As the weather begins to turn cooler here in Atlanta, GA, often the last thing on everyone’s mind is sunscreen. The major stores like Walmart and Target have removed the big sunscreen displays at the entrance of the store and replaced them with Santa Claus (yes, even in late October). The fact is that the sun is just as damaging to our skin in the winter time as it is in the summer. Daily use of sunscreen on your face and hands is a vital part of anti-aging to prevent wrinkles and the aging effects of the sun. In the same way it is vital that we continue doing services like chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, facials and IPL’s during the winter, we need to keep using a high quality sunscreen to protect our skin. Here are 7 things about sunscreen and sun exposure that you must know:
- You need to use sunscreen in the winter: When it is cold we tend to want to spend more time in the sun to warm up. When it gets really cold, ice and snow can also reflect more sun onto our face and hands then in the summer time. These two instances can actually cause increased sun exposure and increased damage.
- People of all skin colors need to use sunscreen: We are blessed in Atlanta Georgia to be a melting pot of all races and cultures. It is often a myth that the darker someone’s skin, the less they need sunscreen. Nothing can be further from the truth. Sun damages skin period. The best example of this is the best reggae singer of all time, Bob Marley. Do you know how Bob Marley died? That’s right, Bob Marley died of skin cancer due to too much sun exposure.
- Physical vs Chemical Sunscreen: Sunscreen comes in two varieties, chemical blocking and physical blocking. How can you tell the difference? Look at the label of ingredients. A good physical blocking sunscreen blocks the sun using zinc and/or titanium and that is it. This is the best method as sun rays actually bounce off zinc and titanium. The chemical sunscreens cause a scattering of the sun rays. Use a good physical blocking sunscreen like the ones we carry at dermani MEDSPA® by IMAGE Skincare.
- You do not need to get sun exposure to get Vitamin D: You can get plenty of Vitamin D through good diet and supplements. Any sun exposure will damage the skin.
- You do not need to get “a base tan” before going on vacation: The change in coloration of our skin when we get sun exposure is the body’s way of trying to fight this sun exposure. It is an adverse reaction that causes damage and ages the skin.
- You still need sunscreen on a cloudy day: Up to 80% of the suns damaging rays can still come through clouds. A cool cloudy day may not seem like a risk, but sun exposure is still a threat on these days.
- You still need sunscreen if you plan to be indoors: While UVB rays are blocked by windows, the more damaging and deeper penetrating UVA rays are not blocked by windows.
One of the most important things you can do to prevent skin damage and aging is to use a good quality sunscreen on your face and hands every day. Re-apply once or twice through the day especially if you will have increased sun exposure.