The Importance of Year-Round Sunscreen

wearing sunscreen year-round

Most people change their skincare routines with the seasons, but there is one key product that should always stick around: sunscreen.

There may be less daylight during the winter months, but the sun’s rays are just as powerful. We recommend wearing sunscreen of at least 30 SPF on all skin that is not covered with clothing.

Melanomas of the scalp and neck account for 10% of all melanoma deaths, so it’s important to always wear a dark-colored hat and scarf if you plan on spending the day outdoors.

Thinking about going skiing or snowboarding this winter? Snow, similar to water, has a way of magnifying the sun’s rays to make UVA and UVB exposure even stronger. Also, many popular winter destinations are at a fairly high elevation where the UV radiation is much more intense. For a day on the slopes, try a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sport sunscreen of 30 SPF or higher, and reapply every two hours.

The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and sunburn is possible even on a cloudy day. In fact, The Skin Cancer Foundation warns that up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate through clouds. Many facial moisturizers contain sunscreen, which is great for everyday protection.

For those concerned about vitamin D intake, you can maintain a healthy level through foods naturally rich in the vitamin. Taking supplements is an option as well. Do not turn to the sun or indoor tanning.

Not only will applying sunscreen on a daily basis decrease your risk of all types of skin cancer, it will slow down signs of aging like wrinkles and discolored skin spots. Many people desire the look of sun-kissed skin, but it’s important to remember that a tan is a sign that your skin has been injured. Consider using self-tanning products as an alternative (but continue to wear sunscreen)! Read this article for tips on how to apply self-tanner.

Now that you know how to keep your skin healthy with daily sunscreen use, make sure to regularly check your skin for anything unusual. Get to know your moles and birthmarks so you can spot any changes early on, like bleeding or growing.