Sun & Skin News

Even Snow Days Are Sun Days

By Skin Cancer Foundation • February 1, 2023
snowy day

Wintertime means snow. And when it snows, 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. Add cold winter wind to the equation, and you have a recipe for sun damage.

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 snowshoes 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. Consider choosing a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients like lanolin or glycerin to combat dry winter skin.

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!

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