How to Shield Yourself from the Winter Sun

Winters are for relaxing by the fire, sipping hot cocoa, and reading your new favorite books. But for those of you who live in areas of the world where snow is no joke, winter also brings brighter daylight, unbearably cold temperatures, and cloud cover. So while one might think that cloud cover and colder temperatures mean less SPF, you would be wrong. Just because the sun isn’t making you sweat, doesn’t mean you are risk-free from damage and potential cancer skin cancer risks.

Protect Yourself from Reflected Light

The sun’s UV rays reflect off the white show we all love so much. An astounding 80% of the UV light can bounce off of the snow onto your skin, making you often exposed to the same rays twice! This exposure to UV rays can lead to sunburn and additional damage to your already dry and flaky skin. Winter sports are also an easy way to damage your skin. If you’re a fan of sledding, skiing, or hockey, make sure to use heavy duty body butters and a physical sunscreen with a high SPF. Chemical sunscreens are usually only UVA or UVB blockers; besides being full of toxins, they also don’t offer broad spectrum coverage. If you plan on vacationing in higher altitudes, UV radiation increases by 4-5% for every 1,000 feet, so pile on that zinc oxide!

Cloud Cover Won’t Help You in the Winter

While cloud cover can help in the summer, it doesn’t provide you protection from the UV rays in the winter. UVA rays penetrate deeper than UVB, the commonly known ray that causes sunburns. Wrinkles are caused by the UVA rays, which can easily worsen to other skin ailments such as sun spots and even cancer.

Protect Yourself from the Inside Out

Foods high in antioxidants will fight free radicals that cause sun damage. Incorporating colorful foods such as peppers, squash, and green vegetables will not only help fight the damage, but also help prevent it in the first place.

The best ways to save your skin from the winter sun are all natural. Apply your zinc oxide and cover up just like you would in the summer so you can keep taking your #snowselfies with that perfect reflected lighting.

~Brianne Nemiroff