year Round

Dr. Dawn Davis, Mayo Clinic dermatologist, says sunscreen isn’t only needed during those hot summer months. She advises the use of a protective sunscreen lotion should become an essential part of your year-round routine.

You protect your eyes and your teeth and your organs 12 months of a year, and the skin should be no different," says Dr. Davis. "From a practical standpoint, sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF rating) of 15 should be a bare minimum for daily use.”

In this recent Mayo Clinic Minute, Dr. Davis is interviewed by reporter Jeff Olsen. She explains why using sunscreen is important for everyone, no matter where they live.

Dr. Davis says, “While you might store other supplies you used this summer, keep the sunscreen handy.

Being sun-protective is actually a 12-month-of-a year habit ...even if you live in a northern climate, or if it is a season where you don’t think about being in the sun.”

Dr. Davis says that’s because ultraviolet light is around us all the time, no matter the season or the sky conditions. Even on a cloudy day, ultraviolet light can pass through clouds.

Dr. Davis says you can protect yourself by routinely using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Choose a sun protection factor of 30 for longer periods outside, and apply SPF 50 for activities that last all day.

Dr. Davis adds, “I do like to remind my patients that there are now clothes that have impregnated sunscreen within them. The apparel comes with a UPF rating – short for ultraviolet protection factor.

The clothes are very safe. They’re now readily available at big box stores and also online. And, they offer another way to make sun protection a 12-month-a-year habit.”