Protect Yourself -Use Sunscreen In The WinterNo matter where you spend the winter months, I want to explain in this blog, medically why sunscreen should be used. Below, I will explain why it makes perfect sense to layer your skin year-round with a good sunscreen. Upfront you know ice snow reflects sunlight thereby intensifying invisible UVA/UVB rays. We must realize that the damage from these rays is cumulative. All exposures over our lifetime contribute to possibilities for skin damage and especially skin cancer.

The image is included for recognition of all that is out there. UVA rays may not cause immediate sunburn (like UVB rays) but penetrate deeper and are a cause of deadly melanomas.

Winter is here and here comes skin trauma unless you are protected! Recall from a previous blog sufficient protection comes from broad-spectrum sunscreens and lip balms with a minimum of 30 SPF.  Some are looking to protect the ‘reefs’ so choose ‘reef-safe’, also a chemical-free sunscreen is a wise idea. Look for the active ingredient to be either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. 

Okay, you are not going anywhere near ice or snow, well think winter, low moisture, and wind- these both are tough on skin. when it is cold outside you notice your skin is drier and more sensitive. Dryness, reveals wrinkles and fine lines, it is natural for all of us when in a low humidity environment. Sunscreen use can help deplete moisture.

The ozone layer is thinner in the summer. Way up in the stratosphere, towards the top, furthest from the earth is the ozone layer. The thinner ozone layer is busy absorbing UV rays from the sun, that’s why in winter the rays are more intense even though the sun does not feel hot. My point is another scientific reason to use sunscreen. Plus if you live in the northern hemisphere, as I do, in winter we are closer to the sun.

Please realize winter weather makes your sunscreen wear off. Low-temperature wind snow sleet all contribute to reduced protection. 

Want to take another step to reduce wrinkles? Skin aging can be avoided by insuring the production of collagen and elastin, integral for youthful skin. Sunscreen protects against drying and adds moisture back into the skin.

Now if you stay indoors, don’t think you are escaping winter damage to your skin. UV rays have shorter wavelengths and more energy than high-energy visible blue light. Blue light waves from computers, TVs cellphone screens even lamps can damage the skin. Remember, just like X-rays, visible and invisible xays are absorbed throughout our lifetime.