Sunscreen in the winter, is it needed?

You might think that once the colder weather approaches, you can finally put your sunscreen away. Well, we would advise you, never stop using your sunscreen!

Here’s why.

Even when there’s little to no sunlight in the winters, you need protection. The sun isn’t just our source of light. It emits a variety of rays that impact your skin in different ways, irrespective of the season. 

So you need to have your best sunscreen on even when you head out on cold winter days. 

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of wearing sunscreen in winter. We will also review some of the best sunscreens to use this December.

Why Should You Use Sunscreen In Winter?

On a sunny day, it’s easier to remember to put sunscreen on. 

Grandmother putting sunscreen on her grandson's face.

However, during the winter months, most people either forget or simply ignore the sunscreen altogether. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to skin damage and rapid aging. 

Learning more about your skin and developing a skincare routine can help prevent skin damage.

Here are some reasons to wear sunscreen, even in winter.

UVA Rays 

Let’s revisit some of the things we learned from our science textbooks during our school days. First, the sun emits different types of rays, which can be seen on a UV index, with UVA and UVB being the most significant ones. 

UVB rays are shortwave. Thus, they do not go deep into your skin. However, if you spend too much time in the sunlight, UVB rays can impact your skin and lead to sunburn. 

These rays are the harshest during the early months of Spring. Then, as winter approaches, their intensity decreases; they can’t even penetrate glass. 

However, if you live at a higher altitude, you may come in contact with UVB rays because they can reach such areas, especially on sunny days. 

On the other hand, UVA rays are long-wave rays. Thus, they can deeply penetrate your skin and cause damage. Quite alarmingly, they constitute 95% of all the rays that manage to reach the Earth’s surface. 

They’re responsible for causing wrinkles, dark spots, and other signs of aging. In severe cases, UVA rays can also lead to skin cancers. 

Since these rays can pass through clouds and glass surfaces, they’re present throughout the year. 

Therefore, when you leave your home in the winter, UVA rays are still around you. Wearing your best sunscreen will keep you safe from the effect of these radiations.

Winter Sports Increase Risk

As you go a thousand feet above sea level, usually when you play winter sports, your exposure to UV radiation increases.  

According to WHO, there is less atmosphere to absorb UV rays at high altitudes. This means that with every 1000 meters in altitude, UV rays increase by 10 percent.

So, as the altitude increases, the likelihood of being affected by UV rays gets higher. 

Moreover, snow reflects up to 90% of the sun’s rays, intensifying it and making you prone to sunburns. So if you want to play seasonal sports or go skiing this winter, make sure to wear SPF30 sunscreen. 

Not only will sunscreen prevent burns, but it will also keep your skin safe from the aging effects of UV rays, as you’ll see in the next section. 

Wear Sunscreen For Anti-Aging

The lack of sunlight in winters is not going to stop your skin from aging miraculously. But you can slow it down by wearing sunscreen. 

Many studies have indicated sunscreen’s ability to slow down the process of aging and make the skin appear youthful. 

Sun’s rays are harsh on your skin and damage the underlying dermal layers, leading to low collagen and elastin production. As a result, the skin loses its firmness. That’s how wrinkles start appearing with time. 

During the winter, the skin tends to get dry, accelerating aging. 

A study showed that 900 subjects who used sunscreen for four years had little to no sign of skin aging. 

The results further indicated that the study group had 24% lesser signs of aging than people who did not wear sunscreen. 

Here’s the most interesting part: the men and women in this study had an average age of 39. 

So, it doesn’t matter what your age is. It’s never too late to break the habit and start wearing sunscreen when you leave your house. As we’ve already discussed, it does wonders for your skin, giving it a healthy and youthful glow.

How to Protect Your Skin in Winter

Here are a few easy ways in which you can protect your skin in winter. 

Dress Appropriately

The easiest way to protect your skin is to cover yourself up. Given the low temperature, you’re probably already bundled up to keep warm.

It’ll help if you try to cover as much of your skin as possible. We suggest wearing long sleeves and pants when you go out during the day. Also, be sure to check the UV Index before you decide to plan your outdoor activities.   

Accessories Can Help

Add a hat, some gloves, and socks to protect your skin from exposure. Not only will they help you stay warm while protecting your skin from UV rays. It’ll also look super stylish. 

Use Makeup with SPF

When purchasing makeup, it’s a good habit to choose products that have SPF. 

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factors, and there are different SPF measures for sunscreens. For instance, if you get SPF 15, it’ll allow you to stay in the sun for 150 minutes without worrying about the UV rays damaging your skin. 

Apply Loads of Sunscreen

One of the best ways to protect yourself from UV rays is by applying sunscreen. However, don’t just apply any sunscreen, be sure to do a little research and choose a brand that’s beneficial for you. 

If you’re having a hard time finding the right sunscreen, the next section will be helpful for you.  

Best Sunscreen For Winter

Finding the best suncare products isn’t like buying clothes or accessories because you can’t simply pick up something based on how good it looks. 

Let’s explore some options to help you find the best sunscreen for your face this winter.

ELTA MD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 

The ELTA MD UV Clear Facial Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 46 is a dermatologist who recommended sunscreen for oily skin with 9% zinc oxide. This natural compound helps reflect and scatter UV rays. 

It contains vitamin B3, which acts as an anti-inflammatory agent reducing redness while minimizing dry or damaged skin and restoring the suppleness of your skin.

Moreover, the antioxidants in this sunscreen help fight off free radicals that cause skin aging. 

If your skin is acne-prone, this sunscreen will help it calm down and protect it from UV and Infrared rays. It’s free of parabens, oil, and fragrances. More importantly, it does not leave residue on your skin.

You have the option to choose between the tinted and the untinted formula. In addition, you can wear this sunscreen with and without makeup. 

Lancome Paris Aquagel Defense Sunscreen

If you are looking for something more than just sunscreen, the Lancome Paris Aquagel Defense Sunscreen is a great choice. It’s also a moisturizer and a primer with SPF meaning you get complete UV protection. 

Woman with a bottle of sunscreen lotion.

Since the formula has a water-like consistency, it won’t stick to your face, nor will it make the skin greasy. Plus, it’s almost weightless and acts as a base for applying makeup.

Although the product has many ingredients, the most notable are Vitamin E, moringa extract, and edelweiss extract. All these ingredients have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Thus, they neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from UV rays.

Urban Environment Shiseido Sunscreen

If you intend on going into the water or live in an area with loads of rain, you’ll find the Urban Environment Shiseido Sunscreen for men and women more suitable for your skin.

This sunscreen is water-resistant and good for daily wear as it has an oil-free formula that protects the skin from environmental pollutants and sun rays. 

In addition, you don’t have to spend a long time trying to scrub the sunscreen off your face once you get home. Instead, you can simply use your makeup remover, and all the sunscreen will be gone in an instant.  

A group of women used this sunscreen, and almost 95 percent said the texture was feather-like. While 94 percent of women who used it with makeup noted that it allowed a smoother application of foundation and gave them a soft finish. 

Moreover, it’s tested by ophthalmologists and dermatologists, so you can use it without worrying about skin damage. Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. 

The most prominent ingredient of this sunscreen is the Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, which reduces the appearance of pores. Meanwhile, the Scutellaria Baicalensis Extract makes your skin look youthful.

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Conclusion

Your skin needs the same amount of protection during the winter as it does in summers. Therefore, you must wear the best sunscreen before you go out under the sun.

We also suggest getting products with a higher level of SPF protection. Higher SPF means longer protection.  

Even if it’s not sunny and you’re not chilling at the beach, the UV rays are still trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere. So to protect yourself from their skin-damaging effects this winter, make sure to regularly check the UV Index and keep sunscreen handy in your purse or pocket.

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