Photo: Ali Morshedlou on Unsplash

It’s 90 degrees in New York, which means people are finally shedding their parkas and drab black winter clothing for slightly-less drab black summer clothing. And with the removal of layers comes an annual reminder to slather on some sunscreen before you head out the door.

Sunscreen is an essential component of a healthy skincare routine. You should wear it “every damn day,” as our health editor Beth Skwarecki writes, to protect yourself from the sun’s unrelenting rays, even when it’s not 90 degrees.


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It’s also expensive, between all of the different varieties for coverage and fancy serums and moisturizers infused with SPF. (Troublingly, Consumer Reports has found over the past five years that about half of the sunscreens they’ve tested have not met the SPF level listed on the bottle. So you’ll want to check their ratings before you buy.) Luckily, if you have an FSA or HSA at work, you can get reimbursed for your sunscreen purchases.

As long as the sunscreen is SPF 30 or higher, you should be able to use your FSA or HSA money to pay for it. You’ll want to double check with your insurer to see what qualifies, and you can also find eligible items at the FSA store and on your insurer’s website.

Some more good news? Face moisturizers with high SPFs are also eligible. You can see some here on the FSA Store’s website, including options from brands like CeraVe, La Roche-Posay and Supergoop. (Lip care counts too!)

If you want to go beyond sunscreen, prescription sunglasses that block UVA and UVB rays are also eligible for reimbursement, and if you end up with a burn, aloe vera creams and ointments may also qualify if you have a prescription. Again, you should check with you plan provider before you rush out an buy something.

And one final reminder (because I have been trumpeting the sun protection horn loudly this year): As Beth writes, sunscreen alone won’t protect you from the sun’s full wrath. Clothing, hats and UV-protected sunglasses are also a must if you’re spending an extended period of time outdoors—as is some shade. And don’t forget to protect your eyelids.



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