Once the temperature starts to drop and the days get shorter, you may feel as though there’s no need to apply sunscreen during the winter months. What if we told you that it’s more important to wear sunscreen when you’re outside in winter, even its overcast!
Here Are 5 Excellent Reasons To Use Sunscreen During Winter:
Snow Reflection: If you’re heading up into the alpine this winter, just remember that snow can reflect up to 90% of the sun’s UV rays. That’s almost double the sunlight you would normally be exposed to. Plus the angle it’s reflected at can scorch parts of your face and body that don’t normally see the sun, such as your nostrils, under your chin, etc.
UV Radiation: Just like in the summer, we recommend you wear sunscreen on overcast days too. UVB levels can be reduced by cloud cover but UVA exposure exists all year long regardless. Don’t be complacent just because the suns light is blocked by clouds.
Ozone Layer: The Ozone layer is great at absorbing much of the dangerous light from the sun, but its thickness is much lower at the start of winter than at the start of summer. This leads to less natural protection, and more exposure to UV rays for your skin.
Altitude: A lot of popular winter hobbies such as snowboarding & skiing are performed high up in alpine environments. It’s important to know that higher altitude climates contain less of the Earth’s atmosphere to block UV rays so you’re exposed to higher UV levels which equals more danger for your skin. How much higher is the UV exposure you ask? It's roughly about a 4% increase in UV exposure for every 300m in elevation. Most New Zealand snow resorts sit between 1400m – 2000m, which means at this elevation you will be exposed to 18% - 27% more harmful UV light!
Harsh Elements: Frigid temperatures mixed with cold wind can be brutal on your skin, especially your lips. It’s vital you keep protect yourself by using a duo of both sunscreen and an SPF lip balm. The cold, harsh winter weather dries out your lips and they start to crack. Lip balms stop this firstly by rehydrating them, while also providing a protective layer over them. Lip balms with an SPF rating are the best as they will help eliminate sunburnt lips too.
What To Look For When Choosing Suncreen For Winter:
UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum Protection: As mentioned earlier, increased cloud cover and cooler temps can fool you into thinking sunscreen isn’t needed during winter, but with cloud only filtering some of the UV light, and the snow reflecting it even more, it’s wise to use a UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin in all weather conditions.
Aloe Based Sunscreen: Not only has Aloe Vera been used by humans for over a thousand years to heal and hydrate skin, but it has the same pH as human skin, so when Aloe Vera is used in a sunscreen or lip balm, it’ able to be absorbed much faster while being non-greasy and has a clean, light feel. Protect and moisturize your skin with an Aloe Vera based sunscreen.
Non-Water Soluble Emulsifier (NWSE)-Won't Run in Your Eyes: Sunscreens that include a NWSE help the sunscreen and it’s most important ingredients stay absorbed in your skin, and not “un-absorb” or demulsify when you start to sweat or get wet. These sunscreens will not bead up, run into and sting your eyes while you are enjoying the outdoors. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than trying to concentrate on the activity at hand when not only can’t you see properly but your eyes are stinging too.
SPF Lip Balm: It’s not hard to forget about your lips but they can be the most exposed to sunlight, cold temps, and harsh winds. Lip Balms with an SPF rating will help to shield your lips from the sun’s harmful rays while leaving them moisturized. And if your lips are suffering from cold sores, cracked lips, or fever blister strikes, we recommend you use a medicated lip balm which will help speed up the recovery process.
If you’re hitting the slopes this winter season, we’ve made it real easy to find and use Aloe Up Sunscreen and Lip Balm so there’s no reason to be showing up to apres ski with a goggle tan. You’ll find plenty of Aloe Up at: Mt Hutt, Coronet Peak, The Remarkables, Ohau, Cardrona and Treble Cone!