Dec 19, 2023 08:03 AM EST
Representation of a woman wearing gray knitted cap during winter.
Sunscreen isn’t just for summer; it’s also a must during the winter.
Many individuals associate sunscreen primarily with summertime and warmer climates and neglect sun protection during colder months.
However, sunscreen application should be done all year round.
Why it’s crucial to wear sunscreen in the winter
1. UV rays don’t take a winter break
Despite the chilly weather, the sun still emits ultraviolet rays, both UVA and UVB, in the winter. The damage they do can lead to premature aging and increased chances of skin cancer.
Even when you’re indoors, UV rays can penetrate windows and potentially damage exposed skin. Applying sunscreen daily, regardless of your plans for the day, ensures consistent protection.
2. Snow can amplify the sun’s impact
Surprisingly, snow can increase exposure to UV radiation as it reflects up to 80% of the sun’s rays, per the World Health Organization. Due to this, sunburn remains a risk even during winter. Snow and strong winds can also wear away sunscreen, reducing its effectiveness.
3. Skin aging prevention should be year round
Looking youthful goes hand-in-hand with sunscreen use. UV rays damage collagen and elastin, the skin’s building blocks, leading to wrinkles and sagging. Research showed that daily sunscreen use significantly reduces skin aging effects, with wearers reporting 24% less aging than those who don’t use it.
How to choose the right sunscreen during chilly weather
When picking a sunscreen, go for broad-spectrum protection with SPF 30 or higher. This shields against both UVA and UVB rays, keeping your skin safe. Additionally, consider sunscreens that guard against blue light from screens, an often overlooked skin ager.
Winter brings enjoyable outdoor activities, but don’t forget your skin’s protection amid the fun. Whether skiing or taking a stroll, the chilly weather can be tough on your skin.
Opt for moisturizing sunscreens that both hydrate and shield your skin from the sun and cold.
Choosing the right sunscreen for your skin and applying generous amounts ensure your skin’s health and youthful glow — no matter the weather outside.