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We need to talk. SPF isn’t reserved for days spent seaside or hours picnicking in the park—and definitely not just for the summer season. That isn’t enough to keep sun damage and premature signs of aging (i.e. dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles) at bay. The truth is, you should make wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen (or moisturizer with SPF) part of your daily skin care routine 365 days a year, whether it’s a full-blown snow storm outside or a perfectly sunny day. In fact, you may need even more sun protection in the winter than you think. To find out why that is, and learn all our best SPF tips for your winter skin care routine, keep reading.
Even when the sun is nowhere in sight, it can reach your skin. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UVA rays—which are present with relatively equal intensity during all daylight hours throughout the year, can penetrate through clouds. Additionally, the Skin Cancer Foundation reveals that UVB rays can burn and damage skin year-round, due to the fact that snow and ice are reflective surfaces that can bounce the rays back up so that they hit your skin twice.
Stay safe from the sun all winter long with these tips.
Tip #1: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen prior to exposure. Don’t wait until the very last minute to tackle sun protection. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends applying sunscreen 30 minutes before you go outside, in order to have enough time for it to provide the maximum benefit.
Tip #2: Layer SPF. You wouldn’t step foot outside during the winter without multiple layers—a coat, a sweater, a scarf, etc. etc.—and it’s okay to do the same with your SPF. Start your winter skin care routine by applying facial oil with SPF, immediately after cleansing. Then follow with a day cream that also has SPF, like the L’Oréal Paris RevitaLift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Moisturizer SPF 30.
Tip #3: Remember the small spots. Applying SPF in the winter isn’t simply about protecting your face. Even if you bundle up, other areas of your skin will be exposed and require protection just as much. Be sure to apply SPF not only to your face, but also to your ears, lips (use a conditioning lip balm with SPF), neck and chest, plus, the tops of your hands if you’re not wearing gloves.
Tip #4: Apply SPF even if you’re staying in for the day. Don’t think you’re safe if you spend most of your time inside during the winter. The FDA confirms that the sun’s UVA rays can penetrate through glass. So, if you find yourself cuddled up and peering out at a beautiful snow scape or working beside a window—you still need to apply SPF.
Tip #5: Reapply as needed. Applying sunscreen is not a one and done activity. According to the FDA, sunscreen should be reapplied at least every two hours. And don’t forget to reload your SPF if you happen to work up a sweat. Even though it’s cold outside, there’s still the potential to sweat while outdoors during the winter months, especially if you’re sporting a heavy coat and winter accessories. (Here’s How to Reapply Sunscreen.)
Tip #6: Add extra protection when partaking in snow sports. If you’re spending an afternoon or weekend on the slopes be sure to pack a pair of snow goggles or sun glasses that offer UV protection. Not only does the vulnerable skin surrounding your eyes need protection, but so do your actual eyes!
Tip #7: Don’t resort to using tanning beds. Sun care and self-tanning are forever intertwined, so we can’t leave you without a reminder not to try and tan in a tanning bed. With your summer glow long gone, it may be tempting, but you’ll be better off using a self-tanner. Try the L’Oréal Paris Sublime Bronze™ Hydrating Self-Tanning Milk Medium for a natural-looking tan.
Next up: 10 Cold Weather Beauty Hacks to Add to Your Winter Skin Care Routine.