Here are some *friendly* reminders about the winter sun and your skin.
No matter the season, a protective broad-spectrum sunscreen (SPF 30-50) is a must for every day, all year round. Especially in the winter. The ice and snow both reflect UV rays. Just because it’s cold, doesn’t mean the sun and UV rays don't exist.
Believe it or not, you can sunburn in the winter
Often times we blame it on the wind but likely it can be a combination of both elements. No matter how thick those overcast clouds look in the winter, up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can still penetrate them. Of the two types of UV rays that affect us, UVA rays are absolutely dangerous during winter. UVA is always present and can penetrate clouds, glass, and deeper into the skin. Due to this, UVA rays are silent and sneaky when it comes to the damage they create since we don't see it initially, resulting in premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer.
"UVA rays are potent year-round, therefore your skin needs year-round protection"
Where there is sunburn, there is the risk of skin cancer
Smoking can cause cancer during any season of the year, and so can the sun. Unfortunately, the sun's UV rays don't take a break in the colder months even though its warmth does. Surprisingly, the sun is actually closer to the earth during the winter months, making your chances of sunburn that much higher. Add an extra step to your morning routine to lower this risk, even if you plan to be indoors all day.
Sunscreen is skincare!
Slather that SPF is on, especially in the winter. If there's one thing to remember about anti-aging, it's that SPF is the #1 product for it. Harsh weather is harsh on the skin. It's drying and can accentuate the skin's inflammation, fine line, and wrinkles. UV rays target deep into the skin's layers dwindling collagen and elastin when the skin is left unprotected. Lucky for us, we have just the product to prevent this! That's right, you guessed it! Sunscreen.
Look for an SPF that has added antioxidants, peptides and vitamins to build up the defense against these harmful free radical aggressors. Researchers compared skin aging in 900 men and women in Australia for four years. In the findings of the study, those who used daily sunscreen had no detectable increase in skin aging! Overall, it was shown that there was 24% less aging than those that did not wear sunscreen. Also, it goes to show that it's never too late to start because the average age of participants was 39!
Winter conditions remove sunscreen faster
It's easy to remember to reapply SPF on a hot day but people often don't realize how the harsh conditions impose on the skin, eliminating sunscreen just as quickly. Between brisk air, snow, and strong cold winds, your morning SPF application doesn't cut it all day. The Skin Cancer Foundation cautions that this reduces its effectiveness, so, in winter its recommended that during winter you reapply every two hours, just like in the summertime.