Don’t let the cool weather fool you! You may be protected from the cold – but is your skin safe from the sun? You are still at risk for damaging UV exposure during the winter.
Winter Sun Facts
- Many people do not realize the harmful effects of the sun on exposed skin in winter months, yet UV radiation is the leading factor in the development of skin cancers and is the most preventable cause of the diseases.
- UV rays can get through clouds, fog and haze. Up to 80 percent of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds.
- Snow reflects as much as 80 per cent of UV radiation, which is much higher than the amount reflected by water or dry beach sand.
- While enjoying winter sports, take precaution. With higher altitude and UV rays reflected by the snow you are at a high risk of sun exposure.
- While many Canadians are aware of the need to wear sunscreen during the summer, a 2012 survey shows that two-thirds of Canadians do not wear sunscreen in the winter.
Winter Sun Safety Tips
- Apply a liberal amount of SPF 30+ broad spectrum water resistant sunscreen generously to clean, dry skin, at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
- Reapply at least every two hours when outdoors or immediately after strenuous sports sweating.
- Try to limit sun exposure when UV radiation is at its peak – from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
- Protect your head – wear a hat or mask that covers your head, neck and face.
- Wear UVA/UVB wrap around sunglasses that protect your eyes and skin all year long.
- Wear sun protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible. Even in winter, there are parts of our skin that are still exposed to the sun, such as your face, hands and eyes.
Watch Our Winter Sun Awareness Video with Olympic Skier Julia Murray
Raising awareness for melanoma is a cause that is very close to Julia Murray’s heart. Julia Murray is a Canadian Olympic Ski Cross Athlete who lost her father, Dave Murray – a two-time Olympian and member of the infamous Crazy Canucks – to melanoma in 1990 when she was just two years old. He was the young age of 37 when he died. She is committed to helping educate Canadians about the risks of winter sun exposure, the importance of winter sun safety and to increase awareness of melanoma.
Have fun and protect your skin. Be sun safe and sun aware!