Ahhh, summer. Who doesn’t anticipate the return of warmth on your skin? Barbecues, pool parties, the latest swimsuit styles and the smell of fresh-cut grass. These are the signs that summer has arrived. Oh, and don’t forget to add sunscreen to that list. Once summer’s here, we’re all accustomed to applying and reapplying and then reapplying again to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful UV rays. But why do we seem to only worry about it in the summer? What about protecting our skin from the sun in the winter?
People tend to associate warmer weather with sunburns, but the truth is that you can get a sunburn no matter what the thermometer says. Temperature has no bearing on the strength of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, which can cause skin damage and skin cancer.
And while we may spend more time outdoors when it is warmer, winter is full of outdoor activities, so it is still important to protect yourself. Snow and ice can reflect the UV rays, increasing the risk for skin damage. Altitude is also a major factor in the intensity of the sun’s UV rays. According to skincancer.org, the UV intensity increases 4 to 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level, and an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense than at sea level.
Make Sure You’re Wearing Sunscreen In The Winter
So what can you do to protect yourself in the winter?
- Wear sunscreen. (Use SPF 15 or higher for daily use, and SPF 30 or higher when you know you sun exposure will be extended). Oh, and don’t forget your ears and nose!
- Use lip balm with SPF 15. Lips are sensitive to sun exposure!
- Cover exposed skin with hats, sunglasses, scarves, gloves
- Limit your sun exposure between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. when UV rays are strongest.
So, whether you are hitting the slopes, sledding with the kids, or taking a winter cruise to the Caribbean, consider this your friendly reminder from Hapari to wear your sunscreen this winter!