Why You Need Sunscreen Even When It’s Cold Outside

When it comes to skin care, most people are looking for simple solutions that can help them make sure their skin stays supple, firm and smooth without a lot of hassle and expense. That may sound like a lot to expect from just a single product, but in fact, today’s sunscreens deliver all that – and more!

Sunscreens help block the harmful UV rays of the sun, the rays that can cause skin cancer as well as premature aging of the skin. Those harmful rays interact with the skin’s cells causing them to break down, resulting in fine lines and wrinkles, as well as sun spots, uneven coloration and textural changes that can make your skin look older much too soon.

When it comes to wearing sunscreen, most people make three critical mistakes: They don’t apply enough; they don’t reapply it often enough; and they don’t wear it every day. Public education has gone a long way toward educating people about how much to apply – about the same amount as would fit in a shot glass – and it’s also done a lot to remind people to reapply after sports or swimming or whenever they’ve been perspiring a lot. However, many people still neglect to wear sunscreen every day, especially in the winter when dry skin really needs all the help it can get to stay healthy and protected.

The fact is, even on cold, wintry days, the sun’s rays are still shining. Many people mistakenly believe that if they don’t feel the hot, baking heat of midsummer, the sun’s UV rays aren’t still streaming down on them. But they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, the UV rays that cause the most damage don’t cause you to feel warm; instead, they penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin where they cause damaging structural changes. And if there’s snow on the ground, their effect can be magnified by as much as 80 percent, thanks to snow’s reflective surface. Even on cloudy days, as much as 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays reach the earth’s surface – and your skin.

We can hear you now – I already apply moisturizer to my skin in the winter; now I have to add another product to the mix? Not necessarily. Sunscreens have come a long way since the first commercial products were introduced in the first half of the 20th century, and today there are plenty of products that combine both moisturizers and sunscreen so you can keep your skin healthy and protected in one simple step. Most people apply moisturizer in winter anyway – adding a product that includes sunscreen is a good way to make sure your skin is getting all the protection it needs, even when the cold, wintry winds are blowing.