It doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold, rainy or sunny, October or May.
If you’re outside, you’re still being exposed to daylight and ultraviolet (UV) rays, so you always need to protect your skin. In fact, the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin in as little as 15 minutes.
And don’t put away the sunblock when the fall is over. “It’s especially important to protect your skin in the winter because snow reflects sunlight, increasing the amount of light directed at you and increasing your chance of sunburn and other skin damage,” says Kimberlee Lindquist, RN, BSN, a nursing director at HealthAlliance Hospital: Mary’s Avenue Campus, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth). The same is true if you’re out on or in the water, which is also highly reflective.
There are several ways you can protect your skin year-round:
- Limit outdoor activities during the sun’s strongest rays (10 a.m.–4 p.m.). l Seek out shaded areas.
- Avoid being in the direct sun for prolonged periods of time.
- Reduce sunlight exposure by wearing protective clothing.
- Avoid tanning, of any kind.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or greater.