The Case for Off-Season Sunscreen

Practice safe-sunning.

You may have put your swim trunks, flip-flops, and seersucker into storage once the mercury plummeted (so much for an Indian summer), but if you did the same with your sunblock, you should reconsider. It’s a common misconception that, like white, sunblock doesn’t belong on the wrong side of Labor Day. “While the strength of UV rays is greatest in summer months, as they are filtered by the atmosphere and their intensity is some what diminished in the fall and winter, they can still inflict damage,” says dermatologist Adam Geyer.  And lest you think that because you’re not lounging at the beach or pool you are limiting exposure, Dr. Geyer warns that UV rays are able to penetrate car and office windows, plus even short bursts of outdoor time add up over time. 

“They contribute to our progressive signs of photo- and premature aging and sun-cancer risk,” he adds, driving the point home.

Oh, and that glorious fluffy snow you’re looking forward to cruising through this winter, it reflects the sun’s rays much like those foil reflectors olds used to use to tan their faces.Remember to slather sunblock on before you hit the orchard, or the links, or the slopes unless you’re going for a sweet aviator burn. Using a daily moisturizer with an SPF 15 or higher is just fine for indoor days, but if you’ll be enjoying some quality outdoor time layer on an SPF 30 sunblock. Here are a few of our favorite methods of protection.

Malin+Goetz SPF 30 Face Moisturizer

The brand is all about simple yet effective skin-care offerings, and this SPF-spiked daily lotion is no different. It doesn’t need bells and whistles because it’s that good. [$30;]

Raw Materials Face Stick SPF 30

It’s a sunscreen in the guise of a lip balm! The pocket-size solid sunblock is just the thing for reapplying on-the-go when you’re adventuring and whatnot. [$9;]

Anthony Logistics Oil-Free Facial Lotion SPF 30

If you generally avoid sunscreen for fear of grease-face, rest assured this oil-free option won’t let that happen. [$33;]

Kiehl’s Facial Fuel UV Guard SPF 50

For those aforementioned outside days, this high-level SPF has you covered. Seriously, those death rays are not getting through this stuff. [$38;]

Lab Series Daily Moisture Defense Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 15

Beyond UV rays, there are other free-radical-releasing baddies, like smoke and pollution, but this antioxidant-packed formula fights the good fight for you. [$44;]

Jack Black Double-Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

Sure, it shields your skin from the sun, but this dual-purpose moisturizer also contains powerful seafaring plants like blue algae and sea parsley to improve the condition of your countenance. [$17 for 1.5 oz.;]

Baxter Super Shape SPF 15

This does-it-all cream is, in fact, super. It fights pimples, keeps oil in check, defeats free radicals, and makes irritated skin chill the fuck out. [$20;]

Dr. Jackson’s 01 Skin Day Cream

If you want to go the all-natural route, you could do worse than this fair-trade farmed formula. There is, in fact, a Dr. Jackson, and he personally chose the most potent botanicals to cram into this cream. Trust him, he’s a doctor. [$120;]

Photos by Ilya Terentyev