You should never rely on the weather when deciding to apply sunscreen. Sunscreen is arguably the most important part of your skin care routine. Even in cold weather, UV rays can still penetrate through clouds. There are two different types of UV rays that are harmful to the skin – UVA and UVB. UVA rays penetrate deeper layers of skin, which can cause skin cancer and premature aging. UVB rays damage the outer skin layers, which can result in sunburn.
Below are several reasons why it’s important to wear sunscreen year-round.
In addition to protecting your skin from powerful UV rays, sunscreen also has useful anti-aging properties. Studies show that people who apply sunscreen daily as compared to those who don’t have no detectable increase in skin aging.
It’s never too late to start wearing sunscreen. You can incorporate it into your regular skin care routine at any time. The younger you start applying sunscreen, the better! You’ll definitely notice your skin aging more gracefully and appearing healthy and vibrant.
Staring at a computer screen for hours on end can contribute to hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Computer screens emit blue light, and long-term blue light exposure can also lead to weakened skin surface and inflammation. Additionally, if you’re sitting near a window while you work, you can develop wrinkles and deeper crow’s feet on the side of your face turned toward the light. It’s important to be strategic when choosing your workplace at home, however, it’s vital to apply sunscreen to ensure you’re protected wherever you’re sitting.
It might be hard to believe that winter sports can put you at a higher risk for UV exposure, but UV radiation increases by five percent every thousand feet you rise above sea level. Therefore, the higher in elevation you are, such as up in the mountains, the greater the exposure. When you’re in the mountains snowboarding or skiing, you’re likely not thinking about applying sunscreen, but because snow reflects sunlight, you’re more susceptible to getting a burn.
Lastly, cold weather conditions tend to diminish sunscreen faster. Harsh weather erodes sunscreen and before you know it, you need to reapply. It’s much easier to remember to reapply it during summer when you’re sweating. Skin cancer can also occur during cold winter months, so it’s essential to play an active role in taking care of your skin by applying sunscreen consistently.
Nina Gaetano, BS, PA-C, is the Medical Director of Bella Sol Med Spa