During the hot days, it is evident that the sun may harm our skin and we never go through a day without wearing sunscreen. And as soon as the clouds appear and the winter comes along, we don’t feel like the sun can do that much damage anymore.
However, don’t just put your sunscreen in the drawer as soon as the winter starts. UV rays are still potentially dangerous during the cold days and here are the reasons why you should rely on your sunscreen during the winter to protect you.
UV rays penetrate the clouds
No matter how cloudy it can get during the winter, almost 80 percent of the UV rays can still penetrate the clouds.
UVA is always there and can penetrate through anything, including clouds and glass, and get deeper into our skin. They damage deeper layers of our skin which results in premature aging, and it even increases the risks of skin cancer.
On the other hand, we have UVB rays, and they vary in intensity. Still, they can penetrate through clouds, but they damage our skin on the surface, which leads to sunburns and even skin cancer.
Even if it’s a relatively sunny day and you want to go for a hike, you should keep in mind that the atmosphere gets thinner the higher you go. Winter is perfect for going to the mountains and having fun, but then your exposure to UV rays can get even higher than when you’re spending a day at the beach.
Snow doubles UV rays’ effect
Not only can the UV rays penetrate the clouds, but the snow can reflect them to our skin even stronger. What is more, since the snow is so reflective, even if it’s a sunny day it will reflect up to 90 percent of the UV radiation.
This means that you could be exposed to UV in a double dose – from the sun, and from the snow reflection. That is why you should stack up on some of the best sunscreens there are because it can be hard to fight off that double exposure. However, make sure to check their ingredients to see if they are organic. If there are some harmful ingredients in your number one sun protection, then your skin could get damaged even more.
[Read: Chemical Vs. Mineral Sunscreens]
Windows won’t fully protect you
Even if you are at home or in your car, the sun can still reach you and cause some damage. If you’re sitting in your car on your way to work or your vacation and you think that your tinted windows will protect you, you’re wrong. Still, a significant amount of UV rays will penetrate the windows and enter your skin.
Additionally, if you’re merely enjoying a bit of sun through the windows at home, sipping on your hot tea, you are not adequately protected. You should rely on sunscreen to protect your skin from any damage, including hyperpigmentation, cancer, age spots, and freckling.
Winter removes sunscreen faster
It is logical to assume that during the summer your sunscreen should be applied often. While you’re sunbathing, you’re sweating which removes sunscreen, as well as taking a dip in the pool or sea.
However, during the winter some pretty harsh conditions can remove your sunscreen faster, even though you’re not sweating or getting wet. If you enjoy winter sports, or your area is windy during the winter, those strong winds can wear off the sunscreen and reduce its protection and effects. So, it is safe to assume that you should apply sunscreen frequently during the winter, just like during the summer.
Dry skin can age faster, and the winter is famous for giving you that dangerous dry skin. So, to prevent wrinkles, freckles and other damages you should reapply sunscreen frequently during the winter days.
Since the weather is harsh on your skin, sunscreen will keep it moisturized, radiant and reduce the aging effects. Additionally, UV rays damage collagen which is responsible for maintaining young looking skin, and if collagen is destroyed, your skin will become wrinkly, and those fine lines will start showing.
During the summer you are directly exposed to the sun, due to relaxing days at the beach. This makes you use sunscreen more, and you are paying attention to your skincare routine. But, when the winter comes around, you still shouldn’t forget about your skincare routine.
As you can see, due to snow we can be exposed to harmful UV rays almost in a double amount, and that’s why you should rely on your moisturizers and high-quality sunscreens. It is safe to say that you should apply sun protection all-year-round, but double even more so during the winter and summer.
Check out Our DIY Sunscreen recipe if you want to make your own!
Stella is a graphic designer and illustrator, a lifestyle and beauty blogger and a food enthusiast. She is very passionate about the environment and her hobbies center around her love for nature, yoga and living in balance. Stella loves giving tips about healthy lifestyle and self-development. She is a contributor to several health and lifestyle blogs. You can find more about her writing by following her on Twitter.