Winter may seem like an odd time to worry about sunburns, but just because the air is colder doesn't mean you can't damage your skin from overexposure to sunlight. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends following the same sun safety tips in the winter months as in the summer. Here's a list of its advice:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of 15.
- For dry skin, you should apply the sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside to give the sunscreen a chance to be absorbed.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours when outside in the elements, even if the sky is cloudy.
- For each application, you should use approximately 1 ounce of sunscreen (about a shot-glass-size amount).
- Wear protective clothing constructed out of tightly woven fabric.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat.
- Protect your eyes from direct and reflected sunlight by wearing sunglasses. Remember that up to 85 percent of the sun's damaging rays are reflected off surfaces like snow.
- Look to your shadow to determine at what strength the sun is shining. If your shadow is shorter than you are, you are likely to burn.
- Avoid tanning beds in the winter and the summer.