Do I Wear Sunscreen on Cloudy Days?
Do you determine your sunscreen use by how hot and sunny it is? Well, you could be exposing your skin to harmful UV rays! As we head into cooler weather you might be tempted to forgo the sunscreen and your sun protection routine; but don’t!
UV levels can’t be seen or felt, and the temperature or cloud cover can have little to do with the level of ultraviolet radiation.
The sun’s rays might not have the same intensity as summer, but UV levels across the US in the Fall are still in the High to Very High range - skin damage from spending time outdoors is still very real.
What are UV rays?
The UV rays that can increase your risk of skin cancer are UVA and UVB rays. Here is the difference:
Associated with skin aging but still causes tanning and sunburn
Causes tanning and sunburn
Less intense but penetrates deeper into the skin
Penetrates and damages the outermost layers of the skin
Can penetrate windows and cloud cover
Can be filtered & doesn't penetrate glass
Connected to ‘Broad Spectrum’ on labels
Connected to ‘SPF’ (Sun Protection Factor) on labels
“UV exposure is a powerful attack on the skin, creating damage that can range from premature wrinkles to dangerous skin cancer.”
What Happens When it’s Cloudy?
If sun damage happens because of the rays from the sun, then it’s only logical to assume that you aren’t at risk on a cloudy day, right? Wrong! Cooler and Cloudy Days Still Have Harmful UV Rays.
Unfortunately, harmful UV rays are the cause of sunburn and skin damage, not sunlight itself. When it’s cloudy or even rainy outside, you’re still exposed to the harmful effects of both UVA and UVB rays.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, cloud cover only filters out around 20% of UV rays, meaning that even in bad weather, you’re still exposed to 80% of the sun’s harmful rays and are still susceptible to sunburn, skin damage, and even skin cancer.
Anyone who’s ever been skiing or snowboarding, and experienced sunburn can attest to that! In fact, when you’re out in the snow, your risk for sunburn can be even greater than usual. This is because ice and snow can have a reflective effect on UV rays, and can intensify them. Altitude plays a part too. With every 3,200 ft (1,000m) in altitude, UV levels increase by approximately 10 per cent.
If you’re enjoying winter sports, it’s even more essential to ensure you’re protected from the sun with a good sunscreen, of at least SPF 30.
The Best Sunscreen for the Cooler or Cloudy Conditions
What’s the best sunscreen to use on cooler or cloudy days? That depends on what activities you’re planning. Always choose a sunscreen that has an SPF level of at least 30, if not more.
The best sunscreen for the cooler or cloudy days is the one you love to wear!
All of our spray sunscreens at KINeSYS are non-comedogenic, which means they’re great for sensitive skin and won’t cause irritation. Furthermore, they are alcohol-free and oil-free sunscreen. If you prefer Zinc-based sunscreens, try our award-winning all-natural, reef-safe SPF 30 Clear Zinc.
No matter how you enjoy staying active, we’ve got you covered!