As winter looms around the corner and our beauty routines start to change (moremoisturizer, less self-tanner) it’s important that we don’t stash our sunscreen to the back of our makeup drawers. Even though you are definitely more covered up in the winter, you’re still at risk for sun damage.
Why do I need sunscreen in the winter?
When you’re exposed to sunlight any time of year, both UVA and UVB rays are on the prowl. UVB rays are more intense in the summer but UVA rays (the ones that make you tan but also lead to wrinkles!) are present at consistent levels throughout the year, so you can’t slack off come wintertime. Look for products labeled “broad spectrum” to protect from both types of UV exposure.
What to know about moisturizers containing SPF
- The FDA guidelines for products making SPF claims are the same for both sunscreens and moisturizers, so theoretically using an SPF moisturizer gives you the sun protection you need while moisturizing your skin.
- However, to get the same benefit as a sunscreen you need to apply as much SPF moisturizer as you would a sunblock. If you only dab a moisturizer on a few dry patches or use it very sparingly, you’ll need to use a separate sunblock, so it’s like twice the work!
- Just like a sunscreen, you need to reapply your moisturizer throughout the day to keep your skin safe from the sun. Don’t think that a little SPF moisturizer applied in the morning will get you through a day outside without burning. Remember, snow is very reflective so you can easily burn when skiing or sledding.
- Sunscreens aren’t compatible with all moisturizing ingredients, so you may not always like the aesthetics of your SPF moisturizer. This is really a personal preference, some people don’t always like how SPF moisturizers feel on their skin. If this is the case, then using a separate sunscreen with your favorite moisturizer is probably the best option for you.
Bottom line, you need to use broad spectrum sunscreen daily whether you are getting it from your moisturizer or from a separate product. The best option? Limit your exposure to the sun and remember to wear a cute pair of sunglasses when you are outside!