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February 2, 2023

Should you use sunscreen in winter?

During summertime, when itʼs hot outside and the sun is beating down, itʼs easy to remember to apply sunscreen before visiting the park, going for a jog or lounging at the beach. But when the weather gets colder, we tend to forget this good habit, despite it being essential to use sunscreen in winter!

In this article weʼll discuss the importance of preventing sun-related damage throughout the year, the benefits of using sunscreen in winter and our favorite sun care products.

3 creams winter sunscreen blog ATTITUDE

UV rays do not disappear when the sky is cloud-covered or when itʼs snowing. Although UVB rays that cause sunburn donʼt shine as bright during the winter, UVA rays that cause wrinkles, fine lines and skin damage remain just as powerful.

This is why itʼs so important to include sunscreen in your skincare routine throughout the year to prevent an increased risk of sunburns, premature skin aging and skin cancer.

Why use sunscreen in winter?

Primarily because UVA rays, which are the main cause of premature aging of the skin1, retain their same power, regardless of the season. In fact, more than 90% of UVA rays are sneaky enough to make their way through the clouds2.

Secondly, although UVB rays are less intense in overcast weather, they can still burn skin and increase skin cancer risk in winter – especially among snow sports enthusiasts. UV ray exposure is greater at higher altitude than at sea level. And this is all the more the case in winter, as snow reflects up to 80% of the rays 3. This explains the classic “skierʼs tan” and the need for good sun protection in winter!!

Did you know?

Snow is the surface that reflects UV rays the most! According to the World Health Organization, dry sand reflects 15%, water reflects around 25% and snow reflects up to 80%4.

Should we use sunscreen daily?

Yes. Everywhere, and all the time. Regardless of weather conditions or where you happen to be, sunscreen should be an integral part of your morning skincare routine. Itʼs best to apply sunscreen after youʼve applied your day cream but beneath your makeup. Itʼs recommended to wait 20 minutes after application before exposing skin to the sun.

Should we wear sunscreen inside?

Even if you are someone who enjoys spending winter in the comfort of your living room, sunscreen remains essential. Unlike UVB rays, which are blocked by glass, more than 50% of UVA rays can penetrate windows and reach your skin5.

4 good reasons to use sunscreen in winter

There are many good reasons to use sunscreen in winter – and throughout the rest of the year for that matter. Here are four great benefits for your skinʼs – and your own – well-being.

1. Prevent skin aging

We all know that your skin will inevitably age, but wouldnʼt it be nice to have it happen with peace of mind? Daily sunscreen applications will reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. UV ray exposure is responsible for 80% of the symptoms associated with facial photoaging6.

For best results, adopt a complete pro-aging face care ritual!

2. Reduce the risk of skin cancer

The majority of skin cancers are caused by UVA and UVB ray exposure7. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, using sunscreen in winter much as is done in summer can reduce the risk of squamous cell carcinoma by almost 50%8.

3. Avoid painful sunburn

Why suffer from a painful sunburn for days or even weeks when it only takes a few seconds to apply sunscreen? As mentioned above, snow reflects up to 80% of the sunʼs rays, making the risk of sunburn during an outdoor activity as likely in winter as in summer, if not more so!

4. Hydrate the skin

Strong winds and cold temperatures can quickly dry skin out in winter. Fortunately, sunscreens made with nourishing and soothing ingredients of natural origin such as coconut oil and shea butter are here to save the day! In addition to protecting the skin from the sun, they can help prevent redness associated with dryness.

How to apply sunscreen in winter

Regardless of the season, itʼs important to apply sunscreen to your face every morning as the final step in your skincare routine: after your cleanser, serum, and moisturizer. Then reapply every two hours.

Sun protection tips for winter

    Use sunscreen every day

    Choose a sunscreen with a broad spectrum

    While SPF 15 is suitable for everyday life, SPF 30 is recommended for outdoor activities of longer durations

    Avoid exposure to the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. when UV rays tend to hit the hardest

What sunscreen is best to use in winter?

With so many sunscreens on the market, it can be difficult to know which one is best suited for you. Luckily, EWG experts created the Guide to Sunscreens , which includes more than 1,850 different sunscreens. But, according to the group, only a quarter of these products offer adequate sun protection while also being free of worrying ingredients9! These plastic-free sun sticks and the PHYTO-SUN Solid Tinted Cream SPF 15 are both formulated with non-nano zinc oxide, which EWG considers to be the safest mineral sunscreen available. These fully biodegradable sun sticks are suitable for all complexions and leave no traces, either on the skin or the environment. Theyʼre dermatologically tested, vegan, ocean-safe and super gentle – the perfect sunscreen for winter!

What to choose: a chemical or mineral sunscreen?

While a chemical filter penetrates the skin, a mineral filter forms a protective barrier on the skinʼs surface that prevents rays from penetrating.

sunscreen in winter blog ATTITUDE ingredients guide

Whatever brand you choose, EWG recommends that it includes zinc oxide, a mineral sunscreen, and to avoid aerosol products. According to EWG, aerosol products – which have been of concern to environmental experts for over a decade – are difficult to apply correctly, contain carcinogens like benzene, and are potentially harmful to the lungs due to risk of inhalation10.

Donʼt forget your lips!

Lips are covered with an ultra-thin layer of skin that contains very little melanin, which is the pigment that helps protect the skin from the sun. Thatʼs why they burn so easily! Remember to shield them using a lip balm that provides sun protection.

Now that you know itʼs essential to use sunscreen in winter, find out how to properly apply your new mineral sunscreen for maximum results!


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Written by Team ATTITUDE

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