On bright, summer days when you’re soaking up rays at the pool, you’re a loyal sunscreen addict. Now that it’s all doom and gloom out there (thanks, winter) you’re probably less enthused about your daily application. Other than the li’l bit of SPF 15 in your facial moisturizer, your sunscreen bottle likely stays hidden in your beach bag during the colder months, right? Well, here’s some hard #truth. That could be serious cause for concern, according to Dr. Estee Williams, a dermatologist in New York City. She shares five scary facts below that will make you want to be a year-round SPF enthusiast in 2018.
1. Skin cancer can affect anyone. Every year in the US, over 5.4 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are treated in more than 3.3 million people. And skin cancer can affect ANYONE, regardless of skin color. (Unfortunately, people with darker skin actually have a high chance of missing the signs of skin cancer because they’re not as much at risk, Williams explains.) Making sunscreen a part of your daily routine is the easiest thing you can do to protect yourself.
2. The cold isn’t an excuse to avoid your sunscreen. It’s a cold, cloudy day, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be exposed to strong UVA rays that can potentially cause skin cancer. It turns out that up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can break through clouds. So be sure to cover up, even when you think you’re covered.
3. Snow and ice can increase UV damage. Watch yourself. Snow and ice on the ground can reflect up to 80 percent of UV rays, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
4. Winter sports put you at a higher risk of UV exposure. Planning a ski vacay this winter? UV radiation increases by five percent with every thousand feet you rise above sea level. This means the higher your elevation, the greater your exposure to harmful UV rays. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen.
5. About 90 percent of skin aging is caused by the sun. These effects don’t stop with the snow. So no excuses here, time to stock up on SPF. Luckily, it’s probably on sale this time of year.
Now that you’re in the know, check out the best winter sunscreen options here.
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