As you might know from my previous articles on my favourite sunscreens (who even has a favourite sunscreen??) and how to treat sunburn, I have ridiculously fair skin. I’ve been brought up to never leave the house without sunscreen, and in summer I slather on SPF 50 like it’s going out of fashion. I also learned at a very young age, through my own stubborn refusal to apply sunscreen, that you can burn through the clouds — sometimes even worse than when you’re in direct sunlight — so when everyone else is eschewing sunscreen, I’m practically plastering it on with a paint roller.
Since I’m so obsessed with not getting sunburnt, it’s always been second nature to me to just keep applying sunscreen, even when it starts getting colder. My friends have always teased me mercilessly about this, but after a bit of research, I found out that everyone should actually be wearing sunscreen in winter!
Don’t believe me? Check out my reasoning below!
The most important reason you should be wearing sunscreen in winter
Now, I’m not saying you should be slathering on SPF 50 during winter, but you should definitely invest in a moisturiser with an SPF of at least about 20. Even though you probably won’t get sunburnt during winter, UV rays still penetrate winter clouds.
Without getting too scientific, UV rays are made up of two components, namely UVA and UVB. UVA rays are also called “long wave” rays, and make up 95% of the rays that reach the surface of the earth. These rays penetrate the skin much deeper than UVB rays, and are responsible for signs of aging, such as dark spots and wrinkles. These rays are what cause people to tan, and are also responsible for skin cancer.
UVB rays, on the other hand, don’t penetrate the skin as deeply, and are the kind of rays that cause redness and sunburn. They are less prevalent in winter, but if you’ve got a ski holiday planned, beware — they reflect off of snow and ice and cause insane sunburns among winter skiers.
If you’re planning on going skiing during your winter holiday, or if you’re like me and you feel naked wearing anything less than SPF 50, try Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face. It has a light formulation and once applied it feels like it’s barely there, so it won’t make you feel weighed down at all!
If you’ve got a more medium skin tone, reach for Optiphi Classic Hydration Tint Broad Spectrum SPF 20. The colour we tried out was called “Ultra Light”, but it ended up being more suited to medium skin tones than my ultra light skin.
For those of you blessed with darker skin, consider using Nivea’s Perfect & Radiant Sensitive Skin Day Cream with SPF 15, which will help shield you from the sun’s harmful rays, while still allowing you to catch some rays to keep your tan.
So there you have it. If you don’t want to age prematurely and develop dark spots, and want to prevent wrinkles and skin cancer, just take that extra precaution and wear sunscreen during winter! Most moisturisers usually contain at least some SPF, so you don’t even really have to go out of your way to make sure you’re protected. Just make sure that your sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays!