Charleston Dermatology Blog

Why You Should Be Wearing Sunscreen Year-Round

  • skin-conditions
  • skincare-tips

Are you wearing sunscreen? Despite popular belief, winter weather does not mean safety from the sun. This cold and cloudy weather is simply a front that allows harmful UV rays to sneak onto your skin. But don’t worry! Our team of board-certified dermatologists is here to explain why year-round SPF use should be part of your daily routine.

How Winter Sun Affects Your Skin

If you’ve been reading our blogs, you’ll already know sunlight produces two types of harmful ultraviolet rays. UVA rays are responsible for the cosmetic effects of sun damage (discoloration, wrinkles, etc.), and the more carcinogenic UVB rays produce sunburns.

However, though UVB rays are certainly more potent during the summer, both UV types add to the development of skin cancer. In fact, UVA rays are actually a steady threat to skin safety year-round. This is due to the difference in how these rays travel. 

Unlike UVB rays which affect the skin’s surface, UVA rays penetrate more deeply, passing through glass and even dense cloud cover (up to 80%). 

UVA rays’ far-reaching abilities make it possible to feel their effects outside and indoors, making regular sunscreen application critical for every outdoor activity or indoor space where natural light can enter. (Yes, even while driving!)

How to Practice Proper Year-Round Sun Protection

Practicing proper sun protection is one of the most important things you can do to live a healthy life. The best part is it’s easy to do! Try adopting these simple practices for SPF use, no matter the weather.

Choose “broad spectrum” sunscreens: Not all sunscreens are created equal. When choosing a sunscreen, look for “broad spectrum” formulas that guard against UVA and UVB rays.

Pick SPF 30+ sunscreen: SPF (sun protection factor) is the measure of how well a sunscreen protects your skin from burns/UVB rays. For optimal protection, we recommend products with a rating of at least 30+.

Reapply sunscreen regularly: On average, sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours but may be needed more frequently during winter. Snow and harsh winds can wear down/reduce the effectiveness, per The Skin Cancer Foundation

Healthy skin begins with Charleston Dermatology

At Charleston Dermatology, our team of board-certified dermatologists is here to help you on the road to healthy skin. With years of skincare experience at your service, we educate clients on their skin type and unique needs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified dermatologists. 

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