People too often ease up on their sun protection regimen when fall hits. They associate colder weather with less sun damage, and forget to practice all the skincare they worked so hard on during the summer! However, what people don’t realize is that while UVB rays (burning rays) lessen as the earth rotates away from the sun, UVA rays (aging rays) remain strong with the same intensity year-round. Many dermatologists even go as far as saying that the colder months are even more dangerous because the heat in summer serves as a reminder to put on sunscreen. Here are some of our top tips for staying protected in the fall and winter months:
Wear UPF50 Clothing
The best way to shield yourself from UVA rays is by covering up as much as possible. The more you’re covered, the more you’re protected! Even in the fall, UVA rays beam through office windows, car windows, clouds, and fog. So when you’re in the car on the way to drop your kids off at school or running errands, you’re at risk for developing skin cancer if you’re not covered. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, nearly 53 percent of skin cancers in the U.S. occur on the left, or the side receiving rays while driving. The good thing about UPF clothing? You don’t have to reapply and it’s usually more protective than sunscreen!
Keep Applying Sunscreen
For the areas that you can’t cover with clothing, make sure you’re applying sunscreen. Some areas to remember are your ears, hands, neck, and lips! It’s easy to forget the small areas but those are the spots to put extra focus on.
Cold winter months mean fun winter sports - but take precautions! High altitudes combined with the UV rays reflected by snow will increase your risk of skin damage. Snow reflects as much as 80% of UV radiation, which is much higher than the amount reflected by water or dry beach sand. Have fun when doing your winter sports, just be mindful of how much sun your skin is exposed to!
As the seasons change, don't forget that the sun is still there and it can still damage your skin. Stay on top of your health and keep up your sun protection 365 days of the year!