The sun feels much weaker in the winter, so why should you still wear sunscreen?
Amidst the cloudy weather and your many layers of winter clothing, you may feel the sun’s rays are no longer a threat. However, clouds only reduce UVB rays, which is only one type of UV ray that causes damage.
UVB rays are responsible for sunburn, which makes them most people’s primary reason for wearing sunscreen. While UVB rays tend to be weaker in the winter, UVA rays remain consistently strong throughout the year. UVA rays can go straight through clouds and windows and are responsible for tanning. They penetrate deeper into the skin and cause long-term damage to your skin cells. This is why broad-spectrum sunscreen is recommended to be used all year.
Sunscreen can also add some extra moisture if you struggle with dry skin in the winter. Using sunscreen with ingredients like squalene, hyaluronic acid or vitamin E will protect your skin from sun damage and drying out.
Winter sunburns are less common, but they still happen. Skiing, sledding, and any other winter activities that require a long time outdoors will put you at risk of getting burned. The chances become higher when it's snowy. This is because the snow reflects sunlight exceptionally well, which means it is also reflecting UV rays directly onto your face. Also, harsh wind, snowfall and sweating cause sunscreen to wear off faster, so don’t forget to reapply.
All things said, your skin needs protection every day of the year. Your skincare routine should include sunscreen regardless of the season.