Here in California, we take extra precautions in the summer to protect ourselves from the sun in an effort to prevent skin cancer. And if we find ourselves on a beach in Florida, we know how important it is to load up on the sunblock and wear a wide-brim hat. But it’s in the colder months, especially in states that have brutal winters, that we tend to slack on sun protection. Unless we’re laying out for hours at a time, passing on the SPF seems harmless, right? According to a report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, those in the Northwest need to get more diligent about protecting themselves, especially once winter hits.
Also according to the report, Utah has the highest number of melanoma cases (the deadliest form of skin cancer). With 42.3 cases per every 100,000 people in 2014 (the most recent data available), Utah tops the list with a rate twice as high as the national average, followed by Vermont and New Hampshire. Interestingly enough, most damage might be done when it's the most cold out. Sejal Shah, a cosmetic dermatologist and founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology in New York City says, "one potential reason [for this statistic] is that Utah is at a higher elevation, and there are a lot of surfaces that can reflect sunlight, such as snow, ice, water and sand."
So, as it turns out, you can't just blow off sunscreen when the temperature drops—in fact, you might want to double up. Ahead, scroll through our favorite ways to protect yourself from the sun, no matter what state you live in.
Work Sunscreen Into Your Makeup Routine
Click here for tips on wearing sunscreen sans the thick, greasy layer that sometimes accompanies it. Now you don’t have to choose between beautiful makeup and healthy skin.
Wear It All Year Long
It's already a challenge remembering to apply SPF during warmer months, but it's not okay to totally disregard it during colder seasons. Click here for five reasons you should never downplay daily SPF use even when there is no sign of sun.
Use Sunscreens That Make Your Skin Feel Good
Click here for multi-tasking sunscreens that do way more than just protect from long-term damage.