The summer sun and the smell of SPF go together like sand and the sea; ice cream and hot weather, swimsuits and flip-flops. And so on. Think about it; that sunscreen smell instantly transports you to summer days. As for sunscreen in winter, it doesn’t evoke the same thoughts. While it makes sense for SPF to be part of your summer memories and routine, you may be wrong to reserve this skincare product for only a few months out of the year. Using sunscreen in winter—whether it’s necessary or not—is a topic we’ve seen debated, and we’d like to put it to rest. Here, learn the facts about whether you should wear sunscreen on cold, winter days, too.
Do You Need To Use Sunscreen in Winter?
We can jump right into things: Yes, wearing sunscreen in the winter is a necessity. While you likely associate the sun’s damaging rays with having them beat down on you and feeling the heat on your skin, the sun comes out even when it’s cold. Beyond that, the sun can also damage your skin when it’s cloudy. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays can penetrate through clouds. They also can reach your skin through glass, so don’t assume you’re protected solely by avoiding outdoor winter activities.
Speaking of the outdoors, UVB rays will be more damaging if you’re around ice or snow. What happens is, the UV light can be reflected and hit your skin twice. That’s the potential for double the damage the UV rays otherwise can leave.
Can You Get Sunburned in The Winter?
Just like sun damage, sunburns don’t only happen in summer. The assumption that you won’t get burnt in the winter may be due to UVB rays being strongest in the summer. However, if you aren’t wearing sunscreen in winter, the Skin Cancer Foundation states that you can, in fact, get burned. UVB rays, which are responsible for burns, can affect skin all year round. You may notice the effects of the sun less during the winter because there’s often less exposed skin and you may spend less time outside than during the summer. Still, that doesn’t mean burns aren’t possible. This is another reason wearing sunscreen in winter is key.
How To Protect Your Skin During The Winter
Follow these four tips to stay safe this winter.
1. Dress For The Occasion
In the summer, you’re unlikely to be wearing lots of layers and have your skin covered from head to toe. It’s too hot. When the temperatures start to cool off, you can break out the long pants, high necks, and full sweaters. And the good news is, not only will these clothes help keep you warm, but they can also protect your skin. It’s simple: When your skin is covered with fabric, it isn’t exposed to the sun.
2. Accessorize, Too
Staying sun safe can be quite the fashion statement. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses to further protect your skin—and look chic while doing it.
3. Use Sunscreen Every Day
As we said, sunscreen in winter is a must. And to reiterate, that isn’t only true when you’ll be outside all day. While sledding and skiing are certainly occasions that call for SPF, you’d be hard-pressed to find a daytime activity that doesn’t. You should wear broad-spectrum sunscreen every single day. Follow the Food & Drug Administration’s guidelines and use sunscreen with an SPF value of 15 or higher (30 for fair skin), making sure to reapply every two hours.
You can apply sunscreen as the final step of your skincare routine or to cut down on how long it takes you to get ready, try using a moisturizer with SPF. This winter, we’re loving the L’Oréal Paris Age Perfect Rosy Tone Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen. Besides offering sun protection, it also hydrates and revives skin’s youthful, rosy tone.
4. Apply Makeup With SPF
Take protecting your skin a step further and add more SPF to your routine via your makeup. While makeup shouldn’t replace your sunscreen, it can complement it. There are foundations, powders, highlighters, and more with SPF. We recommend the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Up to 24HR Fresh Wear Foundation, Lightweight, which has SPF 25, and the L’Oréal Paris Infallible Longwear Highlighter Shaping Sticks, which are formulated with SPF 17.
Next: 9 Must-Have Winter Skin Care Products For 2020-21