The days may be shorter and the afternoons might feel a tad cooler, but there's no need to stow away the bottle of sunscreen just yet.
While you might think sunscreen is only necessary during summer activities like laying poolside or sunbathing, if you are outside for over 15 minutes, your skin is being exposed to the sun’s invisible, damaging, and harmful rays. And yes, this happens even on a cloudy day as well.
Sure, the daylight hours are at their shortest in the fall and wintertime - but here is why it is important to continuously apply sunscreen, even through the cooler months.
To put it simply, sunscreen aids in protecting and minimizing damaging effects from the sun by blocking ultraviolet radiation.
Unfortunately, there is no sunscreen on the market that can deflect 100% of the sun's UV rays. But taking the time to lather on the sunscreen will allow you to be outdoors longer before your skin becomes burnt or damaged by the sun.
Sunlight consists of two types of harmful ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkles and aging spots, and can also penetrate window glass. On the other hand, UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and cannot pass through glass. Overexposure to either can lead to skin cancer, which is the most common type of cancer in the country.
The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that everyone use sunscreen that offers a Sun Protection Factor of 30 or higher.
Waterproof or water-resistant sunscreen is also recommended just in case you begin to sweat. Although we are beginning to trade out our short sleeves and swim wear for sweaters and flannels, protection from the sun will remain essential as the leaves are changing. In fact, the autumn season is usually the Tri State's driest and sunniest time of the year.
On sunny days, Storm Team 44 lets you know when to expect the highest UV index. On most days, it usually falls between the hours of 11 AM - 2 PM when the sun is at its highest in the sky.