Can you feel it? The change in the air? It’s undeniable…winter is taking over. Your bikinis are already feeling neglected and you probably won’t touch your sunscreen tube for the next few months... Big mistake! But do you really need to wear sunscreen in winter?
Well, the skin experts align on this: to avoid cumulative damages on the skin, SPF must be used all-year-round.
UVA | Ultraviolet A rays, also called "long wave" rays, make up 95 percent of the rays that reach the surface of the Earth. They can penetrate the skin much deeper than UVB rays, and are responsible for signs of aging (like dark spots and wrinkles). They also can initiate skin cancers. These are the rays that make you more tan (ref: gq.com). UVA rays can penetrate glass and clouds – you are thus likely to be exposed to UVA rays all year round, even in the shade and indoors.
UVB | Ultraviolet B rays, or "shortwave" rays, don’t penetrate the skin as deeply. They're what causes redness and sunburns. They are most intense from early spring to early fall, and during the day’s sunniest hours. UVB rays are not as likely to penetrate glass as UVA rays, but even though they dwindle in the winter, many can reach the Earth’s surface and are easily reflected off snow and ice. This makes them a bigger threat on the ski slopes, and at higher altitudes on sunny days (ref: gq.com). If you are hitting the slopes this winter, remember that reflection from snow can increase UV radiation by up to 50%, and increases by 15% for every kilometre in altitude.Photo: Mattias Olsson (Unsplash.com)