Everyone knows about the merits of using a good quality sunscreen lotion during the summer. What no one talks about, is the importance of using sunscreen during the winters.
The harmful rays of the sun can damage the skin equally during the winter season. So, come winter, don’t pack away your sunscreens for winter creams.
Experts advise the use of sunscreen even during the chilly winter season. The temperature should never be a factor when it comes to wearing sunscreen.
Even though the UVB rays are weaker in the winters and may not cause sunburns on the skin, the UVA rays still have a high impact and may lead to wrinkles and premature ageing.
To protect yourself from these harmful effects of the sun, don’t forget to use a good sun protection cream.
Since the winter sun is less harsh on the skin than the summer sun, you tend to stay out longer. Also, the warmth of the sun in the winter is very soothing, making one seek shade less often. This increases the chances of sun damage.
Still not convinced enough to continue using your sunscreen in the winter? Here are a few reasons you mustn’t trade your sunscreen for winter creams.
1. Exposure to the UV rays of the sun increases due to snow
Ice and snow reflect more than 80 percent of the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. This leads to double exposure of the skin to UV rays.
Hence, the need to protect the skin increases furthermore. So, don’t forget to pack your sunscreen lotion with a high SPF for your next ski trip!
2. The ozone layer is the thinnest during the winter season
The ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere acts as the earth’s natural sunscreen. It filters out the harmful skin-damaging ultraviolet rays of the sun.
During the winter season, the ozone levels are the lowest at low temperatures. This effect is more prominent at the Northern Hemisphere, especially between December and March.
Thus, the need for extra protection from the sun increases.
3. UVA rays can still penetrate through glass
The most common misconception about the solar rays is this that it can do no damage once it passes through glass. UVB rays of the sun get filtered through glass, causing no skin damage.
However, about 50 per cent of the UVA rays can easily pass through the glass, leading to possible skin damage.
So, while you enjoy the winter sun from the inside through the glass window panes, don’t forget to smear on a generous amount of sunscreen to protect your skin from any damage.
4. The sun rays have a more damaging impact at higher elevations
This is because the atmosphere gets thinner at high altitudes. As we go up every 1000 feet, the harmful impact of the sun’s rays increases about 4 per cent.
This makes the use of sunscreen even more relevant than its use during a beach vacation. After all, you don’t want to get tanned and irreversibly damage the skin while you’re having a great time on your holiday!
In addition to this, the earth is closest to the sun during the middle of the winter. This increases the impact of the sun manifold during the winter season.
Even the reflected rays of the sun have the potential to cause sunburn on the exposed areas of the skin. The UVA and UVB rays of the sun can be very damaging to the skin.
Potential Risks & Solution
Frequent exposure can lead to skin tanning, skin cancer, wrinkles, and premature ageing of the skin. Some of these are irreversible damages to the skin and must be avoided.
Hence, even during those chilly winter months where you don’t see the sun for too long, don’t forget to smear on a layer of sunscreen lotion under your winter cream.
A good quality sunscreen lotion of SPF 30 or above with UVA and UVB protection is an ideal one to use. An SPF of 30 blocks about 97% of the harmful UV rays of the sun from contacting the skin, and the higher SPF you choose, more are its blocking capabilities.
While choosing a sunscreen for yourself, make sure to understand your skin type and its requirements.
People with oily skins can go for Ultra Matte, gel-based sunscreen lotions. Similarly, people with a dry skin type can opt for cream-based lotions for their face and body.
One more thing that one must ensure is that your sunscreen products are free of harmful chemicals and parabens, which tend to do more damage to the skin than good.
You can also consult your dermatologist for recommendations on apt sunscreen products for your skin.
Understand the importance of using sunscreen on your skin, and make it a part of your daily skincare routine regardless of the season.
Jenny Travens is a creative writer who has many passions and interests. Health and wellness is one area where she likes to contribute as much as she can. She has a long association with Superfoodsliving.You can also find her on Twitter.