It’s a busy time of year as the holidays approach, and it’s easy to let your to-do list and other responsibilities take over your life. Experts agree, though, that one of the best things you can do for your health and well-being is to get outside and exercise, especially with friends or family.
Walking among trees and plants, whether in a national park or your backyard, connects you to the earth and can help you feel rooted and centered. Doing something active while you’re outside, whether it’s hiking, biking, raking leaves or stacking firewood, releases “feel good” chemicals and is more fun when someone else is doing it with you. Invite family or friends, serve goodies outside and make it a party!
Before you head outside, though, remember that it’s crucial to protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays all year long. Every exposure adds up and can lead to the signs of aging as well as skin cancer. Share and follow our tips:
Fall Skin-Protection Strategies
Clothing is a good start. Fall temperatures are variable, and if you’re active outside, you can warm up quickly. Layering a lightweight jacket over a long-sleeve shirt over a T-shirt provides insulation and sun protection, while allowing you to peel off layers if you get overheated. Many athletic wear manufacturers offer shirts that can keep you warm and wick away sweat while providing an ultraviolet protection factor (UPF). Add a hat (preferably with a wide brim) and UV-blocking sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Apply sunscreen strategically. Clothing can’t do it all, though. You will still need sunscreen to fill in the gaps. Before you head outside, plan for skin that you know will be exposed, as well as the areas that might become exposed as you warm up and shed layers of clothing, such as:
- your face, lips, ears and neck (front and back), in case you warm up and take off your hat — or if your hat doesn’t have a wide brim.
- your hands, for when you take off your gloves.
- your chest, for when you unzip a fleece shirt or unbutton your jacket.
- your arms, in case you push up the sleeves of your sweater, remove your jacket or peel down to your T-shirt.
Pick the right products. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that you use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 for everyday use and at least SPF 30 for extended time outside, no matter what season it is. Cool fall weather often means drier air, which can make your skin dry and flaky. Slather on a rich facial moisturizer with the SPF you need to help keep skin soft while protecting it. You can layer an SPF foundation over that for extra protection, too. You may want to switch to a richer sunscreen formula for your neck, chest, arms and hands, too. And don’t forget your SPF lip balm!