Sunscreen isn’t just for the summer. You will need to apply it daily. Regardless of the temperature or cloud cover, you need to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays to prevent premature aging and cancer.
At SeaMist MedSpa in South Kingstown, we understand the importance of proper skin care – and that starts with sunscreen. Even though it might be winter in Rhode Island, that doesn’t mean you should skip the SPF. To find out more about great winter skin care tips, contact SeaMist MedSpa today.
Why Sun Protection Is Important
Sunscreen blocks out harmful UV rays that could cause changes in your skin that my lead to cancer. Aside from cancer, years of sun exposure could cause the skin to look older than it is. UV damage occurs over a lifetime, but it is never too late to start protecting your skin. Whether you are 9 or 90, sunscreen is a good option to help keep you healthy and looking young.
The snow doubles the impact of solar rays on the skin. You can get sun damage from the UV rays coming from the sky, but the bright snow also reflects the sun back up at you from the ground. The reflection rate could reach up to 80 percent. This puts you at risk of sunburn and snow blindness. Always wear protective eyewear when outside on any snowy day.
Even on cloudy days, 80 percent of skin-damaging UV rays can still get through and burn you, which means that you could find yourself burned even under snow-producing clouds. Sunscreen will prevent damage to your skin from UV rays coming through the clouds or reflected from the snow on any snowy day.
The elevation makes a difference. Higher locations, such as ski slopes and mountainous regions expose you to more UV rays. This happens because the atmosphere filters out some of the UV rays from the sun. The higher you are above sea level, the more UV rays hit you because the atmosphere is much thinner. This makes sun protection when you are at higher elevations even more important.
Clothing will likely not protect you enough from the sun. A basic white shirt only gives you a sun protection factor of seven. While you will likely not wear only a shirt in the winter, you do need to be especially careful about putting sunscreen on any exposed skin. If you want to boost your protection level, look for winter clothing that has been treated to protect you from the sun. It will have an SPF number on the label, which stands for sun protection factor.
Just as you must select the best sunscreen in the summer, the same rules apply in the winter. Choose a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher. Use lip balms with the same SPF to protect your lips. Look at the label on any bottle of sunscreen and only use those that protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Plan before going outside and rub a generous amount of sunscreen onto any exposed skin 20 minutes before you leave the house. This lets the skin properly absorb it. Make a point to stop every two hours to reapply sunscreen, especially if you have been sweating while engaged in winter sports.
Even on snowy days, your skin can benefit from protection from the sun’s damaging effects. Choose and use the right sunscreens for the most effective defense from UV rays.