Some of you may be wondering: why would anyone wear sunscreen in winter? Daytime is extremely short, and low temperatures translate into much less malevolent sun rays, right? Well, not so much. The truth is that, even though cold temperatures rule during the winter period, sunscreen can indeed help those who seek healthy skin all year long.
Sure, the sun rays don’t burn as much now as they do during summer so you won’t get those regular sunburns during winter, but it is important to point out that UVA rays (those that make up 95% of the UV radiation) are still strongly sent out by our star during December and up until March. These are the rays that cause damage to your skin and lead to signs of premature aging and wrinkles.
Actually, it is even trickier to realize all the negative effects of these rays during winter as your skin isn’t getting burned as strongly and as quickly as it gets during hot summer days. The warmth even feels good on our skin as the days are cold and we all welcome those seemingly benevolent rays without seeking shade.
Depending on how active you are during cold months, your skin can actually experience more damage than during summer, IF you don’t wear sunscreen in winter, that is! That being said, here are Artesian Tan’s 6 reasons to wear sunscreen during winter if you want to rock healthy skin with a nice texture.
Snow Increases Exposure to UV Rays
Most people enjoy winter due to all those fun activities that take place outdoors and in the snow. Few are those who don’t like to go skiing, snowboarding, sledding and hitting the snowy slopes one way or the other.
However, all those hours spent on the tracks can indeed take its toll on our skin. Interestingly enough, snow has the capacity to reflect up to 80% of the UVA rays coming from the sun, which basically means UVA exposure can increase almost two times when you are out and about on a snowy yet sunny day.
The Higher the Mountain, the Stronger the Rays
Yes, Earth’s atmosphere gets thinner and thinner the higher up the mountain we go. According to some measurements, the strength of UV rays is able to increase by up to 4% for every 1,000 feet you climb up. That translates into much more UV exposure, even more than when you go sunbathing at the beach.
Cold Wind and Winter Sun are not your Friends
Dry skin is usually caused by cold winds, but that sneaky winter sun isn’t helping you either. During freezing temperatures and windy weather, the sun and the wind work together to damage your skin and make it agitated and dry. This is where wearing sunscreen in winter comes into play.
Sun Proximity Is Higher During Winter
Although it may sound counter intuitive, Earth is actually closer to the sun in the middle of winter. The changes of the Earth’s seasons are caused by the tilt of the Blue Planet, not the sun’s proximity.
The Ozone is the Weakest
During the winter season, our ozone gets very thin, and its ability to protecting earthlings from the UV rays drops, especially those occupying the northern hemisphere, as the ozone levels are the weakest there.
Sunscreen Is Better at Stopping Most Rays than Some Clothes
Sun rays can be rather tenacious at what they do, which is why they have a way of penetrating almost every single thing that comes in their way. Clouds cannot stop them, glass windows cannot stop them, even some clothes have trouble keeping them at bay. In fact, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, a regular white cotton shirt only has an SPF value of 7.
For proper sunblock, on the other hand, stopping them is like a walk in the park.
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