You may tend to ease up on applying sunscreen now that cooler weather has arrived and you won't be basking in the sunshine. But here's the thing: You absolutely need sun protection during the winter.
Don't be misled by the dropping temperature. The sun's harmful rays are just as strong and damaging despite what your thermometer says – particularly the UVA rays which are responsible for aging skin. UVA radiation reaches deeper into the skin and contributes to wrinkles and skin cancer risk.
Reflection of radiation from snow requires aggressive sunscreen protection, maybe even more than summertime as some like to participate in snow activities like skiing and snowboarding. If that doesn't convince you to keep slathering on sunscreen into cold-weather months, read on for a few need-to-know tips on exactly how to protect your skin from winter sun damage.
RECONSIDER PHYSICAL SUNSCREEN
Physical sunscreens deflect or block the sun's rays, while chemical sunscreens absorb them. Physical sunblock contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and therefore offers the best year-round protection. Physical sunscreens also work for a longer period of time, giving longer coverage and requiring less re-application.
BEWARE OF SWEAT
You may think that simply applying your SPF moisturizer once in the morning is enough for a day's worth of coverage. But if you're outdoors and bundled up, your skin will sweat and therefore SPF needs to be re-applied throughout the day. Be sure to continuously smooth on naturally healing and moisturizing sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.
LOOK OUT FOR YOUR SKIN
During the winter, look out for any rough, red skin, an increase in moles and broken blood vessels on the face to detect sun damage.
PROTECT YOUR LIPS
Windburn lips can be a pain, but to prevent this apply a soothing lip balm with sunscreen. Your lips are exposed to the sun just as much as any other part of your face – especially when skiing or snowboarding!