Why You Should Wear Sunscreen in the Winter

Skin CareIn the height of summer, it’s second nature to put on a layer of sunblock and pack a travel sized bottle before hitting the beach. But now that winter is in full swing, it can be tempting to think that you don’t need to guard your skin from UV rays. The reality is that it’s even more important to protect your skin during these cold months than any other time of the year.

Here are three reasons why you should integrate sunscreen back into your daily routine in the wintertime.

    • 1. Snow reflects more UV rays
    • Just like in elementary science class, the color black absorbs light while the color white reflects light. That means that the beautiful winter wonderland scenery is a wide-spread canvas that reflects up to 90% of UV rays right back up, even during cloudy days.

2. There’s a difference between UVB rays and UVA rays
The reason why packing around a bottle of sunscreen during sunny days becomes instinct is because of the painful result when it’s forgotten: sunburns. These burns are caused by UVB rays, and it is true that it does decrease during winter months.

But while UVB rays decrease, UVA rays do not. And it’s these rays that can cause more long-term damage to your skin, like wrinkles, accelerated aging, and even skin cancer.

3. The ozone layer is thinner in the winter
No, it’s not just the dropping temperatures that makes the air outside feel crisp. During these hibernating months, the Earth’s ozone layer is at its thinnest, and it’s this layer that acts as the planet’s shield from the sun.

The most important times of the day to wear a sunscreen is between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are strongest. We recommend using a sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher, is water-resistant, and is broad spectrum to protect against both UVA and UVB rays. If you have more questions about sunscreen use or any other skin questions, give us a call at (480) 610-6366 today.

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Dermatology in Phoenix, AZ

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