During winter with barely a day of sunshine, or if there’s any sunshine it’s usually too mild to burn you, most of us pack away our sunscreen until summer rolls around again.
The harmful UVB rays that burn our skin during summer are locked out behind the clouds most days, unable to reach us.What can still reach us through the clouds, through windows, and even through our clothing however is UVA rays.
In the same way that you may have heard that you can’t get a sunburn through glass, yet are still able to see light pass through it, certain wavelengths can pass through some substances, yet not through others.
In the case of glass, lightwaves and UVA rays with their longer wavelengths are able to pass through, whilst UVB rays cannot.
Whilst you won’t be suffering skin burns and discoloration during winter that UVB rays cause, you’ll still be receiving the damage from UVA rays.
It’s the UVA rays that penetrate deep down into your skin causing the appearance of premature aging and wrinkles.
So to prevent sun skin damage during winter, it might be worthwhile to keep applying sunscreen throughout winter.
The type of sunscreen matters however.
Some sunscreens only protect against UVB rays, so check the label to make sure UVA protection is included, or a sunscreen labelled ‘broad spectrum’ which covers both UVA & UVB ray protection.
If you’re not spending much time outdoors during winter however, it may be best just to skip the sunscreen as you’ll be missing out on Vitamin D- a Vitamin that roughly one third of us is deficient in.