A hand puts lotion on the other hand

Sunscreen Season?

There is finally a light at the end of the tunnel of steamy, summery heat and humidity. September is here, and we can all, literally, breathe a little easier. Fall is upon us, and with it comes football, pumpkins, cool mornings warmed by hot coffee, and no more sunscreen! Not exactly. Unlike the wagers on football teams and the harvest-inspired yard decor, your favorite sunscreen is not seasonal - never has been and never will be.

Fall sunscreen is a must

As we start making plans to enjoy the cooler temperatures, let’s not forget that the sunscreen we so religiously made part of our summer outings is every bit as necessary in the new season. Those family trips to the pumpkin patch and beach trips over fall break just aren’t complete without sun protection. We are just as susceptible to sunburn in the fall as we are in the middle of summer vacation. In fact, we can often be fooled by the cooler air into thinking the sun’s rays are less damaging. Nothing could be further from the truth. To plan outdoor activities without sunscreen is borrowing trouble - even in the fall. No one wants a sunburn ruining a fun outing, and no one among us wants to add long term sun damage to our list of troubles.

Make it a daily habit

By making sunscreen application a daily habit, you can avoid some potential frustrations and damaging effects years down the road. The following is a quick guideline for getting into the habit of wearing sunscreen and keeping it a habit year-round.

  • Shop around for a daily sunscreen that suits your lifestyle and time spent in the sun. There are many options in the form of creams, lotions, and across makeup brands.
  • Make sure your sunscreen of choice contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
  • Begin by adding sunscreen application to your morning routine as you would any moisturizer or face cream. Go ahead. Just give it its own place right there with all the other brushes, bottles, and doo-dads you use each morning.
  • Make the small investment in travel-size containers from your local dollar store and use them to carry manageable amounts of sunscreen in your purse or bag.
  • Reapply throughout the day about 15 minutes prior to sun exposure. Reapplication is an important part of being vigilant about sun safety.
  • Last, but not least, spread the habit. Tell family, friends, and coworkers about your sunscreen preferences, how you formed the habit of daily application, and why it is important to you.

It's the best kind of habit there is

Once you make sunscreen a daily habit, you won’t have to question whether or not you need to pack your sunscreen for a mid-October hike. (The answer will always be “yes.”) Protecting yourself from ultraviolet rays will be second nature. The best news? You succeed in forming a habit that will pay off year round and for years to come.

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