Winter has officially begun. That means the sun is sitting lower in the southern sky and most of us are spending less time outdoors because it's just too frigid. When we do venture out, we're usually bundled to our ears. But that's no reason to forgo sunscreen during winter.
The Skin Cancer Foundation and the American Academy of Dermatology offer these tips:
The sun produces two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB.
UVA rays, which account for up to 95 percent of UV rays that reach Earth's surface, penetrate deeper into skin, cause wrinkles and have been associated with melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer.
UVA rays are almost equally intense during all daylight hours throughout the year; they can penetrate clouds and glass.
Runners, cyclists, hikers, ice skaters and other athletes who take their workouts outdoors year-round lose some sun protection as trees lose leaves.
Skiers are exposed to an extra 8 percent to 10 percent of UV radiation for every 1,000 feet of altitude. About 80 percent of those rays are reflected from the snow.
It's best to wear Wraparound sunglasses that provide UV protection to skin near the eyes and fight damaging glare, especially while skiing.
Protect your lips with a balm that has sunblock. Sun exposure can decrease the immune system and bring out cold sores from herpes 1 or 2.
Use thicker sunblock or zinc oxide, which also helps prevent windburn.