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Should You Wear Sunscreen in the Winter

Should You Wear Sunscreen in the Winter?

This time of year, having a powerful SPF as part of your skincare routine may not be top of mind. But before you send your sunscreen into hibernation for the winter, let’s take a closer look at the importance of seasonal suncare and daily protection. Here, we’ll dig into whether you should wear sunscreen in the winter, the risks posed by UV rays in colder weather, what to look for in a sunscreen in winter, and tips for incorporating  sunscreen into your winter skincare routine.

Misconceptions About Sunscreen in Winter

Thinking of winter doesn’t usually conjure up images of sunny days and sunscreen, but that doesn’t mean you should skip your SPF in the colder months.

Here’s why:

There are two types of ultraviolet rays: UVA and UVB. The latter cause issues like redness and sunburn and are strongest from early spring to early fall. But just because UVB rays are diminished in the winter, that doesn’t mean you should forego your daily SPF or mineral daily protection for the season.

UVA rays penetrate exposed skin more deeply than UVB and remain throughout the year. These are also the rays that can contribute to skin cancers like melanoma. UVA rays are so strong that they penetrate glass—that means even if you’re next to a window, in your car, or in the middle of winter, you need to use sunscreen to protect your skin from sun exposure. 

But protecting your skin from harmful UVA rays is just the start.

3 Reasons Why Sun Protection Matters in Cold Weather

Using high-quality sunscreen is vital no matter the time of year, but the winter sun presents its own unique reasons. Let’s get into why.

Winter is Tough on Skin

Cooler temperatures bring drier skin. Add in wintery winds and low humidity, and you may need more moisture than ever for your dry winter skin. Using sunscreen as your final skincare step locks in your moisture (or can even enhance it) while protecting your skin from additional sun damage.

Your SPF Doesn’t Stick Around

Sure, summer activities like swimming and sweating can cause your sunscreen to wear away, but a cloudy day can cause similar issues as well. Harsh winter weather can weaken your protection just like the steamier days of summer, so make sure to reapply often—especially if exposed to harmful UV rays.

Prevent Skin Damage and Premature Aging

SPF protection should be a year-round part of your skincare routine. Sunny, cloudy, hot, or cold, using sunscreen is essential. Not only to reduce your risk of skin cancer, but it’s also key in avoiding premature aging and uv damage to your skin. Protecting your skin is essential, but modern sunscreens often also have skincare benefits to turn your protection into prevention and even anti-aging treatments.

Choosing the Right Sunscreen for Winter

Now that we’ve covered the benefits of using sunscreen in winter, let’s talk about finding your perfect cold-weather formula.

For active days or just everyday use, our Classic Face Sunscreen Lotion will keep your skin hydrated and protected with its light-as-a-moisturizer feel.

If you want a boost of hydration, our Refreshing Water Cream provides not only a surge of hydration but also powerful SPF 50 protection—the perfect combination of benefits for harsh winter weather and sensitive skin.

Or, if you want to keep it quick (and still moisturized), swipe on our Refreshing Water Stick, infused with hydration-boosting hyaluronic acid and refreshing coconut water.

If keeping it simple is more your speed, a quick spritz of our Face Sunscreen Mist provides SPF 50 protection in seconds.

Integrating Sunscreen into Your Winter Skincare Routine for Year-Round Sun Protection

So far, we’ve covered how sunscreen is an essential part of your skincare routine—regardless of the time of year. But that’s not the end of things to consider when you’re crafting your perfect winter regimen. 

Here are some other ways to winter-proof your skin when it’s feeling frosty out.

Prioritize hydration

Winter weather is notorious for sapping your skin of moisture, so keeping your skin hydrated is vital. This is the perfect time to use more hydrating products in your routine, from cleanser to sunscreen. Treat your skin extra gently during the winter months, including using extra-moisturizing skincare products.

Winterize Your Skincare Routine

Speaking of essential winter skincare products, here are some swaps you can make during the colder months:

  • Start by cleansing your skin, using a gentle cleanser to remove excess impurities. If you have dry skin, make a swap for a creamier cleanser for winter.
  • Gently exfoliating your skin after cleansing is a great way to remove any dry skin cells and provide a boost in your skin’s glow.
  • After you’ve cleansed, always moisturize. Don’t skip your moisturizer in winter months, no matter your skin type.
  • If it’s daytime, make sure to follow up with a quality sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher to ensure that your skin is well protected. Applying sunscreen in winter every day can even help to lock in moisture—especially if you’re using a hydrating formula. This can mitigate dry-weather effects like irritation and dryness, giving you healthy, comfortable skin all winter long.

If you want more cold-weather skincare tips to keep your skin in tip-top shape for the season, be sure to read more tips and tricks in our guide.