When we think of needing to protect our skin from the sun’s UV rays, the image that comes to mind is a day on the beach or a walk on a summer afternoon, not a day on the slopes or our winter trek to work or school. However, the risk of exposing our skin to the sun’s UV rays doesn’t disappear in the chillier months, and the winter weather conditions make it easy to forget what kinds of precautions we need to take. The Skin Care Foundation says that 80% of the winter sun’s rays bounce off the super reflective snow, creating the potential for your skin to be hit by the same rays twice (yikes!). Luckily, they’ve also got the know-how about the winter-strategies to stopping UV damage in its tracks.
The good news: most of the products needed to protect yourself from the sun in the summer months still do the trick when old-man winter comes along. For the most part, we stay covered up in the winter, but the parts of our bodies that stay exposed are usually the face, or scalp if you skipped the hat. Showing some leg? Apply sunscreen to these areas before leaving the house. Nylons or sheer tights on the legs do little to protect your skin from the sun, so it’s important to apply an SPF30 sunscreen to these areas before getting dressed. A thin line of sunscreen on your hair’s natural part can go a long way. Sensitive skin around the eyes should be protected with some 99% UV blocking shades, and just like at the beach, sunscreen (again SPF30 or bust) on the face is a must.
Another tip: pucker up! Your lips are an extra sensitive part of your skin, and the chap-stick you keep on you during the drying-winter months should have an SPF level of at least 15. A day out on the ski hills or a brisk January stroll means a couple of extra (but simple) precautions. Here, your sunscreen should also moisturize because the wind and snow can tear away waterier formulas from the skin a lot faster. Between that, and the sweat you might work up on the hills or a jog, a good reapplication routine is a must: every two hours.
Winter doesn’t mean spending a fortune on buying new products. A few changes to our routines, and keeping our skin-safety state of mind, means anyone can make it through to spring with healthy, happy skin. You can also use some natural remedies that you can find in your own home.