You probably already know how important sun protection is for the health and appearance of your skin. But you may not realize that it’s not enough to be vigilant only when the sun’s out. One of the most persistent myths about sun protection is that you don’t need to worry about covering your skin when it’s cloudy. Ahead, learn why cloudy days pose their own special risk and how to play it safe when it comes to sun exposure every day.
Clouds Can Intensify UV Rays
While clouds block out sunlight, they do not block out ultraviolet (UV) rays. Experts say that in some cases, clouds can actually amplify UV exposure. The degree to which this occurs varies depending on the type of clouds, how thick the cloud cover is and other environmental factors. However, one fact remains: UV exposure is one of the biggest skin cancer risk factors. Don’t assume you’ll be fine without sun protection just because there are clouds in the sky.
Cold-Weather Activities Can Increase Risk Factors
Snow, ice and bodies of water can reflect the sun’s rays, amplifying their intensity. If you’re going ice-skating or taking a trip to the mountains to ski, don’t forget the sunscreen. Sun protection is probably not the first thing you think about when heading out for a cold-weather excursion, but it’s just as important on a snowy peak as it is on a sandy beach (both of which can, in fact, intensify those damaging rays).
How to Protect Yourself
How much UV exposure you receive from the sun depends on several factors, and you should practice good sun protection habits any time you’ll be going outside.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, you should use a broad spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. Put it on at least 15 minutes before you go outside and reapply every couple of hours. Reapply more often if you’re swimming or sweating a lot.
Don’t forget about your lips, which also need sun protection. Use a lip balm formulated with sun protection and be sure to bring it along when you’re going outdoors.
It’s never too soon or too late to start taking better care of your skin, and there are ways to improve the way it looks and feels. Whether you want to treat damage from past sun exposure or protect your skin from future damage contact Georgia Dermatology Partners today. Our expert team can offer advice on keeping your skin healthy during all your outdoor activities.