While you’re less likely to get sunburnt during fall and winter months, your unprotected skin is still being exposed to UVA rays. UVA rays penetrate deeply into the dermis, the skin’s thickest layer, causing premature aging and contributing to skin cancer development.
Winter is a popular time to visit higher altitudes for the ski season. At higher altitudes, a thinner atmosphere filters less UV radiation. With every 1000 metre increase in altitude, the UV levels increase by 10% to 12% (World Health Organisation, 2017). This factor, combined with snow reflecting up to 80% of UV rays can result in significant sun damage to exposed skin and eyes. Wear wrap-around UV protective sunglasses and re-apply a broad spectrum SPF sunscreen to exposed areas every two hours to protect your skin from UV exposure.
Sun damage that causes skin cancer is cumulative. The threat of sunburn is less imminent during autumn and winter making it easy to forget sunscreen and protective clothing during a mid-winter hike or bike ride, but it all adds up. The cloudy, foggy weather during the colder months can also trick people into thinking that they can go outdoors without sun protection. Even when there is thick cloud and fog, up to 80% of UVA rays are still able to penetrate through to the earth’s surface.
For those that love hiking, running and exploring the outdoors during the colder months, protect your skin as though it’s still the middle of summer. Apply a broad spectrum SPF daily and consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat. When active in the outdoors, wear sun protective clothing. Solbari has a great range of sun protective clothing that is suitable for a wide range of outdoor activities all year round. Click here to view our range of sun protective clothing.
The arrival of winter is a great time to contact your dermatologist for your annual skin check to stay on top of any skin concerns you might have.
Tips for sun protection during the colder months
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The Solbari Team
This blog post is for information purpose only.
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