Even in Cooler Weather the Sun Still Shines
November 2, 2018
Do you base your decision to apply sunscreen on the time year? As we transition to the fall months, people love being outside often watching outdoor sporting events, spending a day on the water, or simply soaking up rays while enjoying a good book. However, it is important to remember the sun is still shining, so you need adequate protection from ultraviolet rays. Moreover, summertime is not the only times of year when you can get sunburn. Even at its lowest winter angle, both direct and reflected rays of sunlight off water, snow or sand can severely damage unprotected skin exposed to UV rays.
People also make the mistake of leaving their sun block at home on cooler overcast days, which can result in premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer. Although UVB rays can vary in intensity by seasons, UVA rays are potent year round and tend to damage deeper skin layers. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), even on cloudy days, up to 80% of the sun's harmful rays can penetrate your skin. So, always apply enough sunscreen to cover all exposed skin about 15 minutes before going outdoors. Although the FDA has approved both chemical and physical sunscreens, physical sunscreens actually deflect harmful rays rather than absorb them.
Both the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as well as the World Health Organization has declared UV radiation from the sun as a known cancer-causing substance. Moreover, the only safe way to enjoy outdoor activities is to use a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and has an SPF of 30 or higher. Regardless of the sunscreen you choose, be sure to apply enough. The AAD says most people only apply 25% to 50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen, and most forget to reapply every couple of hours. Anytime your skin is unprotected, you speed up the aging process and increase your risk of dangerous skin conditions like melanoma.
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