Regardless of what season it is or where you live, cloudy days are a reality for all of us. And while some of us have to put up with more cloudy days than others, the silver lining on these overcast days is that you can leave the house without your sunnies and your SPF, right?! Wrong…
For starters, including sunscreen in your daily regimen is super important for your skin’s health. You’re probably aware of the link between sunlight and skin cancers, but beyond this major health risk, sunlight also causes damage to skin that can reduce elasticity, create hyperpigmentation, and contribute to fine lines and wrinkles. In other words, excessive sun exposure without the right protection won’t just damage your skin at the cellular level — it also leads to signs of premature aging.
If it’s daytime — even if the sun isn’t shining — UV rays are actively filtering through the clouds. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD), up to 80% of UV rays from the sun can penetrate the clouds and reach your skin.
Cloudy days are especially risky if you’re at the beach, in the pool, or near the snow, as these are all surfaces where light can reflect and bounce onto your skin… meaning those sneaky rays are hitting your skin twice. In certain circumstances, sun rays can even reflect off the edges of clouds and intensify their light and causing additional skin damage.
The great news is that you don’t have to slather on a thick drugstore sunscreen to protect your skin these days. There are moisturizers out there specifically made with SPF so that you can keep your skin hydrated and protected on the daily. Powdered sunscreens are also a great form of sun protection that will also perfect your complexion.
So whether it’s a hazy day at the beach, you’re hitting the slopes this winter, or you’re simply running errands around town, it’s imperative that you apply a broad spectrum sunscreen (and reapply it throughout the day!) to protect you from UVA and UVB rays.