Sun defense isn’t just a warm-weather necessity. More than 20% of Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, with much of the contributing skin damage occurring during cold weather when we’re less likely to notice.

To enjoy winter sunshine safely, wear skin covering clothing, eat food high in antioxidants, seek shade during peak sun hours, and cover exposed areas with a good zinc oxide sunscreen.

Here are 5 winter skincare facts (and 5 more winter skincare facts) and reasons why it’s important to keep skin protected during winter.

 

1. UVA Rays are the Same Strength all Year

Cold weather does not impact UV rays, which stay strong all winter. Though you’re wearing long sleeve shirts and pants in the cold, your face, neck and hands remain exposed and need proper sunscreen protection.

 

2. High Altitude increases UV Exposure

Skiing, hiking or playing in the mountains, higher elevations increase the risk of skin damage. UV radiation rises about 5% with every 1000 feet of altitude. At 5,000 feet, UV radiation is about 25% more intense than at sea level.

 

3. Snow Reflects 80% of UV Light

Even covered with jackets and gloves, face and lips are often left exposed, as snow reflects up to 80% of sunlight. Exposed areas need good sunscreen covering them.

 

PRO TIP Beach sand reflects just 25% of UV rays.

 

4. Dry Air means Dry Skin

Winter air tends to have less humidity, and as we spend more time indoors we’re exposed to air heating systems throughout the day that zaps skin moisture, causing flaking, tightness, dullness, and eventually skin lines and wrinkles.

Choosing a moisturizing skincare product with certified organic coconut oil or olive oil and use a lip balm with beeswax and shea butter will help keep your skin hydrated. And remember to drink lots of water in the winter, whether inside or outside.

 

5. Antioxidants Protect Skin

Just like UV rays, free radicals strike fear in our hearts, and with good reason. These harmful particles (caused by smoke, pollution, fried foods, alcohol, pesticides, UV light, and even exercise) damage skin cells and are a main cause of aging and long term health issues. Think of an apple browning on the counter. That’s free radicals in action.

Antioxidants in skin care products, food, and nutritional supplements, help maintain skin health and appearance, including reducing the signs of aging. Vitamin C is probably the best antioxidant available.

 

In Closing

The sun never stops, and neither should your defense against long term sun damage. Drink lots of water, eat antioxidant-rich foods, and cover exposed areas with clothing, hats or a good zinc oxide sunscreen. Your skin will thank you all year long, for many years to come.

 

Know Your Sunscreen. Trust Your Sunscreen.

Next time you grab for your sunscreen, flip it over and actually read the ingredients, including the “inactive” ones. Do you know what all of them are and what they’re doing? We’re dedicated to using only the healthiest, safest, most effective ingredients in our sunscreens, and we want everyone to know what those good ingredients are, regardless of whether they use our products or not. Their skin is worth it.

If you know someone who might still be buying sunscreen with shady ingredients, please share the above info with them. It could have a serious impact on their life – in the sun, and out. Thanks for spreading the word to the ones you care about, and here’s to thriving in the sun.