As Labor Day approaches with the unofficial ‘last weekend of summer,’ many people are getting ready to close the pool and bring in the lawn furniture.
Damaging rays exist year-round
Even though the seasons are getting ready to change, Neha Vyas, M.D. of Cleveland Clinic said it’s still a good idea to keep some sunscreen handy well into the cooler months.
“On cloudy days you can still receive the harmful UV radiation, so when you go outside make sure that you’re wearing sunscreen and try to apply it 20 minutes before you go outside,” said Dr. Vyas.
Dr. Vyas said it’s essential to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors, because it takes anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes for the sunscreen to bond to the surface of the skin.
Even when it doesn’t seem to be very sunny outside, UVA rays can still penetrate clouds and put people at risk for developing skin cancer just like those hot mid-day summer UVB rays.
Dr. Vyas recommends using a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and that has broad spectrum coverage, meaning that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
Don’t forget your sunglasses
It’s easier for most people to remember to apply sunscreen during hotter months, because they usually have more exposed skin, but Dr. Vyas said that even though we may be more covered up during cooler months, our faces, and even our eyes, still need plenty of protection.
“If you have chronic sun exposure on your eyes you can develop cataracts, so it’s very important to wear sunglasses, not because they make you look cool, but because they can be helpful for your health,” said Dr. Vyas.
We’re all at risk
Even for those who are not fair-skinned, the sun’s rays can pose a threat. Dr. Vyas often reminds her patients that regardless of the color of their skin, sunscreen should be used anytime they’re going to be outdoors for extended periods of time.