The 7 Best Winter Sunscreens
When the days get shorter and sunshine seems scarce, cold weather and even snow may tempt you to apply a layer of moisturizer and skip what's arguably the most important skin care step of all: sunscreen. But incorporating one of the best winter sunscreens into your skincare routine is as crucial as it is before a summer day spent at the beach. You need SPF every day of the year, even when the forecast calls for a blizzard — actually, this rule goes double for when snow is on the horizon, as snow reflects UV radiation like nobody's business.
Whether you prefer applying a separate sunscreen with broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection over your favorite moisturizer or find moisturizers with SPF already in their formula to be most convenient, remembering to apply sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher in the wintertime will help prevent free radical formation, damage to your DNA, and skin cancer.
And, even though we associate summer activities — like swimming and sweating every second of the day — with the ability to erode sunscreen faster than usual, winter's harsh winds and snowfall also do a number on sunscreen. In other words: carry your bottle around if you'll be outside and be sure to reapply it every few hours to make sure your skin is protected.
These seven incredible sunscreens for winter will ensure your skin is protected from now until those spring flowers pop up once again.
1. A Fast-Absorbing, Oil-Free Sunscreen With SPF 60
There's no way to assemble a list of great facial sunscreens without including this modern classic. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Face Sunscreen with SPF 60 is a water-resistant formula designed without fragrances, parabens, and other irritating chemicals — making it an ideal choice for sensitive skin types. It's 100 percent free of oils and absorbs in seconds, which also solidifies it as a top choice for normal to oily and acne-prone skin. And, if all of that hasn't sold you, there's this: It's formulated with antioxidants that will keep your skin healthy and radiant while protecting it from UVA and UVB rays.
2. The Ultimate Moisture-Boosting Sunscreen For Dry Skin
Aloe vera extract is the key ingredient in this sunscreen with SPF 50, which is designed for anyone with a dry or flaky complexion. In addition to protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays, it relies on a mixture of botanicals that help your skin form a moisture-retaining barrier to keep it soft, hydrated, and smooth. While this sunscreen isn't greasy, it also is not mattifying — if you have dry, normal, or sensitive skin it will feel luxurious, but it might be a little too thick for oily skin types.
3. A Sport Sunscreen That's Water Resistant Up To 80 Minutes
A top choice by many dermatologists, this sport formula sunscreen is oil-free an water-resistant up to 80 minutes. So go on and wear it while skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, or just walking 10 blocks to work in a blizzard — it won't wear off. This sunscreen doesn't clog pores, leave a white residue, or cause your eyes to sting or tear.
4. A Gel Sunscreen Infused With Soothing Oils & Plant Extracts
This gel sunscreen contains SFP 40 and UVA/UVB protection, but its hydrating benefits are as impressive. Soothing rosehip seed oil, sunflower, camellia seed oil, and Vitamin E repair dry and damaged skin, restore moisture, and prevent free radical damage. So, while it's lightweight enough to absorb within seconds, it leaves you with smoother skin that's protected from UV rays.
5. A Sunscreen That Calms Irritated Winter Skin With Olive Extracts
The latest and greatest facial sunscreens, including this SPF 40 by Supergoop!, address common skin concerns that affect many people with sensitive skin, which is already prone to irritation from using most sunscreens. Combining a powerful blend of olive oil polyphenols and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, this sunscreen calms redness and inflammation in sensitive skin and can actually help even out skin tone. It's hypoallergenic and won't cause breakouts in oilier complexions.
6. A Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen That's Great For All Skin Types
A sunscreen that's ideal for all skin types, this SPF 50 is oil-free, lightweight, and will absorb in seconds, but it's also going to leave behind a special gift: three essential ceramides that restore and retain moisture, as well as niacinamide to brighten and improve skin texture. It's water-resistant up to 40 minutes and reviewers say this effectively protects against sunburn while still making it feel like your skin is "breathing." Because it only contains mineral sunscreens, it's a great option for even the most sensitive skin.
7. A Lightweight SPF 50 That Doubles As A Mattifying Primer
So much more than your average sunscreen, this essence with SPF 50 offers a breathable, lightweight layer of moisturizing protection that won't leave that dreaded white sunscreen cast on your skin. It has the consistency of a gel and actually doubles as a face primer that preps your skin for foundation or BB cream, according to reviewers.
If you have oily skin, you might even be able to get away with wearing this sunscreen without moisturizer beneath. This product won't cause breakouts, doesn't feel "goopy," and may actually make you look forward to applying sunscreen each morning.
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