The days are short and the cold temperatures tell you the sun isn't as strong. Do you really need to wear sunscreen in the winter?
And while you might assume that cloud cover or snowfall means fewer rays are getting through, the precipitation common during winter months only makes it more important to wear sunscreen.
UVB rays are weaker in the winter, so you don't get sunburned as easily, but the UVA rays that cause wrinkles, premature aging and damage are just as strong, year 'round!
Because you aren't getting burned as quickly, and because the warmth feels good on your skin, you aren't seeking shade as often. Depending on your activities, you could actually do more damage in the winter than the summer!
About UVA and UVB, What you need to know
There are two types of UV rays that affect us, one of which is absolutely still very dangerous during winter.
UVA is always present and can penetrate clouds, glass, and deeper into the skin. UVA damages deeper skin layers, resulting in premature aging and increased risk of skin cancer.
UVB rays, on the other hand, vary in intensity and season. UVB rays are greater on sunny days during the summer. They damage the more superficial layers of the skin, resulting in sunburns and skin cancer.
The takeaway: UVA rays are potent year-round, therefore your skin needs year-round protection.
Winter's harsh weather is incredibly drying and taxing on skin. UV rays damage collagen and elastin in your skin, resulting in the acceleration of fine lines and wrinkles.
To combat this, look for sun creams that offer broad-spectrum or full-spectrum protection, which protects you from both. You can adopt other protective habits too to build on your UV protection, such as staying in the shade, avoiding the sun during peak hours and wearing protective clothing!
Vitamin C Sunscreen Lotion SPF30
According to the National Snow & Ice Data Center, snow is able to reflect anywhere from 80 to 90 percent of sunlight back into the atmosphere—and while this is good for keeping the planet cool, it's not ideal for maintaining healthy skin.
Light bounces off of snow and will increase the number of rays hitting your skin, causing even more damage in frigid temperatures.
If you plan on spending time in the mountains skiing, snowboarding, or cabin-dwelling this winter, be sure to always protect yourself with a sport sunscreen of at least 30 SPF.
A sunscreen I would recommend is Neutriherbs Vitamin C Sunscreen Lotion SPF50, which works as not only a strong anti-UVB and UVA blocker but also enriched with multi-protection essence, VITAMIN E and VITAMIN C, which helps anti-oxidant and anti-dullness.
The effects of UV light are cumulative, so we need to limit the exposure to rays as often as possible."