We all know that makeup can only go so far towards creating beautiful, flawless skin – and that taking care of your complexion is the most important step towards a glowing, healthy look. And we’re also aware that means slathering on the sunscreen whenever you’re out topping up your tan – or even just walking around on a summer’s day.
But did you know that you should be wearing SPF in winter too? With the sun low in the sky, and days spent huddled inside, you might not think it’s necessary to protect your skin. However, experts tell us that we’re still at risk even on the greyest, cloudiest of days – and here’s why.
First, it’s important to understand the difference between the different types of UV rays. Although UVB rays, which cause your skin to burn after prolonged exposure, are most prevalent between April and October, they are not the only thing that has the potential to cause damage. As we know, the sun also omits UVA rays – and these come with their own health hazards.
According to experts, UVA rays are the main cause of premature ageing and wrinkles that come about as a result of exposure to the sun. And they can also play a role in skin cancer as well. Worryingly, however, these rays do not fade with the seasons – they are equally as intense in winter as they are in summer, thanks to their ability to penetrate clouds. So for as long as it’s light outside, your skin is under attack.
What’s more, some winter activities – such as extreme sports or simply walking outside in cold climates – can exacerbate the harmful effects of UV rays. Because snow and ice reflect up to 90 percent of light, these environments put you at even greater risk of sun damage. And if you’re high up on a mountain skiing or snowboarding, this risk intensifies with altitude.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the ozone layer – which absorbs the sun’s harmful rays – is thinner in winter than it is in summer, leaving you at an increased risk of damage such as burning, ageing and wrinkles. So if you want to keep your skin looking young and fresh, it’s important to slap on the sunscreen – no matter what season it is outside.