Sunscreen: A Year-Round Essential

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When we think of sunscreen, the image that often comes to mind is a sunny summer day at the beach. While it’s true that sunscreen is a must-have during the hot summer months, its importance extends well beyond the dog days of summer. In fact, using sunscreen throughout the year is just as crucial for maintaining healthy skin and should never be skipped, even when the temperatures drop and the days get shorter. Let’s talk about why.

The sun emits harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation year-round, regardless of the season. There are two main types of UV radiation that reach the Earth’s surface: UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, while UVB rays are responsible for causing sunburn. Both types of UV radiation are present throughout the year and can damage your skin cells and increase your risk of skin cancer.

During the winter, our area of the globe experiences snowfall. What you may not realize is that snow can act as a powerful reflector of UV radiation. This means that even on a cloudy winter day, the snow can bounce UV rays back onto your skin, increasing your exposure. Skiers and snowboarders are especially susceptible to this effect, as they spend extended periods outdoors in snowy conditions.

While some people may hibernate indoors during the winter, many still engage in outdoor activities. Whether it’s a brisk walk, a run, or a day of skiing, you’re exposing your skin to UV radiation whenever you’re outside. Even on overcast days, UV rays can penetrate cloud cover, so sunscreen should always be a part of your outdoor winter routine.

Sunscreen is not just about preventing sunburn; it’s also about preserving your skin’s health and youthful appearance. UV radiation accelerates the aging process, leading to wrinkles, fine lines, and age spots. By applying sunscreen in winter, you can help maintain your skin’s elasticity and radiance.

Skin cancer doesn’t discriminate by season. UV radiation is a known carcinogen, and consistent exposure to it increases your risk of developing skin cancer, including deadly melanoma. Wearing sunscreen year-round is a proactive step in protecting yourself from this potentially life-threatening disease.

When using sunscreen in winter, it’s important to select the right product. Look for a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF (sun protection factor) of 30. Consider a moisturizing sunscreen like iS Clinical’s Exteme Protect SPF 30 which is a treatment sunscreen that protects the DNA of you skin cells with Extremozymes.  To combat winter dryness, don’t forget to apply it to all exposed skin areas, including your face, neck, and hands.

Sunscreen is not a seasonal product; it’s a year-round necessity for maintaining healthy, radiant skin and reducing the risk of skin cancer. Regardless of the temperature or weather conditions, make sunscreen a part of your daily skincare routine. By protecting your skin in winter, you’ll enjoy the benefits of healthy, youthful-looking skin and reduce your risk of sun-related skin damage. So, don’t pack away that sunscreen when summer ends—keep it handy for every season. Your skin will thank you for it.