Winter Sun Damage - It Exists!
Yup! You heard right! You CAN get sun damage in the Winter months. Even though we are bundled up and spend less time outdoors, the harmful UV rays from the sun can still wreak havoc on our skin and cause premature aging. Luckily, there are key lifestyle and skincare tips to keep damage at bay in the Winter months!
How does the Sun cause damage in the Winter? Dangerous UVA (A = Aging Rays) reflect off the surface of snow and intensify in strength. They can also pass directly through glass in our homes and vehicles. Furthermore, those rays are NOT lessened by cooler temperatures. So, even though you feel chilled on a freezing day outside snow skiing, the sun that hits your face is acting like it’s the middle of Summer! What’s worse, these rays are intensified at higher altitudes. Take note snow skiers!
So, how can we adjust our lifestyle and skincare routines to protect ourselves from Winter Sun Damage? Try these tips to keep your skin looking radiant and healthy, regardless of the season!
Wear Sunscreen Daily
Ideally, you should look for a Physical Sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Physical Sunscreens directly reflect the sun’s harmful rays away from your skin. They also tend to be gentler for sensitive skin types because, unlike chemical sunscreens, they do not trap heat against the skin.
Pucker Up & Protect Your Pout!
Even those of us who are great at protecting our skin, oftentimes forget our lips. The skin of our lips is delicate and highly susceptible to sun damage and skin cancer. What’s worse, most of us experience chapped lips in the Winter which makes our lips even MORE susceptible to sun damage. Look for a healing lip balm to address your chapped lips at night and apply lip balms or lipsticks with SPF during daytime.
Stick with Sunglasses
Sunglasses aren’t just for Summer days at the beach! The reflected glare of the sun off the surface of snow can damage our eyes and the delicate skin around them. Constantly squinting can age our eye area prematurely. Look for sunglasses that have a UV coating on the lenses and have extra-large frames to cover a larger surface area of your face.
Combat Damage with Diet
What you eat can affect the health of your skin! A diet rich in polyphenols and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables can help combat free radical damage from the sun. These nutrients and minerals keep our cells functionally efficiently and reinforce their strength against oxidative stress. It’s an easy way to give your skin an “edge” against Winter sun damage!
Heal & Protect Your Skin with Oils
Oils are a great way to heal dry, chapped, wind burned and sunburned skin, especially in the winter! Certain oils, such as Neem Oil, are both anti-inflammatory and restorative; perfect for a day of too much sun and wind. Kukui Nut Oil is highly emollient and can soften and quench skin that is suffering from dry Winter conditions. Rice Bran Oil is also a powerhouse oil in that it has both antioxidant properties and supplies mild sun protection. The healthier and more hydrated you keep your skin in the Winter, the better chance you have at warding off future damage.