The weather outside is cooling down and there is less daylight as the season shifts. Yet, experts warn that this shouldn't be a reason to stop wearing sunscreen, because even though the sun isn't as intense as it was over summer, UV rays remain in the atmosphere.
"The cumulative effect in winter still amounts to appreciative damage," said dermatologist Dr. Dennis Gross, via Wall Street Journal (WSJ). He adds that a 10-hour daylight exposure during the winter can equal a full-hour summer sun exposure. So, each time you're out walking the dog, or meeting your friends or enjoying the brisk weather at the park, your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays.
Skin in the winter is apparently more sensitive to the sun. "Due to less UV radiation in winter time, skin produces less melanin and consequently, the skin is not only less tanned, but also more sensitive to UV radiation when it comes to a day with a lot of sunshine," said Frank Schwanke from Nivea, according to Healthista. If you're planning on a ski holiday, you could still get a sunburn as if you've spent your vacation at the beach.
Experts agree that most people aren't fond of wearing sunscreen this time of the year because its texture and scent don't go well with the weather. To make wearing sunscreen less of a discomfort, some things should be considered, like avoiding sunburn creams or lotions formulated for the summer. "It can't have an odor; it can't be sticky; it has to go under makeup," said dermatologist Dr. Patricia Wexler, via WSJ. Murad's Invisiblur Perfecting Shield Broad Spectrum SPF 30 is one of the popular choices that works well regardless of the season.
Skin cancer is very common in the United States with some 3.3 million people getting treatment every year. At least 90 percent of cases of non-melanoma skin cancers are linked to UV exposure, according to Skin Cancer Org. UV damage can lead to the depletion of the skin's immune system, affecting its DNA and repairing properties that help fight off cancer, according to Health Day.