Sunscreen Isn’t Just for Summer

shutterstock_347533154Summer has passed and its warm temperatures and clear blue skies have been replaced by the cooler, cloudier days of Winter.  Time to put the Sunscreen away until June, right?  Not so fast!  Ask any qualified expert and he or she will agree that you should wear sunscreen all year long.  Below are 6 reasons why.

  1. It may be considerably cooler outside during the winter, but the sun doesn’t stop emitting harmful UVA and UVB rays, and those rays are of the same strength year round. On top of that, the sun is surprisingly actually closer to earth during the winter months than it is during summer.
  1. The presence of clouds doesn’t mean we should skip sunscreen. Experts caution that up to 80% of UV rays can pass through the cloud cover.
  1. The Ozone Layer, that part of the atmosphere that absorbs radiation from the sun, is believed to be thinner during winter than it is during summer. So even though it may be cooler outside, unprotected skin could be absorbing more UV Rays.
  1. Sunscreen provides a physical barrier that not only protects us from harmful rays, but also from damage caused by cold dry air and wind. Exposure to these elements cause skin to become raw and chapped, leaving it even more vulnerable to UV exposure.
  1. If you spend time enjoying the mountains during winter, consider that for every 1,000 feet of elevation gain, you are exposed to an additional 5-8% of UV radiation. On top of that, snow can reflect up to 80% of those rays, essentially exposing you to them twice.
  1. Even if you feel somewhat less at risk during the winter, consider that Skin Cancer is the result of accumulated damage that started the very first time your skin was exposed to the sun. So even if your exposure is filtered, or less intense, just a few minutes of unprotected exposure adds to the cumulative total and puts you that much closer to skin cancer.

Hopefully we have convinced you to continue using sunscreen through the winter months.  You can use the same one during the winter that you use during summer.  Just make sure it says Broad Spectrum on the label.  Broad Spectrum means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays, as opposed to just one of the two.  Also consider a sunscreen that contains moisturizer and antioxidants.  That way you can both moisturize and protect your skin with the same product.  For more information, please feel free to give us a call or visit us online.