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Skin Cancer Foundation Urges Winter Sun Care

Posted: January 18, 2010

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Cloud cover won't protect you. Even on gray winter days, about 80% of both UVA and UVB rays penetrate clouds. And 100% of UVA rays penetrate glass.

To protect your exposed skin from UVA and UVB rays, put on "broad spectrum" sunscreen daily. Look for ingredients such as avobenzone, oxybenzone, mexoryl, zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. You can make sunscreen a part of your daily routine even in winter by choosing a facial and hand moisturizer with an SPF of 15 or higher. Many cosmetics, such as foundation, lipsticks and powder, contain an SPF.

And don't forget the sunscreen on your nose and cheeks when you're frolicking in the snow. Many a skier has learned the painful lesson that snow acts as a powerful reflector, radiating about 80% of UV rays back up to your nose and face. When applying sunscreen, don't forget to apply it under the nose and chin where those rays will hit, and wear goggles or sunglasses with UV protection. And just like you do at the beach, reapply sunscreen every two hours.

More information

The American Academy of Dermatology has more about sunscreen.