Should You Wear Sunscreen During the Fall and Winter?

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As the weather gets colder, the last thing on our minds is sunscreen. After all, how plausible is it that our skin will become sun damaged when the sun isn’t even out? While it may seem like there is little to no need to keep piling on the sunscreen during certain times of the year, sunscreen is important year-round.

Whether you wear sunscreen during the winter months or can’t remember the last time sun protection was a part of your skin care routine, keep reading to learn more about why sunscreen should be worn all the time.

The Ozone Layer

Here’s a quick science lesson for you. During the winter months, the ozone layer is at its thinnest. The ozone is an important part of the Earth’s atmosphere, protecting us from intense sun rays that can be damaging for our skin. With a thin ozone layer, our skin is less protected and more vulnerable to damage. Wearing sunscreen or sunblock provides extra protection when the o-zone layer does not.


This is especially important for those of you who like to vacation in snowy areas or participate in winter sports such as snowboarding or skiing. In this snowy environments, the risk of windburn is especially high. Windburn occurs when the windy air common in winter environments renders the skin dry and red. Unfortunately, windburn and sunburn often go hand in hand. 

Skin damaged by wind burn is especially vulnerable to sunburn, as dry and irritated skin is perfect for the sun’s rays. If you are vacationing somewhere snowy this upcoming winter, make sure to bring sunscreen with you. Also, you should make sure to bring your favorite moisturizer with you to mitigate the effects of windburn on your skin.

Not Just Sunlight

Countless studies have been done that prove that the sun’s rays are harmful for our skin. But what you may not know is that ambient light may damage our skin as well. This type of light is emitted by computer screens, photo screens, and overhead lamps. If you work in an office and are constantly around technology, it is a good idea to not skimp out on your sunscreen. 

What is the Best Sunscreen to Wear in the Winter? 

Now, to be clear, there is definitely less direct sun rays present during the fall and winter. Because of this, you are still protected from sun damage if you wear sunscreen with a lower SPF than the sunscreen you would normally wear during the summer season. However, you wearing sunscreen with high levels of SPF will afford your skin additional protection. Those of you living in an area that doesn’t really experience a traditional winter season may find that higher levels of SPF are best for your needs. 

In any case, the best thing for you to do is to reach out to your dermatologist. He or she likely has some recommendations on how to keep your skin safe during any time of the year. 

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