As the pool toys are stowed away and beach towels are packed for yet another year, one essential item that must remain within reach is sunscreen. We applaud your dedication to protecting your skin during the summer, but it is essential to recognize that sunscreen is not exclusively a seasonal accessory. While the idea of wearing sunscreen during the winter to combat glare from ice and snow might seem intuitive, you may wonder about its necessity during the fall. For those who may not have received the memo, here are some compelling reasons why sunscreen should continue to be a staple in your skincare routine throughout the autumn season.
UV Rays Can’t Be Stopped
The onset of fall doesn’t equate to a cessation of sunlight, and those relentless UV rays persist in their quest to affect your skin. Even when the sun isn’t visibly shining, an astounding 90% of UV light emitted by the sun’s rays manages to permeate through cloud cover. Consequently, the risk of sunburn and skin damage remains, even on overcast days. Additionally, as the days grow colder, the ozone layer begins to thin, a critical factor as the ozone layer serves as a natural barrier, absorbing UV rays. With a thinner ozone layer, a greater proportion of UV radiation can reach your skin, heightening the risk of sun-related damage. To minimize your UV exposure, consider scheduling outdoor activities before 10 AM or after 4 PM, as UVB rays are most potent around solar noon.
Falling will Age
Alterations in skin texture, diminished elasticity, premature development of wrinkles, sagging, the appearance of under-eye bags, and heightened susceptibility to bruising are all indicative signs of early skin aging. A staggering 80% of the blame for this premature aging can be attributed to chronic exposure to UV rays. As the allure of cooler and more inviting autumn weather draws people outdoors, it becomes essential to continue safeguarding your skin. Before embarking on your fall activities, apply a nickel-sized portion of SPF 30 sunscreen. Subsequently, diligently reapply your SPF 30 sunscreen every two hours while you remain outdoors. This proactive measure effectively reduces the duration during which your skin is exposed to the harmful effects of UV rays, thus mitigating the risk of premature aging.
Snow and Ice
The presence of snow and ice often brings with it reflective qualities that are quite evident, especially when you step outside and encounter the intense wintertime glare. However, it’s essential to recognize that these sunny rays not only challenge your vision but also pose risks to your skin. In the presence of snow and ice, your skin is exposed to UV rays directly emanating from the sun. Furthermore, these UV rays bounce off the surrounding snow and ice, further intensifying their impact on your skin.
Show Me the Numbers
- 1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with skin cancer by the age of 70.
- There are more people diagnosed with skin cancer each year than all other forms of cancer combined.
- If you receive 5 or more sunburns your chances of being diagnosed with skin cancer doubles.
- Wearing SPF 15 sunscreen reduces the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by 40% and melanoma by 50%.
The risk of developing skin cancer is not confined to the summer months, and none of these facts are exclusive to summer sun exposure. Applying sunscreen at regular two-hour intervals is a critical measure to diminish the likelihood that the sun-induced damage to your skin will progress into a more serious concern like skin cancer.
Swinyer Woseth is here to help you with your skincare needs year-round. Whether you have questions about SPF or how to minimize the impact of the sun damage done to your skin, please contact us so we can answer any of your questions.