Sunscreen? In winter? Here’s why you still need it

SUNSCREEN is always associated with hot sunny days on the beach or playing sport.  But did you know that the sun rays during winter are just as deadly? Faridah Wu checks out why you should be careful of sunburn even in winter.

Your all year round protector. Photo: Kerri Lee Smith via Flickr.

Your all year round protector. Photo: Kerri Lee Smith via Flickr.


Fiddling around with sunscreen is always an annoying experience. It’s greasy and it leaves a mess. And when I try to wash my hands after, it never comes off. Unless I’m splashing around in the Gold Coast, why should I need sunscreen?

We’ve all heard how dangerous the sun can be to our skin. While you might think that you’re safe during the winter bundled up in thick coats and scarves, your face and hands are still exposed to the sun.

And don’t be fooled if you’re shivering more than sweating. Sunsmart manager Sue Heward warns that it’s not the heat from the sun, but the ultraviolet (UV) rays that damage our skin. You’re still vulnerable to the sunburn, skin or eye damage that can lead to skin cancer even in winter. And if that doesn’t scare you, UV rays can also cause wrinkles and premature ageing.

If you’re one of the lucky few people who are headed to the snowy peaks for winter sports or just to hang out (lucky you!), you have to be even more careful. White snow makes for a beautiful scenery but it can reflect up to 90 per cent UV radiation. While mountain air can be refreshing, the clean air also lets UV rays penetrate everything more easily.

So don’t forget to pack the sunscreen wherever you go. Sunscreen with SPF30+ is good enough to go about your day, but up it to SPF50+ if you’re going to be outdoors for some time. sunscreen 1

This Banana Boat sunscreen, $10.99 from Priceline, is great for everyday use. It’s also small enough to pop in your bag and get you from class to coffee.

Don’t forget to reapply every two hours, and put on lip balm with SPF15+ at least. Some moisturisers, foundations and BB creams also contain SPF15+, which makes them extra convenient.

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If you’re like me and find it tedious to smear on sunscreen, get spray-on sunscreen like this Neutrogena Wet Skin, $14.99 from Priceline. The nozzle makes it easy to apply onto your skin and even works on both wet and dry skin.

Wearing accessories like sunglasses and headgear like hoods and beanies also help to protect you. After all, sunglasses and and caps can make you look cool, but sunburn is never a good look.


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