Do You Need Sunscreen in the Winter?
The short answer: YES!!! Sunscreen is necessary year round, even when the sun seems weaker in the early morning and late afternoon.
Dr. Cynthia Bailey explains in her blog post how the perceived intensity of the sun does not indicate your level of sun exposure. There are two types of sun rays: UVA and UVB. UVB rays cause sunburns and their intensity varies from summer to winter. This is why we are more aware of UVB rays presence during the summer months. In contrast, the strength of UVA rays is the same during the summer as it is in the winter or at any time of the day (except nighttime). UVA does not cause sunburn but penetrates deeper into your skin resulting in the skin damage associated with aging or skin cancer. As Dr. Bailey says:
Don’t slack off on your sun protection just because the sunburn ray is less intense and the sun feels less damaging.
How should you protect your skin year round from UVA rays?
In Dr. Bailey’s post, Do You Need Sunscreen in Winter or In The Morning and After 4pm?, she outlines 5 basic steps:
- Keep the sun off your skin with sun protective clothing and a full brim hat
- Wear broad spectrum sunscreen every day on all the skin that’s left uncovered
- Add high-concentration antioxidant skin care products to your facial skin care routine and apply them every day
- Don’t forget to seek the shade to protect your skin from the sun
- Don’t listen to people who tell you to get non-summer, morning, or afternoon sun to prevent vitamin D deficiency
Dr. Bailey stresses the importance of selecting broad spectrum sunscreens with physical blockers, such as zinc oxide or titanium oxide. The best physical blocker for both UVA and UVB is zinc oxide, which you will find in all of Dr. Bailey’s sunscreens. If you find yourself not wearing sunscreen year round, read Dr. Bailey’s blog post and think twice before skipping on sunscreen during the winter months. The damage from sun can be minimized with a few simple steps, making your skin look healthy and young for years to come.
Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude to © Doable/amanaimages/Corbis