Do you check the weather before deciding whether you should wear sunscreen? If so, it’s time to understand that sunscreen is a year round necessity and science explains why.
UV rays penetrate winter clouds
No matter how thick those overcast clouds look in the winter, up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can still penetrate them. There are two types of UV rays that affect us, one of which is absolutely still very dangerous during winter. “UVA are always present, and can penetrate clouds, glass, and deeper into the skin. UVA damages deeper skin layers, resulting in premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.” UVB rays, on the other hand, vary in intensity and season. UVB rays are greater on sunny days during the summer. They damage the more superficial layers of the skin, resulting in sunburns and skin cancer. The takeaway: UVA rays are potent year-round, therefore your skin needs year-round protection.
Sunscreen has useful anti-aging properties
If there’s one season you want to work harder to prevent dry skin and wrinkles, it’s winter, so slather on that sunscreen and use it to keep your skin radiant. Winter’s harsh weather is incredibly drying and taxing on skin. Fortunately, sunscreen has proven anti-aging properties. UV rays damage collagen and elastin in your skin, resulting in acceleration of fine lines and wrinkles. Reach for a sheer sunscreen like Skin Ceuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 that provides broad spectrum protection and has other anti-aging properties.
The dangers are even indoors
Doctors have recently been studying hyper-pigmentation in the form of age spots and freckling. The pigment cells can be stimulated not only by the sun’s bright UV rays, but also by lower doses of ambient and infrared light, emitted by your computer screen or overhead lamps. So even if you’re going to be holed up indoors all winter, you need to wear sunscreen to protect your skin from the lights in your home, office, computer, laptop, and phone screens.
Winter conditions remove sunscreen faster
On a hot day at the beach, you’re likely to sweat off your sunscreen and need to reapply. What most people don’t realize, however, is that winter’s harsh conditions erode your sunscreen even faster. The Skin Cancer Foundation cautions that snow and strong winds wear away sunscreen and reduce its effectiveness, so during winter, you can’t just apply in the morning and assume you’re protected all day. Instead, it’s recommended that during winter you reapply every two hours, and immediately after sweating.
Winter is fair game for skin cancer
In the same way smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer at any time of year, so too does the sun cause skin cancer at any time. Cancer does not take a break when it’s cold, cloudy, and gray. Just because the sun isn’t at the forefront of your mind during winter, doesn’t mean it’s actually any further away. During winter, you’re still at risk of getting skin cancer, so you must protect yourself accordingly.