During the cooler months we often forget that we still need to protect ourselves from the sun, as we are still at risk for damaging UV exposure in winter.
Four Winter Sun Facts
- Many people do not realise the harmful effects of the sun on exposed skin in winter months, yet UV radiation is the leading factor in the development of skin cancers and is the most preventable cause of the disease.
- UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds.
- Snow reflects as much as 80 per cent of UV radiation, which is much higher than the amount reflected by water or dry beach sand.
- While enjoying winter sports, take precaution. With higher altitude and UV rays reflected by the snow you are at a high risk of sun exposure.
Winter Sun Safety Tips
- Apply a liberal amount of SPF 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen generously to clean, dry skin, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
- Reapply at least every two hours when outdoors or immediately after strenuous sports sweating.
- Try to limit sun exposure when UV radiation is at its peak – from 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
- Protect your head – wear a hat or mask that covers your head, neck and face.
- Wear UVA/UVB wrap around sunglasses that protect your eyes.
- Wear sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible. Even in winter, there are parts of our skin that are still exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands and eyes.
Source: Melanoma Network Canada