We all know how important it is to protect yourself from the damage caused by UV rays; there’s even a month dedicated to UV safety in July. However, people usually let their UV protection practices stop when summer comes to an end, which isn’t great for your skin, eyes, or overall health.
Protecting against UV in the colder months
The heat index may be lower during autumn and winter, but there are certain situations when you have to be cautious of your exposure to the sun. Firstly, it’s still important to wear sunscreen or SPF every single day, all year round. No matter the intensity of the sun, your skin can still be damaged by UV rays. If you don’t already have one, invest in a moisturizer with SPF so you can easily protect your skin with no extra steps added to your morning routine.
If you like outdoor activities in the fall and winter months, you have to be aware of the ways you can protect yourself from UV rays. When skiing or snowboarding, the high altitude and snow cause the sun’s rays to feel more intense and become more damaging. 80% of the sun’s rays reflect off of the white snow, even when it’s cloudy out! While the high altitude poses problems of its own – UV radiation rises with higher altitudes and the sun can penetrate the clouds more easily, making it more likely for someone to get burnt. Even though most of your body is covered by snow gear, this is the time to be diligent about protecting your face from the sun. Applying sunscreen like you would if were at the beach is pertinent to avoid a sunburn while having fun in the snow.
UV damage goes beyond the skin
The same rules go for being near a reflective body of water. If you go on a hike or spend a cool autumn day at the beach, it’s important to come prepared with UV protection, even if it’s cloudy. In addition to wearing protective clothing and being equipped with an SPF to protect your skin, don’t forget your sunglasses while you’re outside. You should even protect your eyes while driving, especially on sunny, snowy days when the sun will reflect off of the snow. Buying and using sunglasses is a vital practice for protecting your eyes from UV rays because they can cause a number of eye problems over time including cataracts, sunburnt eyes, macular degeneration, and even blindness.
Although it’s much easier to feel the effects of UV rays in spring and summer, that doesn’t mean it’s not important to continue to protect yourself in the fall and winter. SPF, sunglasses, and protective clothing are easy ways you can ensure your skin and eyes stay healthy all year round. These may seem like small or insignificant practices during the less sunny months, however, UV rays are the number one cause of skin cancer and blindness is caused by the diseases that can be accelerated from UV damage like cataracts and macular degeneration. So when it comes to your overall health, UV safety should be a high priority no matter the time of year!