We all know how important it is to protect ourselves from the sun’s harmful rays during the summer time, but many of us reduce our efforts during the winter thinking the sun’s rays are not as strong during these months. Well don’t let the colder temperatures fool you! The sun is just as powerful in the wintertime and, rays that reflect off the snow can be particularly intense. In fact, almost 80% of UV radiation is reflected from snow as compared with the 25% that is reflected from sand. With that being said, here are a few reminders for you on how to keep your skin healthy during the winter months.
Use Physical Sunscreen: As opposed to its chemical counterpart, physical sunscreen offers the best year round protection, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays. It also activates immediately and lasts longer than its chemical alternative. Although it can be a bit sloppy to use, its effectiveness will make a bit of mess worthwhile.
Keep Reapplying: Many apply sunscreens as part of their morning routine and think they are set for the day. However, sun blocks are only made to last for a certain amount of time and, when you think about how much you might sweat during the day, it’s best to reapply every few hours. It’s a good idea to continuously smooth on a naturally healing, moisturizing sunblock of SPF 30 or higher and make sure it is absorbing into your skin.
Examine Your Skin for Signs of Damage: Rough, red skin, an increase in moles and broken blood vessels on the face that may occur in winter can all be signs of sun damage. Look for these as well as cuts and bruises that don’t heal as these can be early signs of skin cancer.
Don’t Forget About You Lips: Your lips are particularly sensitive and can easily become chapped during the winter months. To prevent this from happening, apply a petroleum infused SPF lip balm.
Eat the Right Foods: Foods that are high in antioxidants can help fight free radicals and inflammation. On the other hand, foods like meat, dairy products, simple carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods cause inflammation and can make skin damage worse. Ty to eat foods that are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants like carotenoids and lycopenes that can reduce sun damage. These include leafy greens, peppers, squash, watermelon, blueberries and tomatoes.
So remember, just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean it’s okay to skimp out on that sun block...especially if you plan to be doing winter sports or have a good amount of snow on the ground in your area.The sun is very damaging to skin, and winter is no exception. Take advantage of those end of summer sales to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked so that you are ready to take on the elements, no matter what season it may be!
Candice Simons, j'adore Detroit