Read Time: 3 minutes
Winter is here again, and with the new season comes warm fires, hot chocolate, and holiday fun. Winter also brings a drop in temperature. Many people stop using sunscreen in the winter as a result. But the sun can do just as much damage in the winter as in the summer. Winter could be even more dangerous. And with skin cancer still affecting 1 in 5 Americans, people need to proceed with caution.
The sun may be out of sight for days during the winter. But that does not mean the sun is not hard at work. Sunlight contains 3 powerful ultraviolet rays. The ozone layer absorbs UVC, the most powerful of the three. , leaves UVB and UVA to warm the earth. Excess UVB exposure causes damaging sunburn. While UVA rays can go deeper and contribute to skin cancer. These 2 rays are still present at lower levels, even during the cloudy winter months. Sunscreen helps fight harmful rays, which could add up if ignored.
In some cases, the sun’s rays can be even more potent in the winter. Clear white snow becomes a perfect bed for UVA rays to reflect and intensify. Snow reflects up to 80% of harmful UV rays. Without sunscreen, persons are exposed to double the light. This can cause sunburn at the same rate as hot summer days.
Can a little extra sunscreen in the winter be the secret of youth? Clinical research shows ultraviolet light is primarily responsible for signs of aging. UVA rays go past the outer protective layer to crush skin at a cellular level. The harmful rays damage cells and essential minerals like collagen. This affects firmness, brings wrinkles, and even change skin texture. Going through winter without sunscreen exposes the face to prolonged damage and aging.
Wintertime brings out ski enthusiasts who head to the slopes for some fun. But heading for some sledding can be the main reason for winter sunburn. As the atmosphere gets thinner, the sun’s intensity increases. UV rays are 10% more powerful at every 1,000 feet. Few adults take heed to apply sunscreen during winter sports, then complain about windburn. However, science has confirmed that windburn has the same effects as sunburn. So applying sunscreen consistently while in the mountains provides much-needed protection while having fun.
Regardless of the season, heading outside during the day exposes the risk of sunburn. Even bundled up, the sun damages any exposed skin. Be sure to apply a dermatologist-recommended sunscreen for an extended period outdoors.