Winter Sunscreen Use

Thought you could safely put away your sunscreen for the “off season”? Not so fast partner!

Just because there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean that the damaging effects of the sun are gone. You might not as easily get a burn as you would in the summer (mostly because we tend to spend less time outside when the weather is cold), but you still need to protect your skin to prevent skin cancer, wrinkles and sun spots.

According to Dr. Arielle Kauvar, clinical associate professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine and a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation: “It’s true that ultraviolet B rays—those responsible for sunburns and skin cancer—are not as intense during the winter months, but UVA rays remain constant, contributing to skin cancer as well as skin aging”.

It is especially important to wear sunscreen around snow and water because it causes UV exposure to double due to reflection. Additionally, exposure increases with elevation.

Per Dr. Kauvar, “Think like you would at the beach, she said, even if the temperature is below zero. Use sunscreen of an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30, and reapply it every two or three hours.”

Plus wear sunglasses and apply a lip balm with SPF. And if you are not outside for long periods of time, make sure to at least use a body lotion with SPF. Winter sun warrants sunscreen!

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