Do we really need to wear SPF in Winter?
As temperatures get chillier, your first impulse may be to put your favourite SPF back in in the bathroom cupboard until next Spring as lots of people question if SPF is really necessary during the Winter months. But as Dr Ophelia and any dermatologist will tell you, “Protecting the skin from damaging UVA and UVB is a year long commitment.”
“In the winter, we get more sun exposure than we expect,” says Dr Ophelia. “Sunlight penetrates through grey clouds and comes through windows – whether you’re in an office or at the wheel of a car. So protecting your skin with SPF is crucial all year round to help prevent sun induced photo ageing or long term damage that may lead to skin cancer.”
And don’t forget using a SPF with a great consistency that suits your skin can double up as your moisturiser. You definitely do not need a separate moisturiser providing the SPF you’re using is doing a good job of this too. One of Dr Ophelia’s favourites is the Skinceuticals Brightening UV Defence SPF30, which has a light consistency but is really hydrating (and is also great under makeup too as it doesn’t pill like a lot of other SPF’s can do when makeup is applied on top).
Another reason not to forget about SPF during the winter months is if you’re using a product that contains Tretinoin in the evening, as this will make your skin more sensitive to UV rays during the day.
As a general rule, Dr Ophelia suggests her patients wear an SPF 30 during the winter and an SPF 50 during the summer. But of course if you’re escaping to the snow capped mountains for a ski holiday be it a weekend away or half term – the extra altitude, the reflection of the sun off the snow, and the number of hours you’re likely to be outside makes it necessary to up the SPF to at least SPF50.