During the grey Canadian winter, applying sunscreen may seem like an absurd step in your morning skincare routine.
But no matter the time of year, it's imperative for Canadians to take sun protection measures.
According to the Melanoma Network of Canada, melanoma is one of the most common cancer types found in young adults, and the leading cause is over-exposure to UV radiation. Over 1,300 Canadians die from melanoma each year. But, if detected early, the survival rate is high.
"There are so many reasons to protect our skin and ourselves from the sun with sunscreen," dermatologist Dr. Renée Beach told Narcity. She highlighted that using it daily, regardless of the weather or time of year, is super important.
When it comes to an effective, lightweight formula that you can wear year-round (and add to your daily skincare routine), Dr. Beach recommends Neutrogena sunscreens.
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer lotion provides non-greasy sun protection that's great for everyday use. It provides an ultra-lightweight feel that leaves skin with a matte finish and broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection. It's also easy to incorporate into your daily routine, Dr. Beach says.
Here's why applying sunscreen should be an essential step to your skincare routine this winter (and every season).
UV Exposure Can Almost Double In The Winter
Even if the weather is cold and the UV index is low, there's still a high risk of sunburn, thanks to the snow.
Light-coloured surfaces reflect the sun’s rays like a mirror, which causes UV rays to bounce off to you.
According to the Melanoma Network of Canada, fresh white snow is so effective at reflecting the sun’s UV rays, it can almost double a person’s UV exposure.
A Day On The Slopes Is Like A Day On The... Beach
Thanks to the powdery snow and high altitude, sunburn is as much a problem on the slopes as it is on the sand.
Next time you're getting ready for a day outdoors, be sure to pack some sunscreen with your gear to protect your skin as you shred.
UV Rays Are Harder To Escape Than You Think
You might think you're not at risk in certain conditions, but up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate through fog, clouds, haze and windows.
"Driving in our cars or sitting in front of a window, we receive UVA, which is the radiation wavelength more closely associated with melanoma," said Dr. Beach.
Courtesy of Neutrogena
UVA/UVB Rays Puts You At Risk To Chronic Skin Conditions
From hyperpigmentation to deadly cancers, there are some unfortunate skin changes that can occur when you don’t protect your skin.
Dr. Beach explained to Narcity that what starts as redness or hyperpigmentation from sun exposure can lead to an actual sunburn. Flaking skin, blisters, pain and itchiness — no thanks.
Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily, like Neutrogena Ultra Sheer, is a simple step that can protect your skin from those harmful UVA/UVB rays.
"Your skin is yours for life," says Dr. Beach. "Celebrate it by taking the extra two minutes each day, when preparing yourself, to protect your skin, too."
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.