Do You Have To Wear Sunscreen In Winter?

by Lindsey Rose Black

With lower temperatures, shorter days, and gray clouds rolling in, you might think the sun is officially forgetting to do its job. In fact, you could even be eyeing your SPF and asking the Internet, "Do you have to wear sunscreen in winter at all?" Thanks to sneaky UV rays, the answer is most definitely yes!

I’m going to assume you already understand the importance of wearing sunscreen in the summer, and that habit should absolutely carry over into other seasons as well. Dr. Janet H Prystowsky, MD, explains, "UV rays that cause sun damage and age your skin are out year-round. They get weaker in the winter because the sunburning rays (UVB) do not get through the ozone layer as well, but the photoaging rays (UVA) continue to come through and also go through glass if you have windows." Prystowsky continues, "Working outside, sitting by your office window, and spending time outdoors will expose you to UV radiation." Hear that, folks? Just because it's not sunny doesn't keep you safe from the UVA rays.

Now that you know you have to wear sunscreen in the winter, you should also remember to adjust your sunscreen level based on your amount of exposure. Take extra care if you're a winter sports fan. Dr. Prystowsky shares how the "high altitude and reflection from snow greatly magnifies the ultraviolet that does come through the atmosphere." She even adds, "Depending on where you are and what you do, you may want to wear just as much sunscreen as you do during the summer."

Whether you're hitting the slopes or hiding by a heater, treat your skin extra well this winter. Prepare to fall in love with these sunscreens that also provide serious moisture to keep your skin from drying out. Once you get used to putting them on, you won't even think twice about it again!

1. Forever Young Body Butter

(Supergoop! Forever Young Body Butter with Sea Buckthorn, $34.00,

Rich and creamy, this butter moisturizes dry skin, improves skin texture and tone, and is SPF 40. Slather it all over your body!

2. Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion

(Tarteguard 30, $12, Sephora)

This lightweight formula is one of my top picks under makeup. It's infused with things like maracuja, red algae, soybean, apple, and honeysuckle extracts to moisturize and brighten skin.

3. Age Shield Face Lotion

(Age Shield Face Lotion, $12.99, Neutrogena)

Did you even know that they made sunscreen with broad spectrum SPF 110? This sunscreen features Helioplex technology and is perfect for those that will be out in the snow all day, every day. Just don't forget to reapply!

4. Trilipiderm Broad Spectrum SPF

(trilipiderm® Broad Spectrum SPF 30 3oz. Tube, $17.95,

Throw this tiny tube into your purse so you'll have it wherever you go and can reapply it on the go. It doesn't have a weird smell and it's made with a bunch of good-for-you ingredients like meadowfoam, olive, chamomile, calendula, and jojoba.

Image Credit: Lisa Liza/Pixabay; Andrea Allen/Flickr; Courtesy of Brands