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Protecting Your Skin During Winter

By Donna Stark

We haven't officially hit the winter season yet, but many parts of the country are already experiencing gray skies and overcast days. And with the passing of daylight saving time, darkness has suddenly become our friend. It's no wonder that so many people fail to be vigilant about sun protection during this time of year because there seems to be very little sun to even be worried about! But that can be a costly mistake.

Protecting Your Skin During Winter

Even if the sun is not shining down on you as it does during the summer, the damaging UV rays that cause skin cancer and premature aging shouldn't be ignored. In fact, you can still sustain sun damage just as easily during the winter as you can during the summer. Here's how.

  • Direct exposure to the sun's rays 
  • Reflective exposure to the sun's rays from the snow and ice (which means the rays can actually hit you a second time)
  • Penetration of UVA rays through clouds and fog

Steps to Take

Are you surprised about the winter sun? Many people are, but there are some steps you can take that, like the ones you take in the summer, can reduce your risk of damage. Take a look at a few of them here.

  • Covering up - Although you may not like protecting your skin with layers of clothes during the hot summer months, doing so in the winter is an easy choice (of course it's easy, it's cold!) and is a great way to defend against sun damage. But don't forget to cover your face, head, and neck! These spots on the body are often forgotten about, so grab your hats, scarves, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
  • Applying sunscreen - Sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, but you may want to look for a brand that contains hydrating ingredients as well as sun-blocking agents to combat your dry, winter skin. Apply it to all the areas where your skin is exposed and make sure to remember those often-missed spots like your nose, any bald spots, and the tops of your ears.
  • Know your medications - It's winter. Most of us will end up sick at some point or another, and unfortunately, some of the medications we may be taking can cause our skin to be extra-sensitive to the sun's rays. So, check with your doctor or pharmacist if the medicine you are prescribed increases your body's sensitivity to the sun. It's good to know, even if you are applying sunscreen every day.

Sunny Habits for Cloudy Days

Don't hibernate! You have the practice of applying sunscreen down (you've been doing it all summer), so don't let up now! Go outside and have fun. Just protect yourself in doing so!

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Farmington, Utah.

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