You know the drill: During the hot summer months, you religiously apply sunscreen before you head to the beach, go for a dip in the pool or even sit outside with a cold drink and a book. But it’s winter now, and sipping lemonade in the sunshine is no longer on your agenda. So do you still need to wear sunscreen? The answer is a resounding yes. Here’s why.
Winter Weather and Your Skin
Cold winter months leave your skin particularly vulnerable. Dry conditions cause irritated, cracked skin, and cooler weather may cause many people to neglect sun protection. However, most harmful UV rays still penetrate winter clouds. Windy, cold conditions can compound skin’s risk of burning and aging from exposure to the sun.
Snow-covered ground may reflect up to 80 percent of sunlight, contributing to sun exposure risk. Summer sand, on the other hand, only reflects 25 percent. If you find yourself outside often or participate in winter sports, make sure you apply sunscreen.
Sun Protection in the Winter
You probably worry about sweating off your sunblock lotion during the summer months. However, sunscreen actually wears off faster during the winter than it does in summer. In the winter, biting winds and dryness wipe away sunscreen faster than sweat does, weakening your protection from the sun. Applying sunblock year-round ensures healthy vibrant skin during each season.
Types of Sunscreen
Are you wondering which kind of sunblock is the best for you? Consider using physical sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as opposed to chemical sunscreens that absorb UV rays. Physical sunscreens can be more tedious to apply, but they usually provide better coverage and protection.
Also, don’t neglect your lips. Dry, chapped lips can be exposed to harmful radiation during the winter. Find a UV protective lip balm to moisturize and protect your mouth. Lip products combine sunblock with moisturizer, antioxidants and other ingredients to help protect your skin. Ask your dermatologist for recommendations.
Winter Skin Solutions
Wearing sunscreen has a number of health benefits. To find products that will work best for your skin type and in your environment, consult with your dermatologist. Sun exposure has been known to penetrate deep skin levels and increase your risk of developing skin cancer. Research shows that wearing sunblock may even slow your skin’s aging process. Proper diet and skincare will protect you from sun exposure risk.
A dermatologist, like those at Georgia Dermatology Partners, can provide advice on prevention tips and what products and treatments that best for your skin. Get in touch today to learn how to protect your skin all year long.