As the cold weather sets many of us are experiencing dry skin that is irritated and in desperate need of some TLC – and we’d bet that applying (and reapplying) winter sunscreen isn’t the first thing on your mind. But every skin expert under the sun (couldn’t help ourselves, sorry) tells us that SPF is important when it’s rainy, cloudy and even snowy, too.
“Exposed areas need UV protection even when it’s cold as ageing UVA rays are present all year round and travel through glass, making broad-spectrum sunscreen an essential,” Dr Sam Bunting, skin expert and founder of Dr Sam’s tells Glamour.
Although there is no true rule for a winter vs a summer sunscreen, your skin might be craving a little more sustenance. “Seek out sunscreen enriched with indulgent occlusives, like shea butter and squalane that shield us from the effects of the elements and protect our skin barrier at the same time,” says Dr Bunting.
“I’m particularly fond of sunscreen with added niacinamide, which is a tremendously useful active ingredient that’s both anti-inflammatory and helps skin produce more ceramides to become more resilient.”
Keeping topped up with your SPF is especially important if you’re taking part in winter activities like skiing. “On a bright day, clean fresh snow can reflect up to 90% of UV rays, meaning you’re bombarded directly and indirectly,” says Dr Bunting.
It’s important to top-up throughout the day so take a mini SPF with you to keep in your pocket. The same goes for lip care. We often neglect our poor lips forgetting that they need sun protection, too. Look out for a lip balm with SPF and remember to reapply throughout your action-packed day.
The one rule regardless of what season it is remains: the best winter SPF is the one you’ll wear. So if you find in the winter your skin needs a little more oomph in the formula to keep you comfortable then seek that out. But, if you find your skin is perfectly fine with your go-to summer formula, then stick to that! It really is just about finding what works for you and your skin.