Why You Should Wear Sunscreen In Winter?

--by Kylie Tang--

In winter, the sunlight is so mild and comforting, and you’ve stored your sunscreen in the farthest corner of your makeup drawer. If this sounds all too similar, you’d better get rid of this practice.

There’s something that exists in our environment every second and in each season – whether it be summer or winter. And that’s ultraviolet rays (UV) - our all-time enemies. You may have seen this photo before: a 66-year old truck driver spent his days delivering goods and his left face looked old and wrinkled because of the ultraviolet rays transmitted through the window glass, but his face still looked young and fine…

In winter, the ozone layer is at its thinnest, and UV rays penetrate it easily. At the same time, because of the cold weather, our skin metabolism slows down, and our skin becomes more difficult to repair itself after exposure to the sun. So, always wear sunscreen in winter! How much do you know about sunscreen? Read about the tips for choosing sunscreen below and pick a sun protection product that is suitable for you.

How To Distinguish UVA And UVB?

It’s not that hard actually. Ultraviolet rays consist of UVA, UVB and UVC. UVC are completely absorbed by the ozone layer. UVA can lead to aging problems and pigmentation on your skin. UVB thickens keratin, resulting in red, painful and dry skin. You will be smart enough to purchase a sunscreen that protects skin against UVA and UVB.

What Is SPF?

SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is the measuring unit of a sunscreen’s ability to prevent UVB.

SPF15 filters out 93.3% UVB, prevents reddening 15 time longer
SPF30 filters out 96.6% UVB, prevents reddening 30 time longer
SPF50 filters out 98% UVB, prevents reddening 50 time longer

See! Although SPF30 is double of SPF15, they only differ by 3.3% in terms of UVB blocking result. Therefore, you do not necessarily have to use sunscreens with a higher SPF. 

UVB can cause sunburn.

And How About “PA+”?

“PA” is also easy to understand. The PA 4-levelled Protection system is introduced by the Japan Cosmetic Industry Association to measure UVA protection. All ladies dislike color spots. It’s better to have a sunscreen with more “+” signs for higher protection, ideally one with SPF50 / PA++++ for outdoor activities.

UVA leads to what we hate – stains and spots!

Look For “Broad Spectrum” Sunscreen

Inspired by the US, Broad Spectrum sun blocks filter UVA rays that age us and other actinic damages.

So now you are clearer with these labels. You need higher protection for outdoor activities, and SPF15 to SPF30 is good enough for your indoor work (protects against lighting and sunlight transmitted through window glass.) Look for your ideal sun block:

Low SPF But Highly Protective Sunscreen

If you have tried SK-II products before, you must have known about their Cellumination Essence Day Surge UV SPF30 / PA+++. It’s good enough to tackle your daily UVA and UVB enemies. “Aura Bright Cocktail D” complex helps restrain melanin and repair skin after sun exposure. It’s perfect for your whitening need.

SkinCeuticals deserves to be the leading medical brand with its outstanding sunscreen products. SkinCeuticals Brightening UV Defense SPF 30 High Protection offers high broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays of various wavelengths. HyperBright Complex helps correct skin conditions and pigmentation. Use every day and during winter!

Mineral Sunscreen Is My Favourite

Have you ever heard of mineral sunscreens? Most of the sun blocks are formulated with chemical UV absorbers yet mineral sunscreens add a layer of UV-filtering powder on face with Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide. The higher the content they are in the cream, the higher protection you enjoy. Mineral sunscreens are offered by many skincare brands recommended by dermatologists. One of my favourites is:

Don’t look down on the inexpensive Lavera. It is an organic brand and this 100% minieral-based sun protection works on skin affected by rashes, eczema, inflammations and acne. Free of perfume, dyes and synthetic preservatives, and it offers UVA protection. It’s even safe for kids’ skin!

How To Defend Sunlight While Wearing Makeup?

Many products have combined the functions of makeup and UV protection. 

Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF35 / PA+++ has excellent UV defense function. I am sure you want a beautiful and UV-protected foundation finish.

Guerlain Blanc De Perle White P.E.A.R.L. UV Base Lightening UV Base has good sun block property (SPF 30 / PA+++). This elegant base cream helps create a fresh and radiant complexion with simple application before foundation, and demonstrates high-level UV protection and 8-hour rosy effect.  

Well...did you just take out your sunscreens and study how do they work? I recommend all ladies here to be cautious to sunlight in winter and apply protection measures according to your skin type and needs. Don’t forget to remove it before sleep: you need makeup removers for high SPF sunscreens, cleansers for light sunscreens and water for some of the mineral sunscreens!

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