Friday, September 29, 2017

Sunscreen in the Winter?

Sunscreen, Sun Milk, Lotion, Sun, Beach  Summer is ending and fall is upon us. Where I live, we are having a wet fall, complete with mud and overcast days.  Its the time of year when many of us put away the sunscreen.  The sun is too weak for us to burn so we won't really need need it for another year. Or will we?

I just recently discovered we should be wearing sunscreen year round rather than just during summer months when the sun is at its strongest.

Yes, you read that right! year round. The reason being is that when you are exposed to the sun daily on your commute, when out for a daily walk, etc, has a cumulative effect.

There are two types of UV rays.  The obvious one is the UVB which is responsible for our skin burning but it is the UVA rays we need to be aware of.

It doesn't matter the temperatures have dropped because you are being exposed to UVA rays, responsible for aging skin. UVA rays reaches deep into the skin  and they make up 95% of the UV rays we are exposed to.

It is suggested since snow reflects such a high amount of UVA rays (almost 80%), it is necessiry to use sun screen to protect one's skin when out snowboarding or skiing. UV radiation increases 4 to 5 percent for an increase of 1000 feet in elevation. Remember, just because its cloudy, does not mean you are protected.  Clouds are only able to block out about 20% of UV rays, this means 80% of the rays get through.  

Many dermatologists recommend the continued use of sunscreen to protect your skin.  Just because you've applied the sunscreen for the day, you'll be fine.  You still sweat so the sunscreen has to be reapplied at regular intervals.

One other place we are exposed to possible damage is at the office.  There is current research indicating pigment cells are stimulated by the light from computer screens and overhead lights, in addition to the sun.  This discovery has lead to the recommendation that people wear sunscreen even in an office.

I admit, before reading this, I shared the belief I didn't need sunscreen once fall hit.  Living in Alaska, the amount of daylight drops significantly.  But having learned more about UVA, I am going to keep using my sunscreen year round.

Let me know what you think.  Have a great day.

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