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5 Ways to Avoid Sun Damage During the Winter

Yes, you should be wearing sunscreen right now.
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If we've said it once, we've said it a million times: You need to wear sunscreen every single day. That's 365 days a year, and yes, even during the winter. "If you can see your hand in front of your face, there are enough UV rays present to cause cancer and signs of aging," says Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine. "While, yes, the sun is less intense in the winter, the risk is still there," she cautions. Case in point: These five scenarios where you're likely getting more sun than you think.

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The Scenario: A Skiing Trip
A delightful winter activity, to be sure, but a dangerous one for your skin. "Snow reflects 80 percent of rays, which is comparable to the sand or water," explains Gohara. That means a day spent on the slopes without SPF can be as bad for your skin as a day at the beach.

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Your Protection Strategy
While your body is likely bundled up, your face is probably exposed, making a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 a must. Gohara suggests opting for a moisturizing formula, which will also help combat the drying effects of the cold and wind. One to try: Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Moisturizer SPF 50+ Anti-Aging Sunscreen, $48. Pop on a pair of googles too; they're ideal for protecting the sensitive skin around your eyes, which, BTW, is especially susceptible to burning.

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The Scenario: Spending Time Inside
If you're not going outside, you don't need sunscreen, right? Wrong. The sun's UVA rays, those responsible for signs of aging, can penetrate through glass. So even when you're snuggled up on the couch watching the snow fall outside, your skin is vulnerable. "Picture that faded picture hanging in your living room. The same thing can happen to your skin," points out Gohara.

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Your Protection Strategy
Sorry to be repetitive (actually, we're not sorry because this is important), but once again, using a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every darn day is the best thing you can do. Make sure it's labeled broad-spectrum, which indicates that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Other than that, the formula you pick is a matter of personal preference. We like Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector SPF 50, $42, which is also tinted, a nice option for makeup-free days. Also important: Use at least a nickel-size amount for your entire face to ensure you're getting adequate protection.

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BY MELANIE RUD CHADWICK | DEC 22, 2017 | SHARES
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