As I ‘age gracefully’ there are so many different things that have come into my focus. My balance. My lack of a waist line. And, my lack of sunscreen education. Let me ask you this, do you apply sunscreen all year? Let’s say it’s February, you go for walk around the block or the lake or you run a 5K….does sunscreen hit your face and body? I will be the 1st to raise my hand and say NO! I never even gave it a thought or put that on my ‘to do’ list.
Would it be fair to say that most of us when we go to the beach or the pool we apply our sunscreen? But, what about the rest of the time we are outside in the daylight? What about when you are skiing or playing in the snow? What about spring when the air gets a tad warmer and you are working in the garden – do you think of sunscreen….or a hat?
Yes, the sun is definitely not as strong in the winter as it is in the summer. But sun is sun and it can still definitely be harmful to you.
I found some interesting facts about being outside in the winter –
Snow nearly doubles your exposure to UV rays. Why is that?
Snow is very reflective. On a sunny day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV radiation. This means that you can be exposed to almost a double dose of UV – the UV from the sun and what is being reflected.
The atmosphere is thinner at higher elevations, UV radiation intensity increases by about 10–12% for every 1000 meter increase in altitude.
UVA rays can go through glass. Glass absorbs most of the UV rays….in an SPF rating it would equate to a SPF30. Which means, you can still be exposed. (Hanging out at the ski lodge maybe?!)
The earth is closest to the sun in the winter.
The ozone is thinnest during the winter. The ozone acts as nature’s ‘sunscreen’.
Why do we need to protect ourselves from sun exposure and wear sunscreen?
Every time we’re outside and the UV Index is over 3 we face some risk. If your activities involve exposure to the sun, getting a high-quality sunscreen is important. Vitamin D is essential for so many reasons but…. what about the long term risk of sun exposure?
There are so many benefits to sun exposure, but we need to protect ourselves with sun screen.
Your skin cancer risk is lowered. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control: ‘Based on data from 2012 to 2016, about 77,698 new cases of melanoma occurred in the United States each year. The overall incidence rate of melanoma was 21.8 per 100,000’.
Sunscreens helps us from developing those dark ‘age spots’.
It protects your body from all of the harmful UV rays.
One other thing to take into consideration is the type of sunscreen that you use – sunscreens are NOT created equal. Mineral based ones are best. I have found a few great ones for you. Check out ‘Is Sunscreen Safe?’
As we age and get older, sunscreen is especially important. Is sunscreen the only answer? How about a hat? A cute straw hat or even one that is ‘function over beauty’. Make sure the tops of your ears are covered. And your neck if you are out in the sun a long time.
PS – Not all sun screens are created equal. I have a post coming out soon with recommendations. If you would like to know what they are now send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I will definitely let you know.