The Grooming Manual

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5 Ways the Sun Can Damage Your Skin During Winter

Skiing through the wilderness

Winter is not the time of year you’re worried about getting a sunburn. Unless you’re away for a tropical vacation, you’re probably not hitting the beach. The chilly weather has you hiding under several layers of warm clothing, not exposing your skin to the sunlight. So why should you be worried about sun damage during winter?

Here’s the truth: no matter what the temperature is, the sun is damaging your skin. Plain and simple. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation:

“No matter how many layers we wear, one part of the body – the head and neck area – tends to remain exposed to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation year-round.”

And the Chicago Tribune reports that “Sun damage that causes cancer is cumulative, doctors emphasize. That means that whether you're walking to your office in January or out for a run in the midday July heat, it's adding up."

How does the sun damage your skin during the winter? And how can you prevent it?


#1 - UVA Radiation

UV radiation from the sun comes in two flavors: UVA and UVB. You get sunburns from UVB rays; they’re not much of a concern during winter. But UVA rays are harmful too. They go through glass - so they reach you even if you’re sitting indoors near a window. They blast through clouds - so you’re not safe during overcast days. They account for 95% of the sun’s rays that reach the Earth. And they penetrate deep into your skin.

The main damage caused by UVA rays is photoaging. That include wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, liver spots, and various forms of hyperpigmentation. With time and extended exposure over the course of several years, UVA damage can eventually lead to potentially deadly forms of skin cancer.

What can you do to protect yourself? The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends “a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF, which measures defense against the sun’s UVB rays) of 15 or higher helps keep skin supple and protected.”

Our Daily Defense Face Moisturizer is made with natural SPF 15 to keep you safe from sun damage all year round.


#2 - Your Lips Are at Risk

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, men are especially at risk for developing cancer on the lips. Just like UV rays damage and age your skin, they affect your lips too. So use a natural lip balm for men with SPF all year round. This prevents dry, chapped lips often caused by the cold, dry air and chilling winds of winter. And, used consistently, it dramatically lowers your risk of developing cancer on your lips.


#3 - UV Rays Get Reflected

Enjoy spending time out on the snow during winter? Many guys wait all year for the chance to get out on the powder. But you need to make sure you’re wearing face moisturizer for men with SPF when you do. Why?

Snow is an extremely reflective surface. And it reflects more than just light. Skin damaging UVA rays also get bounced off the snow and intensified during winter. So make sure you’re wearing men’s SPF face moisturizer whenever you’re going to spend time outdoors. Reapply every few hours to get the best protection.

This is doubly important if you’re on the slopes at high elevation. In that case, you get the extra intense reflected UVA rays plus the additional exposure because of elevation.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy outdoor winter sports. Just be smart about it and use a face moisturizer for men with SPF as part of your men’s skincare routine.


#4 - Dry Skin Is Less Protected

When the cold weather dries out your skin, you’re put at greater risk for sun damage. That’s why it’s important to have a men’s skincare routine all year long.

To keep your skin hydrated and safe from the sun, start each morning by washing and moisturizing. Use a gentle face wash for men and a face moisturizer for men. If you’re going to spend time outdoors, apply a face moisturizer for men with SPF.

You don’t need SPF overnight, so reapply your face moisturizer for men before bed. Or, for additional benefits and improved moisture, use a face serum for men and anti aging cream for men in the evening.


#5 - Some Medications Worsen Sun Damage

You don’t want to be slowed down by a winter cold or upper respiratory problem. Here’s another reason to stay healthy and boost your immune system: some medications - including antibiotics - can make your skin more photosensitive than usual. That means you’re at a higher risk for sun damage.

If you have to take any antibiotics, make sure to ask your doctor if their side effects include increased photosensitivity. If you’re already taking something and aren’t sure, investigate online or call your doctor’s office. Some blood pressure medications and anti-inflammatories are known to have a similar side effect.


Don’t Be Fooled by the Cold Weather

The sun’s still out there, trying to damage your skin during the winter months. Don’t be fooled by the cold weather. Stick to your men’s skincare routine year round and use the best face moisturizer for men with SPF to protect yourself from sun damage.

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