I know, it’s winter—the last thing on your mind is how to best protect your skin on a sunny day. But! Despite the annoyingly frigid temps and predominately gray skies, you should still be wearing sunscreen. Every. Single. Day.
And because SPF is a 365-day-a-year job, you should also be up-to-date on illuminating intel, including this bit of truth: Science says that really high SPFs (I’m talking 100+) can pay off big time compared to their smaller counterparts.
According to a new study, funded by Johnson & Johnson and published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, the areas of participants’ skin that were treated with SPF 100+ were much less sunburned than the areas where participants used a 50+ (which many experts have considered the gold standard to this point). Cue the jaw drop.
To gather this intel, researchers told 199 men and women in Vail, Colorado to apply SPF 100+ on half their faces and an SPF 50 on the other half. After several hours of sun exposure, about 55 percent of the areas guarded with SPF 50+ had gotten a sunburn. Those parts where SPF 100+ had been slathered, however? A mere five percent had sun damage, which is a pretty major difference.
It’s important to note that no matter how high the sun-protection factor, explains New York City dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, no sunscreen completely wards off the sun’s UVA and UVB rays altogether—so make sure to take extra care on days when the UV index is high (baseball cap on, obvs). Summer’s around the corner, after all.
Here are 10 other things you probably don’t know about sunscreen (but should). To stay covered, these are the best moisturizers with SPF protection.