Carly Roman, dermatologist at MD in Seattle, describes how sunscreen use in the winter is just as important as it is in the summer due to the UV rays that are we are still exposed to all year long.
“Most people want to ease up on sunscreen use during the winter, as the sun feels weaker and they are less likely to burn.”
Only UVB rays are shielded by clouds and winter; UVA rays, however, are present year-round.
UVA Rays, also called “long wave” rays, make up 95 percent of the rays that reach the surface of the Earth.
They can penetrate the skin much deeper than UVB rays, and are responsible for signs of aging, as well they can also can initiate skin cancers.
These are the rays that make you tanner.
UVA rays are dangerous because they can also penetrate glass and clouds.
UVB rays don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA rays.
Rather, they hit the surface of your skin, causing redness and sunburns.
They are most intense from early spring to early fall, and during the day’s sunniest hours.
Although UVB rays are not as likely to penetrate glass as UVA rays, they are easily reflected off snow and ice.
This makes them a bigger threat on the ski slopes, and at higher altitudes on sunny days.
UVA rays are just as present in the colder, cloudier months, even in the shade, and even indoors; which is why sunscreen is always needed to protect yourself.
Roman added, “Even in the winter in Seattle, I recommend that all of my patients wear sunscreen daily to prevent cumulative sun exposure and the resulting fine lines, wrinkles, discoloration, and even skin cancer…It is important that your sunscreen is ‘broad spectrum’, however, as that denotes full coverage, including UVA protection.”
Carly describes further that she prefers physical sunscreens (ones with active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide that physically block the damaging rays) that you apply from hand to body.
These sunscreens rub on and coat your skin very well, protecting you the best you can.
If you want to avoid the effects that harmful sun rays can put on your skin, go with an FDA registered, physical block, zinc oxide based sunscreen product.
(Original Article: https://www.gq.com/story/wear-spf-sunscreen-all-winter)