How Important Is Sunscreen When You Can’t Actually See The Sun??
Believe it or not, you still need to apply sunscreen no matter how thick those clouds may seem to you.80 percent of the rays will still penetrate those clouds and affect your skin. Those stubborn UVA rays are able to penetrate clouds and glass year-round to cause serious damage to your deeper skin layers resulting in premature aging and skin cancer. UVB rays on the other hand are stronger on sunny days and they damage the superficial layer of the skin causing sun burn and again skin cancer. UV rays result in DNA damage and mutations as well as free radical formation, and repeated DNA damage results in skin cancer.
What SPF Should Be Used?
SPF should not be lower than 30 even in cold weather. Surprisingly, however, SPF measures only UVB protection and not UVA. When looking for sunscreens, look for the term ‘broad spectrum’ as it means that it protects against both kinds of UV rays. If you can find a moisturiser with an SPF 30 you will do yourself a favour as you can forgo the sunscreen on the condition that you apply it every two hours. You can skip the moisturiser in summer and use only the sunscreen.
How Do The Sun’s Rays Cause Anti-Aging?
Some believe that sunscreen is even more crucial during the winter months and overcast spring days as the cold works up dry skin and causes it to become irritated and sallow. What’s worse is that UV rays work by damaging the collagen and elastin thus speeding up the aging process and you will have more fine lines and wrinkles to show for it.
Though it might be needless to point out but hyper pigmentation can be prevented with the regular use of sunscreen. What is more interesting is the fact that the pigment cells are not only stimulated by the sun’s rays, they are also affected to an extent by “lower doses of ambient and infrared light”. So if you’re worried about light emitted from your computer screen, phones, laptops and overhead lamps, you should be. Even if you have no plans to leave your house you will still need to wear sunscreen indoors.
Snow and Windy Conditions?
Research shows that for every 300 meters you rise above sea level, UV radiation increases by 5 percent. What’s more disturbing is the fact that snow, strong winds, and sweat can actually wear off your sunscreen faster than milder weather conditions and reduce its effectiveness. Which means wearing and regularly re-applying sunscreen (every two hours) during activities such as skiing and such can be seen as more important than wearing your sunscreen beach-side. During snowy conditions, the reflected light is seen as damaging as a temperature of 26 Celsius, and more so if you’re on higher altitudes. Also interesting to note is the fact that the ozone layer which filters out the harmful UV rays is thinnest during the winter months from December to March in the Northern Hemisphere and the earth is considerably closest to the sun in winter.