Here in the northeast, we’re still looking at some dark, cold and probably snowy days ahead of us. The warm summer weather and those lovely sunny days seem pretty far away. But the sun is still there, doing its thing, even though you can’t see it or feel it as much. And although the idea of protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun in the winter might seem a little far-fetched, believe it or not, it is still a priority.

Unfortunately, even though we’re not sunning ourselves on the beach these days, the damaging effects of UVA radiation are hitting us on a regular basis. UVA radiation damages the skin and accelerates skin aging, and we’re exposed to it every day – even in the winter. Each little bit of daily damage accumulates over time in a process that is actually referred to as “photoaging”.  Snow and ice – acting like a reflecting mirror – focus the UVA traveling within the sun’s rays on us even more, making for just as much potential sun damage as we are typically more concerned with during the summer months!

So, please …take some simple precautions as you wait patiently for the weather to turn nice again:

  1. Use a sunblock SPF30 or higher. The winter is a season you still need to apply sunscreen to uncovered areas on your body such as the face, hands, neck, and lips.  It’s important to use a 30 SPF or higher.  Another option is to use a tinted moisturizer With SPF for a healthy glow – SkinMedica is a favorite at our office.
  2. Protect from the inside. By now, we should all know that eating healthy affects our overall well-being and is a big part of keeping skin healthy and glowing.  Add these beneficial (anti-oxidant) foods to your diet: carrots, walnuts, green tea, red peppers, salmon, spinach, and salmon.
  3. Don’t forget your eyes.  Wearing sunglasses are necessary for blocking out almost 100% of the sun’s UV rays.  They should be worn year round, even in colder areas of the country.
  4. Dress for the weather. Dress properly during the cold winter months.  Use a scarf, hat, and gloves to cover exposed skin.  It helps protect the skin from harmful rays and the cold.
  5. Protect your lips. Lips take a beating from the cold winter months with the lack of humidity in the air.  Dry, cracked lips need to be hydrated by using a lip balm with an SPF.
  6. Avoid tanning beds! Tanning beds accelerate the photoaging process and increase your risk of skin cancer. Spray-tanning is a no risk, much healthier option for a beautiful bronze glow.