Do you check the weather and then decide whether you should wear sunscreen or not?
With winter here once again, it’s time to pack up your swimsuits and sunhats, and bring out your heavy parkas and leather boots. But, just because summer is over, do you think it’s time to pack away the sunscreen as well? No, not at all! Just because the sun is now hidden behind the winter clouds, it doesn’t mean that the threat of the UV rays is not there.
Wearing sunscreen might only cross your mind during hot or warmer months as you don’t want to end your beach day with a long, miserable week dealing with sunburn. However, when winters arrive, people forget to apply protective sunscreen before heading out. Remember, you need sunscreen protection all-year round; it should be worn every day you plan on spending time outdoors.
Here’s why you need to use sunscreen during winter.
Snow Intensifies the Sun’s Rays
Did you know the snow reflects up to 90 percent of UV rays? Shocking, isn’t it? Not only do the sun’s ultraviolet rays cause skin problems such as premature aging, but they can also cause skin cancer. So, even though you might not be seeing the sun’s rays directly through the clouds, the sun’s reflection in the snow can be extremely powerful and detrimental for your skin.
UV Rays Penetrate Winter Clouds
Despite how thick the overcast clouds appear in the winter, almost 80 percent of sun’s rays still penetrate through them. There are two main types of UV rays that can affect your skin, one of which can be extremely dangerous during winters.
UVA is a type of UV rays that is always present, and it penetrates through glass and the clouds, making its way into the depths of your skin. UVA causes significant damage to the deeper layers of your skin, causing premature aging and increasing the risk of skin cancer.
UVB rays are another type of UV rays that different in intensity according to the season. UVB rays are much harsher on sunny days of summer. They attack and damage the superficial layers of your skin, resulting in sunburns, and even skin cancer.
The point is that your skin often bounces back after suffering damage from UVB rays. However, UVA rays are quite dangerous and are potent year-round, which is why your skin requires sun protection through the year.
Sunscreen Contains Useful Anti-Aging Properties
If there’s one season in which you need to particularly pay attention to prevent dry and cracking skin and wrinkles, it’s winter! Slathering on sunscreen can help keep your skin radiant through the harsh winter season as they cold winter breeze can be quite drying and taxing on your skin. Many sunscreens now have proven anti-aging properties. Since UV rays damage the elastin and collagen in your skin, leading to the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, regular use of sunscreen not only prevents sun damage, but also has anti-aging effects.
If you want to protect your skin, make sure to reach for a sheer sunscreen that contains a broad-spectrum SPF and comprises of other anti-aging properties as well. If you skin has suffered unfortunate consequences in the form of aging signs as a result of sun damage, check out the Retinol Moisturizer by ML Delicate Beauty. It is the best retinol cream for wrinkles!
Winter Sports Increase the Risk of UV Exposure
A study by the Skin Cancer Foundation revealed that UV radiation increase almost 5% with every thousands feet you go above the sea level. This means that the higher your elevation, the greater you are at risk of being exposed to harmful UV rays. Also, as mentioned before, snow tends to reflect and intensify sunlight, increasing the chances of skin burns.
If you’re a winter sport enthusiast who loves spending time in the mountains snowboarding, skiing, or cabin-dwelling, you need to protect your skin with a sunscreen contain a minimum SPF level of 30. You can just keep a simple sunscreen stick and tube in your ski jacket, and reapply it every time you feel like its fading. This will help protect your skin throughout winter!
Winter Conditions Remove Sunscreen Faster
When spending a hot day at the beach, your sunscreen tends to flow down with your sweat, requiring you to reapply it again. So, during the winter season, you might assume that your sunscreen will survive the entire day just because you aren’t sweating. But, that’s not true! Most people don’t realize that harsh winter conditions tend to erode your sunscreen even faster.
Strong winter winds and snow can wear away your sunscreen, reducing its effectiveness. So, you can just apply sunscreen in the morning and assume that you’re going to be protected all day. You need to reapply sunscreen every two hours during winters to offer your skin optimal sun protection.
Winter Thins the Ozone Layer
The ozone layer acts as a shield for the earth from the sun’s harmful UV rays. During winters, the ozone layer is at its thinnest. Moreover, sunburn and windburn also tend to act together during the winter months. So, the freezing temperatures and strong winds often leave your skin quite dry and irritated, allowing the sun’s rays to attack your skin and make it worse. Applying sunscreen on your skin, especially when the sun’s rays are at its peak, will help protect you from these damaging rays. You should apply sunscreen containing an SPF of at least 30 to ensure maximum protection.
Winter Winds are Tough on the Skin
As the weather gets colder and temperature decreases, your skin begins to dry up. The humidity levels are quite low during winter with increased wind speeds. This constantly strips you skin of moisture, causing dryness and sensitivity. So, when your skin gets really dry, all your wrinkles and fine lines become extremely prominent and often causing cracking or tearing. Applying sunscreen every day during winter can help restore your skin’s depleted moisture, making it appear more rejuvenated.
Despite the weather, the season, or the time of the year, don’t skip this essential skincare step!
It’s quite easy to remember to apply sunscreen on a warm sunny day. However, even though the sun might not feel as strong as it is during winter, it can have a huge impact on your skin! Skipping sunscreen application during winter is a big mistake. Sunscreen should be made a staple part of your daily skincare routine no matter throughout the year!
Wearing sunscreen in the winter is an essential, yet often overlooked, aspect of a comprehensive skincare routine. Contrary to common belief, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays can be just as damaging in the colder months as they are in the summer. In winter, the earth's surface is closer to the sun, and the ozone layer, which absorbs some UV radiation, is thinner.
This means exposure to UV rays can still occur, especially UVA rays which penetrate deep into the skin, leading to premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer. Snow and ice can also reflect up to 80% of UV rays, potentially increasing exposure, especially in outdoor winter activities like skiing or snowboarding. Furthermore, even on cloudy days, up to 80% of UV rays can penetrate the clouds, making sunscreen necessary regardless of the weather.
Beyond the direct impact on skin health, wearing sunscreen in the winter also supports the maintenance of an even skin tone and prevents the exacerbation of existing skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, melasma, and rosacea. These conditions can worsen with UV exposure, regardless of the temperature. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 can help protect against both UVA and UVB rays.
Additionally, many winter skin care products incorporate moisturizing elements to combat the dryness caused by cold air and indoor heating, offering dual benefits. By making sunscreen a consistent part of your daily routine year-round, you ensure ongoing protection against UV damage, preserving your skin's health and youthful appearance in every season.
Looking for a great way to maintain the health of your skin during winter? Try out the anti-aging vitamin c serum by ML Delicate Beauty! Made with all natural ingredients, this vit c serum is guaranteed to breathe life back into your dead winter skin.
Do you apply sunscreen throughout the year, even in winters? If so, let us know in the comments below!
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Christine Wright is a trusted beauty expert and an esthetician who is loved by editors and bloggers. She is a prolific writer on the topics of natural, chemical-free skin and body care. She also does reviews on store brand beauty products, with fairness and a real point-of-view. She is well-known of creating products for specific skin types, especially to those with ultra-sensitive faces.