Most people associate sunscreen with summer – think swimming pools, flip flops, the feeling of the sun beating down on your skin. While winter doesn’t evoke the same thoughts, it is important to know that the danger of skin cancer lurks even as we enter the coldest months of the year.
While sunscreen goes hand in hand with the summer sun, it is absolutely necessary to also wear it in winter, and here are the reasons why.
You can get sun damage in winter
The sun can hurt your skin even when it’s cloudy. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, almost 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can penetrate clouds. As a result, some people can get severely sunburnt on overcast days if they don’t practice sun safety. On top of that, UVA rays can pass through glass and harm your skin, so it’s possible to be exposed even when you are not participating in any outdoor winter activities. Speaking of UVB rays, which are the culprit behind sunburns, they can affect your skin year-round, making it possible to get sunburnt in winter, too.
People often forget to check their skin
As temperature dips, so do our will to check our skin often. Taking your clothes off or exposing a part of your body to the cold might not be the most pleasant feeling, but at SkinVision we constantly remind our users that delaying the treatment of a stage 1 melanoma by just one month increases the risk of death by 5%. To build an effective skin health routine and keep skin cancer at bay, it’s best to perform regular skin checks all year round, so winter should not be an exception.
Ski trips pose significant risks of UV damage
Spending a day on the slopes sounds fun, but don’t forget that the sun’s rays are harsher at high altitudes. In fact, for every 1000 meters above sea level, there is a 10% increase in the sun’s strength. And ice and snow can reflect UV rays, amplifying sun damage when you aren’t aware. What’s worse, the thinner atmosphere also does a poor job at blocking out UV rays, which can dramatically increase your chance of getting sunburnt.
What to do
1. Layer up
Clothes can not only keep you warm but also prevent harmful UV rays from reaching your skin. Wear a hat or beanie to make sure your scalp is covered, too.
2. Wear sunglasses
UV-blocking lenses stop the sun’s harmful rays from damaging your eyes. Who doesn’t want to stay sun-safe, and look cool while doing it?
3. Use sunscreen every day
Again, sunscreen is absolutely necessary in winter. While we recommend that you pack enough sunscreen for your upcoming ski trip, remember that any daytime activity can lead to excessive sun exposure as well. Always choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen and reapply throughout the day.
4. Check your skin after showering
A steamy shower at the end of the day can be enough to make you forget the frigid weather outside. While you feel fully refreshed and warmed up, why not perform a skin check with SkinVision, as the first step of your winter skin health routine?