Sunscreen in Fall? Yes! Our Interview with Amy Michaels Koberling

Just because summer is over, you shouldn’t neglect the one essential item that is vital to your skincare and makeup routine. Amy Michaels Koberling, PA-C, Cosmetic Dermatology Physician Assistant spoke to Beauty News NYC to tell us why sunscreen should be on our radar every day year-round, and why still need to use this product even if SPF is in our makeup. “Sunscreen should always be applied under makeup” Koberling says. “Think of sunscreen as the last step in your skincare regimen before any makeup application. Or, if you’re like me, use a tinted sunscreen from EltaMD so you can skip the foundation all together.”

Could you please give us some background about yourself and why you decided to work in the Cosmetic Dermatology industry?

I’ve always had a love of science, and after my own struggles with acne and hyperpigmentation, it grew into a love of skin science. I knew for many years that Cosmetic Dermatology is where I wanted to “end up,” and it has proven to be the best fit. The only thing I love more than skincare is educating people about it.

We all know sunscreen is important. But do you think we really do need to wear it daily?

In short, yes. UV radiation penetrates cloud coverage quite easily. Even on a completely overcast day we are exposed to UV rays, which are responsible for collagen degradation, hyperpigmentation, and premature aging. If keeping your skin as healthy-looking as possible is a priority for you, then you absolutely need sunscreen every day.

For those with desk jobs who never go outside, do you recommend we still use sunscreen and if so, which SPF is best?

If your desk is in a cave with no windows and the sun isn’t out for your commute to or from that cave, then sure, skip the sunscreen. But if there are windows (letting in both UVA and visible light) or if you commute to and from work during daylight hours, make it a habit to wear your sunscreen. In general I recommend an SPF 30 for daily use. 

Please explain why makeup with SPF is not enough for protection.

Makeup can provide some level of UV protection if it has SPF in the formulation. However, the majority of people will never apply enough foundation to reach the SPF label on the bottle. If your foundation says SPF 30, you’ll only reach SPF 30 if you’re applying about 1/4 of a teaspoon of foundation which is way more foundation than most of us use.  This is why it’s so important to wear a dedicated sunscreen like EltaMD underneath your makeup.

Do you have a top beauty tip?

My top beauty tip is to save money on your beauty routine and instead invest in your skincare routine. A smooth, even complexion is the best foundation and you’ll be shocked at how much better your makeup looks when you start taking care of your skin! 

Anything else we should know?

I think that money spent on skincare and even expensive office procedures is completely wasted if you’re not applying a daily sunscreen. Any improvement you would gain from your retinol, peel pads, etc. is all but negated by daily UV exposure. 

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