Sunscreen used to be a protocol typically reserved for warm summer days spent in the sun or lounging poolside, with rare appearances (if any) during the colder seasons. Only recently has the importance of daily UV protection become common knowledge, yet many are still under the impression that sun protection is only relevant when—you guessed it—the weather is sunny.
A quick web search will pull up endless articles from credible institutions like The Skin Cancer Foundation or the American Academy of Dermatology, all stating the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, including the cold, snowy, or overcast days of fall and winter.
The resounding consensus is that protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is a year-round commitment. In this blog post, we delve into the importance of wearing SPF during winter, debunk common myths, and explore why a thoughtful sunscreen routine is your key to keeping your skin healthy and safe from the damaging effects of solar radiation.
Common Sunscreen Myths
Myth #1. The Sun Isn't Strong During the Winter
The warmth of the weather is not a good indicator of whether you should or should not wear sunscreen. If you're wondering how strong the UV rays are during any particular day, your best bet is to check the UV index map, which is updated daily. Yes, UVB radiation, which is responsible for causing sunburn and redness in skin, is not as powerful during the winter season as it is in the summer months, but it is still present. What's more, UVA radiation, which is what causes photoaging and wrinkling in the skin due to the breakdown of collagen, is just as strong year round.
Myth #2. See No Sun, Fear No Sun:
A cloudy day does not mean that there are no UV rays to protect your skin from. Clouds often reduce UV radiation if they are particularly thick, but scattered clouds carry the risk of transmission due to how they can reflect and scatter the UV radiation in random directions [source].
Rather than riding on the hope that the clouds remain consistently heavy throughout the daytime, a good rule of thumb would be to stay consistent in applying your daily SPF to protect yourself from potential sunburns, sunspots, and premature aging.
Rainy days are not an exception, either. UV radiation can penetrate clouds, rain, and fog [source].
Myth #3. It’s Too Cold for Sunscreen:
Contrary to popular belief, UV rays are active all year-round. In fact, certain cold-weather elements such as snow can reflect up to 80% of UV radiation, intensifying exposure.
If you think frigid-cold weather is a sign that you don’t need sunscreen, a quick skiing or snowboarding excursion will change your mind. The sun reflects off snow and intensifies UV radiation. Since snow falls on the ground, that means you’re being hit with strong UV radiation from all angles including from below. Even a short stint on the slopes without sunscreen can result in severe sunburn, chapping, blistering, and a damaged skin barrier—especially when exacerbated by the higher altitudes [source].
With Think sunscreens, you can rest assured that we’ve got you and your family covered. Our dermatologist-recommended suncare has been meticulously perfected through science, innovation, and respect for the planet and its inhabitants. Our Thinkbaby and Thinkkids products are gentle enough for delicate and sensitive skin without sacrificing protection. That is why Think is trusted by people of all ages as well as professionals when it comes to reliable solar defense 365 days a year.
Making SPF a non-negotiable staple in your daily skincare or self-care routine remains crucial throughout the colder seasons and protects your skin from immediate and long-term damage.
Daily Winter SPF Protection for Baby
This stress- and mess-free sunscreen stick makes it easier than ever to protect Baby’s delicate skin from harmful UV damage. Just a few quick swipes on exposed skin, and you’re good to go! Bring it with you anywhere you go for effortless re-application.
Daily Winter SPF Protection for Kids
Designed for active kids who love to have fun in the sun and loved by parents for its convenience and endurance, our sunscreen spray goes on sheer and is water/sweat-resistant for up to 80 minutes.
Daily Winter SPF Protection for Adults (Tinted)
This quick-drying yet hydrating formula is perfect for those who want a hint of tint with their SPF coverage. It’s enriched with Vitamin C and E for a nourished and flawless-looking finish.
Daily Winter SPF Protection for Sensitive Skin
This soothing and replenishing formula helps to nourish sensitive skin while reducing the appearance of redness, thanks to Aloe Vera.
Daily Winter SPF Protection for Active Adults
Perfect for athletes, adventurers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike, this high SPF sunscreen contains 23.4% Zinc Oxide for maximum UV protection, offers long-lasting protection that stays on through water and sweat for up to 80 minutes, and has a non-greasy finish.
Remember, winter may dim the sunlight, but it doesn't diminish the need for sun protection.