Sunscreen is an obvious inclusion in summer skincare, but what happens when the seasons shift? Unless you’re lucky enough to live in a perpetually sunny state, you may not see the need for sunscreen during the winter. The truth is, however, that pigment cells can be stimulated not just by the sun’s UV rays but by ambient light and certain types of visible light – like overhead lighting and even computer screens.
Even if you live in a city where you feel like you never see the sun between August and April, it doesn’t mean you should take a vacation from proper skincare. Sunscreen is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, though there are a few things you should know about how to use it properly.
Here are the top 5 reasons to wear sunscreen in the winter:
1. To protect your skin from sunburn.
You may be less inclined to spend time outdoors once the temperature drops, but any sun exposure has the potential to damage your skin. A few minutes’ walk to the coffee cart or a quick jog at lunchtime may all it takes. Even if you think you’re safe on gray and cloudy days, you could be wrong.
The sun’s ultraviolet rays are made up of two types: UVA and UVB. Ultraviolet B rays, or shortwave rays, are responsible for redness and sunburn. Repeated sunburns raise your risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. These UVB rays are the most intense during the spring and early fall, especially during the sunniest hours of the day. UVB rays are less likely to penetrate glass than UVA rays and they may be masked by clouds, but they can still reach the Earth’s surface.
Ultraviolet A rays or long-wave rays make up 95% of the rays that reach the Earth’s surface. They penetrate the skin much deeper than UVB rays and can initiate skin cancer or trigger the visible signs of aging like wrinkles, sagging, and dark spots. Unlike UVB, UVA rays can penetrate clouds and glass. Dermatologists generally recommend SPF 30 or higher (try Yon-Ka SPF 50) for maximum protection.
2. To reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.
Though sunburn may seem like a minor inconvenience and one you may be willing to risk for the sake of soaking in a little extra vitamin D, the risk for skin cancer is still high in the winter. Again, both UVA and UVB rays are linked to cancer. While UVB rays may not be at their strongest in the winter months, they still pose a risk, and UVA rays are present year-round. There’s no harm in enjoying sunny days when you can get them – just make sure to protect your skin with SPF 30 or higher to reduce your risk of skin cancer.
3. To keep your skin looking young and fresh.
No matter what time of year it is and how cold it is outside, hydration and protection are the keys to keeping your skin looking youthful. Keep up with your cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing routine and consider adding a hydration-restoring mask twice a week if your skin gets dry during the winter.
Your skin is strongest when it is hydrated, but UV rays can weaken it and cause various types of damage. In addition to sunburn and an increased risk for skin cancer, UVB rays can deplete the collagen in your skin. This may lead to skin sagging and premature aging. Throw on some Yon-Ka Paris SPF 50 before you head outside for the day to give your skin an added layer of protection.
4. To protect against increased UV reflection/absorption.
The ozone is the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere that helps absorb radiation from the sun. This essential layer is thinner during the winter which means less protection from the sun. The temperature may be colder, but your skin could actually be absorbing more UV rays. To compound that increased absorption, UV rays can reflect off both ice and snow. If you’re skiing, snowboarding, or participating in other outdoor activities, the UV rays could be stronger if there’s snow or ice on the ground.
Though SPF 30 may be adequate for everyday protection, if you’re engaging in outdoor winter sports you may want to up the ante. Yon-Ka Paris SPF 50 broad spectrum sunscreen filters both UVA and UVB rays and is packed with anti-aging ingredients. This sunscreen cream is suitable for all skin types on both face and body – it is also suitable for children.
5. To keep up with your daily skincare routine.
It’s important to update your skincare routine from time to time as your skin matures, but UV protection is one aspect that shouldn’t change. Alongside cleansing and moisturizing, wearing sunscreen should be part of your daily skincare routine, no matter what season it is.
Depending where you live, UV exposure may be less of a concern during the winter months, but it still happens. Wearing sunscreen daily is a good habit to get into. If you’re going to be spending extended time in the sun, of course, you’re better off with a stronger product like our SPF 50.
Protecting your skin is about more than just SPF. Chat with your local Yon-Ka spa partner or check out the Yon-Ka Paris Skin Advisor to shop online and learn what products are recommended to keep your skin fresh and protected all year-round.