Colder Weather Doesn’t Mean Ditch the Sunscreen
Too often we forget that sunburns are not just a product of summer sunbathing, and we find ourselves bundled in sweatshirts working in the yard or volunteering at our kids’ sporting events coming home with a bright red face. No, that’s not the glow of all the joy you experienced being in nature for hours on end—it’s a sunburn. There are specific things that we should remember in the colder months about protecting ourselves from the sun that can be too easily forgotten when our bathing suits get tucked away behind the sweaters.
- Sunglasses – Always keep your sunglasses with UV protection at hand. Just because it’s chilly does not mean that the sun’s rays have lost their powers. Keep your eyes safe from sun damage and wear your sunglasses while outside and driving.
- Sunscreen – A natural sunscreen should still be used on faces, hands and all places of your body where your skin will be exposed to the sun. This is the same if you are going to be outside for a while or in a car or in front of any window for prolonged periods of time. If the sun’s rays can reach you, it is always important to protect your skin.
- Clothing – Don’t assume that your clothing is enough to protect you from sun damage—thin cotton shirts, such as t-shirts and dress shirts can still allow some damaging rays to reach your skin. Though it is greatly muted by the clothing, limiting the time you spend in direct sunlight is always a good idea. For that matter, sunscreen isn’t 100% protection against potentially damaging sunrays, either. Moderation related to your time in the sun is always advisable.
- Prolonged Exposure – Young children, elderly and those with a history of skin conditions or have a family history of skin cancer are at highest risk for developing skin problems associated with prolonged exposure to the sun. If you or those you love fall into this group, it is a good idea to be extra cautious to avoid sunburns and long periods of sun exposure whenever possible.
Always enjoy your time outdoors and in the sun no matter the season. Exposure to the sun can offer great health benefits including reducing symptoms of depression and increased vitamin D levels absorbed through the skin, but too much of any good thing can be harmful. Use your best judgment, and remember that just because it’s cool outside does not mean that the sun isn’t active with all of the same dangers is brings to us in the summer—so, be safe and have fun!