Australia is a country of extreme temperatures: the summers are hot and optimal for tanning and the winters will make you want to stay indoors with your cosiest pyjamas and an open fire. This might mean that once the clouds begin to form over Australian skies and the beach days are over that you pack away your sunscreen until summer hits again.
However, you need to wear sunscreen throughout the year, and even in the coldest months. Here are some winter facts that you might not be aware of, and might have you slathering on the sunscreen at all times of the year.
Winter sun is super strong. You might not be feeling the warmth of the sun when you are wrapped up in a heavy winter coat, but in fact, the sun is lowest in the sky and thus closest to the earth in winter time. This means that those UV rays have to travel a shorter distance to reach you and harm your skin. Cold does not equal safe when it comes to exposure to ultraviolet rays.
Winter ozone levels are dangerous. Climate change is singularly the most pressing issue in the world today. As well as causing Antarctica to melt, destroying complete animal species, and causing unprecedented drought and flooding, it also means that UV rays will be making their way to your skin like never before.
Carbon emissions are causing the depletion of the ozone layer, which is a protective layer between the earth and the sun that stops those harmful ultraviolet rays from getting through. Now, more UV rays are reaching the earth (and your skin) than ever before, and guess what? This protective layer in the atmosphere is at its thinnest in the late winter and early spring.
Snow and ice reflect UV rays. If you live in a snowy or icy area, this is bad news for your skin because snow can reflect up to 80 percent of UV radiation. Those rays that cause skin cancer.
You might be covered up in heavy clothes during winter but you still need to protect your face with sunblock to prevent UV rays from penetrating your skin and causing premature ageing as well as really serious conditions like skin cancer. If you are concerned about your exposure to UV rays, be sure to book an appointment at your nearest skin cancer clinic to undergo a comprehensive skin analysis.