The days are shorter, and the temperatures are lower to the point where you can tell that the sun isn’t as strong. So why do we need sunscreen during the winter?
The answer is Yes and because it’s very much required! UVB rays are weak in the winter, so you tend not to get sunburned as easily, but it’s the UVA rays that cause wrinkles, premature aging and damage are just as strong all year ‘round! Just because you aren’t getting burned as quickly and you’re in the shade. Depending on your activities, more damage can be done during the winter than the summer! Did you know that snow reflects 80% of UVA rays nearly doubling your exposure to the sun! UVA rays also travel through glass! Even if the view is more pleasant from the inside where it’s cosy and warm, you can still put your skin at risk for UVA skin damage. While UVB rays are mostly blocked by glass and clouds, 50-60% of UVA rays go right through windows.
Dr Phillip Levy, aesthetic dermatologist and founder of Dr Levy Switzerland, says, “People often assume that with lower temperatures, there is less of a need to protect your skin from the UV rays. This might be correct when it comes to UVB rays, which are responsible for burns, but not so much for UVA rays - the "Ageing" rays - which go deeper into the skin and create longer-lasting damage.
When you apply sunscreen, you are effectively giving your skin - via texture and chemical composition - a protective barrier that deflects UV rays.
Dr Levy says, “This ensures that the skin’s surface is protected, and lessens the chances of being burnt by the sun. Wearing and reapplying sunscreen reduces the chances of developing age spots. UVA rays penetrate the dermis of the skin, which further damages the fibres of the skin, making it appear more taunt. Once, the dermis is damaged, the risk of wrinkles forming heightens."
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Get your coat, grab your gloves and enjoy this winter…and don’t forget the sunscreen!