Do You Need to Wear Sunscreen in Winter?
UV rays cause skin aging and they are out all year. Yes, you may notice that the sun rays feel “softer” and less intense in the winter. They are to some extent because UVB, the summer sunburn ray, is much less prevalent. This is also the ray that makes vitamin D.
But don’t be fooled. UVA is out in full force; it is as strong in winter as it is in summer. It causes skin aging and irregular pigment, like melasma and sun spots. To prevent skin aging and irregular skin pigment, you need broad spectrum sun protection all year, including fall, winter, and early spring.
Yes, UVA is equally intense all year round and it comes through clouds. UVA is bad for your skin. It is especially powerful at causing wrinkles. UVA penetrates your skin more deeply than the summer sunburn ray UVB does. Wrinkles start deep in your skin from UVA damage to the collagen-producing cells. If you don’t want your skin to look like worn-out and old leather over time, you need to apply broad spectrum sunscreen 365 days a year to sun-exposed skin.
Bottom line, you need UVA protection all year and that comes from using broad spectrum sunscreens. I only trust zinc oxide for that job because the invisible particles of zinc sit on top of your skin, bouncing UV rays back into space. Choose a product with SPF 30 or higher that is also labeled broad spectrum and that includes a minimum of 5% zinc oxide listed as an active ingredient.
If you want to learn more about how UVA harms your skin and how to protect yourself see my explanation here.
“I wear Citrix sunscreen daily – rain or shine.“
It feels wonderful on the skin and protects from the sun. I never get brown spots & hardly have any facial wrinkles at all. I have told all my friends about it and now they are believers too! Jill 7/1/14
Photo attribution: Thanks and gratitude: © Ocean/Corbis