Fiction: You’re less likely to get sunburned during the winter.
This is both true and false. Yes, the sun is further from the earth during the winter, which means the UV light is less intense, but you can still get sunburned. “The reflections off the snow always seem to get people,” Kienstra says.
Fact: Your face and arms are highly susceptible locations for skin cancer.
According to Kienstra, those two spots are the most common places to find skin cancer, but the third spot might surprise you—your scalp. “It’s really common for people with thin hair or who are bald to develop skin cancer on their scalp,” he says. For that reason, don’t forget to wear a hat.
Fiction: You need to be in the sun in order to get vitamin D.
“That’s total nonsense,” according to Kienstra. “If you eat a healthy diet, you’ll get more than enough vitamin D.” Where sunlight really helps, he says, is improving your mood.
Fact: You should wear sunscreen even if you’re not going outside.
Even if you don’t head outdoors, you’re still at risk of UV light. That’s because those harmful rays can penetrate windows in your home and car. “We see lots of evidence of this just by looking at the rate of skin cancers that develop on the left side of people’s faces,” Kienstra says. “If you spend a lot of time in your car, you’ll see more sun damage and aging on that side of your face.”