Do you need sunscreen in winter?
Do the short days and dip in temperature entice you to evacuate the sunscreen from your skin care regimen? Do you often assume that with lower temperature, there is no need of protection from sun? If so, don’t mistake sunscreen as an option rather make it a necessity even in winter season! Before reasoning why, you need sunscreen in winters or benefits of sunscreen in winter, let’s have a look at the science behind sunscreen.
What is sunscreen and how does it work?
Sunscreen is also known as sunblock. The aim of any sunscreen is to shield and protect your skin from any harm which can be caused by exposing your skin to the sun. Some sunscreen contains a broad-spectrum formula that helps in sheltering and securing your skin against UVA rays and UVB rays. Sun protection should be made mandatory if you spend long hours in the outdoors. Sunscreen helps in preventing the development of pigmentation, premature aging, dark spots, sagging skin etc.
Why should you wear sunscreen during winter?
Winter UV rays can be as damaging as summer UV rays. Don't let myths deter you from using it to protect your skin. Sunscreen is a vital part of skin care regimen and should be used all year long. You might assume that with low temperature, there is little to no need to protect your skin from ultraviolet rays, right? Well, not really!
- Sun rays in winters
Although, sun rays are not as strong in winters as they are in summers, your skin is at same amount of risk without proper protection. Sun emits UV radiations in two forms: UVA rays and UVB rays. It is important to acknowledge that even though UVB rays are not a big concern for your skin in winters, UVA rays remain constant all year long and can easily perforate through clouds, fog etc. So, it can very likely damage your skin during winters if your skin is not shielded properly. The main damage which UVA can cause to your skin is skin cancer, photoaging such as wrinkles, age spots, fine line, hyperpigmentation etc.
- Low moisture Levels
As the winters arrive, it brings a natural drop in humidity level which causes low moisture levels. The repercussion of low moisture levels such as low humidity and cold temperature can cause serious harm to your skin. As your skin is over half water, so during low humidity it can start drying out which can further cause redness, cracking of skin etc. You should use sunscreen-containing SPF more than 30 or 50 in order to overcome the dryness of your skin and provide extra moisture for your skin to lock.
- Sun rays through glass
Although glass can easily filter out UVB rays, it still can’t stop UVA rays from passing through the glass of your car or house windows, which results in the aftermath of rays penetrating and infiltrating your skin. The constant penetration of UVA rays into your skin through the medium of glass can cause serious damage to it.
- Thinning and depletion of ozone layer
Ozone layer is known as “natural sunscreen” for the earth. It filters out the harmful UV rays. However, it has come to attention since a few years, that earth’s ozone layer is gradually thinning and depleting due to industrial and other human activities. The risk factor of catching various skin problems and diseases due to thinning of earth’s ozone has vastly increased. Therefore, the necessity to apply sunscreen on your skin everyday has increased.
Which type of sunscreen is best for winters?
Do you feel extremely puzzled when it comes to choosing the right kind of sunscreen for your skin? We all realize that choosing a sunscreen can turn into an overwhelming task for most of us. It is crucial to choose sunscreen which benefits your skin type.Let us take a note at few important tips before investing in any sunscreen.
- Take a note of SPF
SPF also known as Sun Protection Factor, is a measurement of how well a sunscreen can protect your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays. There is no sunscreen which provides 100% protection from sun rays. Sunscreen with greater SPF number are known to provide better protection to your skin.Sunscreen product with good SPF helps in restoring and locking moisture in your skin which is snatched due to low humidity and temperature during winters. The reason behind ‘PA’ ratings accompanied by plus signs depicts protection offered by the sunscreen.
Let us have a look at what every rating decipher:
PA+: Some Protection
PA++: Moderate Protection
PA+++: High Protection
PA++++: Extremely High Protection
Apart from UVB rays, the sun also emits UVA rays which are known to be more harmful. UVB rays causes damage to the outer layer of your skin which is known as epidermis, which results in sunburns, tanning etc. Whereas, UVA rays perforates deeper into skin layers which can cause more serious damage to the skin such as premature ageing. Broad sunscreen is recommended for protecting your skin from the damage which ultraviolet rays such as UVA rays and UVB rays may cause.
- Non- comedogenic
Your skin consists of tiny pores that release sweat and oil. If pores get clogged, it can result in blackheads, acne etc. Non-comedogenic products are formulated in such a way that they do not clog your skin pores. They assist in preventing any future breakout, providing you with healthy and breathable skin. Applying a non-comedogenic sunscreen will provide protection to your skin from sun without neglecting the basic needs of it.
- Free from oxybenzone and OMC
Oxybenzone and OMC are known to be one of the most used ingredients in sunscreens. However, according to several studies, these ingredients are not very favorable for your skin as they get deep into the skin which may result in getting caught into various skin problems such as acne. That's why the use of sunscreens free from Oxybenzone and OMC is considered safe for skin.
What are the 5 best ways for healthy winter skin?
1. Covering up
You don’t have to avoid the sun completely, but there are a few preventive measures you can take. The first defence towards winters can be covering yourself up with the help of clothing followed by applying sunscreen. It will ensure your safety against any possible harms caused by the sun.
2. Limit shower time
Steamy and warm showers seem very enticing and welcoming in winters, however showering or bathing in lukewarm serves your skin better as it helps with muscle relaxation. You should avoid spending more than 5 to 10 minutes in shower during winters as the chances of skin irritation increases with increase in shower time.
Moisturizing you skin is the key element for maintaining a healthy skin. Washing of your body makes it lose its moisture. Applying a winter crème, lotion or moisture after washing your body, especially your hands will help in preserving and locking the moisture in your skin. Moisturization should be an important step to your skin care regimen throughout the year.
4. Never forget sunscreen
Winter causes drop of moisture and humidity in air. During bright winter days, the run rays gets reflected which increases the risk of exposure to harmful radiations produced by the sun, which means that it can cause hindrance in our daily activities whether it is enjoying your time outdoor or finishing daily errands. Besides causing a hindrance for harmful rays, sunscreen benefits in providing extra moisture to your skin. Therefore, don’t let dark winter days deter or deceive you.
5. Eat healthy and stay hydrated
Winter brings many delicacies that make you want to curl inside the blanket and enjoy them one after the other. However, it is always in your advantage if you play smart. Opting for healthy food options such as green vegetables, eggs, and meat rich in protein, fruits etc, will help you keep your skin and body in check. Intaking a good amount of water every day rather than engaging yourself in imbibing endless cups of tea and coffee will help in enrichment of your skin.
Even if it is standing near windowpane enjoying winter’s morning view or completing outdoor chores, always remember to apply sunscreen in order to protect your skin from the harmful radiations. Your skin is absolutely safe, as long as you are aware of your skin needs and are following a healthy skin care regimen according to the season. So, pull up your socks, grab a coat, slather on some sunscreen and enjoy your winters to the fullest!