Even through the clouds, UVA and UVB rays are shining through. In the fall and winter, it’s still just as crucial to protecting your skin from harmful rays. Here are some tips for keeping your skin healthy and young, despite those nasty rays.
Above Your Head
In the spring and summer, we tend to have more headwear options that protect your face. In the winter, you can’t get away with a straw, large-brimmed sombrero. It will either fly away or freeze and crack to pieces. Besides, it might look a bit silly out of season.
You can get away with wearing a baseball cap all year long, pretty much. That will provide warmth and cover your forehead and nose from dangerous rays. A ski cap or wool beanie has a cute, sporty look that keeps your noggin’ comfy, but your face is still exposed. If you’re not wearing a full-face ski mask (and doubtful you are for fear you’ll be arrested as a bank robber), then you need to find alternate protection.
Skin Protector Tips
You may have noticed that the term “sunblock” hasn’t been used in a while. That’s because there really is no way of fully blocking the sun’s rays from our skin (unless you’re indoors, away from a window.) The lotions and sprays may only be termed “sunscreen.” The FDA has also come down hard on the term “broad spectrum.”
Broad spectrum must actually protect against both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays are the ones responsible for making us look older and causing skin cancer. UBV rays turn our skin red and can give us a burn.
Just So Ya Know
The initials SPF stand for sun-protection-factor. In Europe, they cap SPFs at 50. Here in the US, it’s all still questionable because our cap-limit hasn’t been enforced yet, even though the FDA has confirmed that anything over 50 has no more benefit than an actual 50.
Most sunscreens include oxybenzone and/or avobenzone. Both chemicals seep into your skin as you rub them on. The additives enter your bloodstream; oxybenzone has been proven to be a hormone and endocrine disrupter. Additionally, many skin allergies have arisen from the use of these compounds.
So What To Do?
Find a sunscreen that’s made from minerals. The good news is that over 30% of sun-skin-protection products are made of only minerals. Those are safe because they protect against both UVA and UVB rays. Also, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide sit on top of the skin and physically block the rays.
After applying a lovely coat of sunscreen on all exposed skin, a nice touch is to add powder to your face. There are many organic, hypoallergenic products on the market; best practice might be to use a face powder that includes a low SPF. This way, you’ve got double coverage, which may actually last longer throughout your day.
If you are on the water or in the snow, apply protection as often and generously as you would were you in a 110-degree desert. The reflection of the sun’s rays can burn your skin exponentially quicker. Remember, your skin is your largest organ and requires just as much care (if not more) as you’d offer to your lungs, liver, or brain. Be health-proactive and enjoy your time outdoors—rain, snow or shine!