Several weeks ago, as a large storm made its way across the country, one of my friends shared the following graphic on Facebook. Having experienced winters in several states, it brought a smile to my face – it is hilariously accurate!
While your geographic location may influence whether your local school district closes for a light dusting or whether you get on those snow tires and head to the interstate with a foot of white stuff on the ground, there is one behavior that should be practiced by all: sun protection.
With a chill in the air and snow on the ground, it may seem that the risk of sun damage is rather low. That simply isn’t the case. In fact, snow can multiply your UV exposure because it reflects the sun’s rays. Not only are they hitting your skin from above, but they’re also bouncing off of the snow on the ground, leading to twice the exposure.
It’s also important to remember that cloud coverage found on snowy winter days doesn’t provide sun protection. In fact, up to 80 percent of UV rays burn right through the clouds.
If you’re heading to the park for a sledding session with your little ones, clipping on those snow shoes for an outdoor adventure or just shoveling your walkway, it’s important to protect your skin. Remember to strategically cover up with clothing, wear sunglasses, and apply a broad-spectrum SPF 15+ sunscreen on all exposed areas. You can also protect your lips by applying a lip balm (or lipstick) with an SPF 15 or higher. Once you’ve got your sun protection bases covered, get out there and enjoy the snow!