Why it’s just as important to protect your skin from the sun now as it is during summer.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t think about sun protection too much unless you’re feeling the heat of the sun beating down on you and seeing those bright sunny rays. But don’t think for a minute that skin damage is something you have to worry about only on hot, sunny days. Ultraviolet rays can harm your skin year-round.
Even when it’s cool or cloudy, a significant amount of UV rays reach your skin. Although UVB radiation decreases as winter approaches, the amount of UVA radiation is still high. Both types of radiation contribute to skin cancer and premature aging of the skin. That’s why taking care of your skin is as important at this time of year as it is during the height of the summer.
Many people slack off on sun protection once summer comes to an end. But it’s still as important as ever to take steps to keep your skin protected from the sun. Damage from the sun that causes cancer is cumulative, so whether you’re sitting at the beach on your summer vacation or walking your dog on a cool autumn day it’s important to protect your skin.
Here are 5 tips to keep your skin healthier year-round:
- Slather up: Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 30 or above whenever you go outdoors. Apply 15-30 minutes before heading out and don’t forget to reapply when outside for more than 2 hours. Make sure all exposed skin is covered by sunscreen, including ears, nose, cheeks, neck and hands.
- Wear protective clothing: Wear clothing that shields your skin from the sun’s rays and a wide-brim hat to protect your head and face.
- Don’t forget your eyes: Wear sunglasses with UV protection to protect your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.
- Avoid the midday sun: UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. so when possible, avoid being out in the middle of the day or take extra precautions to protect your skin if you are outside during that time.
- Skip the tanning salon: If you feel the need to look like you have a tan at this time of year, use tanning sprays or lotions rather than heading to the tanning salon. Your risk of melanoma increases significantly after just one use of a tanning bed.
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Date Last Reviewed: September 18, 2018
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD