5 Ways to Protect Your Skin from Winter Sun Damage

In winter, UV rays are even more dangerous, as they bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. (Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Sunscreen isn’t just for summer days at the beach. Here in Minnesota, sun protection is even more important in the winter, when the sun’s UV rays bounce off snow to hit your skin a second time. Here are five ways to protect your skin this winter (via The Huffington Post):

  1. Use physical sunblock. It might be messy, but sunblock with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offers the best protection in comparison to chemical-based sunscreens, which are usually either UVB or UVA blockers. It also requires less frequent application, and is less irritating to your skin.
  2. Beware of sweat. If you’re out in the sun all day, it’s essential to reapply sunscreen multiple times, about once per hour. Use a sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, and make sure it absorbs completely into your skin.
  3. Pay attention to spots. To detect sun damage, keep an eye out for any rough, red skin, an increase in moles and broken blood vessels on the face. Also be aware of any cuts or bruises on your skin that don’t seem to heal, as this may be an early sign of skin cancer.
  4. Protect your mouth. Windburned and sunburned lips can be painful. To keep your lips smooth and hydrated, use a petroleum-infused lip balm with SPF.
  5. Eat foods that offer sun protection. Fruits and vegetables are high in antioxidants, which help the body to fight free radicals and sun damage. On the other hand, foods such as meat, dairy products, simple carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods cause inflammation and can make sun damage worse. To get the benefits, stock your diet with foods like leafy greens, peppers, squash, watermelon, blueberries and tomatoes.
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