Why You Should Be Wearing Sunscreen All Year Long, Not Just In The Summer

by Georgina Berbari

I'm constantly being drawn in by trendy new skincare products that beckon me into the aisles of Sephora and promise to provide eternal youth, an irresistible, radiant glow, and not a single trace of a wrinkle on my face.

I mean, eternal youth sounds great and all, but then I remind myself that there's a little product out there that doesn't cost such an aggressive amount of money, and will keep my skin healthy and luminous for years to come.

Yeah, now you're interested... You're going to roll your eyes when I tell you my beauty secret. It's not Crème de la Mer (which happens to cost $2,060 for a 16 ounce bottle, BTW).

It's sunscreen. All. Year. Round.

For Some Reason, Sunscreen Tends To Get Put On The Back Burner

Ha ha, burn... see what I did there? Sorry.

And the few times SPF is recognized for its superpowers, it's only in the summer. Who needs protection in the snow, right?

It might surprise you to know that UV rays don't discriminate against cloudy, chilly, or rainy days. Though UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., it's important to know that they can affect you at any time, in any condition.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sunscreen is imperative every single day if you're spending time outside.

And if you think you're using your get-out-of jail-free pass because of the snow, the winter wonderland actually increases your need for sunscreen because the rays reflect off of the white coating.

The sun emits harmful UV rays year-round, and even on the cloudiest days, up to 80 percent of those rays can penetrate your skin.

If you've ever developed a burn on a cloudy day at the beach, you feel me on a spiritual level.

Aside From Peeling Skin, There's A Much Bigger Concern At Hand

According to RealSelf, UV radiation is not only the most common cause of facial aging, but 90 percent of skin cancers are caused by these rays.

Even more disturbing: One in five Americans are expected to develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

So, protect yourself, even when the sun doesn't actually feel like it's beating down on you. You deserve all the self-care in the world, and luckily, sunscreen is one of the cheapest skincare products out there.

Make sure you're being generous with your application, though. The AAD says that most people only apply 25 to 50 percent of the recommended amount of sunscreen.

Don't be shy -- lather that bad boy on and ask a friend for help getting the hard-to-reach places.

Treat Sunscreen Like Brushing Your Teeth

It's a natural part of your everyday routine. Blocking those UV rays should be the same.

The AAD recommends applying sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapplying approximately every two hours.

Personally, I like to sync my applications with my meals. I'll take one burger, and a heaping serving of high-quality skin care, please.

Oh, and sorry to burst your bronzed bubble, but your tanning oil with SPF .05 doesn't count.

Dermatologists recommend using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, which blocks 97 percent of the sun's UVB rays.

So, apologies super-expensive, trendy anti-aging serums... I'll be over here with my Coppertone SPF 30. And probably a straw hat and beach umbrella.