I was at a big box grocery store the other day and happened to walk past the section of the store devoted to seasonal items. You know, in the spring they have fake flowers, fall decor during Thanksgiving and beach towels and sunscreen during the summer. This particular time it was loaded with cheap Christmas decor.
I was looking for sunscreen for an upcoming ski trip and after a few minutes felt like I was searching for lost treasure within the concrete walls of this shopping hell.
Once I located the sunscreen, I was immediately discouraged by the lack of available products, especially when I compared it to what I had seen in that very store not 4 months ago.
I realized that the extreme lack of sunscreen choices was evidence of the fact that there are probably very few sunscreen sales from November to March in most stores.
The fact that we are only applying sunscreen during the summer months is quite alarming. There is a severe misunderstanding about UV rays, their danger, and the importance of wearing sunscreen on a daily basis.
Regardless of the weather, if there is light outside from the sun, your skin is aging from the sun’s UV rays. Wearing sunscreen with a good SPF everyday is very important – especially in the winter when there is snow on the ground and the sun it out with no clouds. You may have noticed how sometimes the brightness on a clear winter day is almost blinding? The white snow often acts as a type of reflector, intensifying the glow of the sun as well as the power of UV rays.
This is why so many people get sunburns while skiing or snowboarding…when it is ten degrees outside of all times. A lot of people, even some I know, refuse to believe that they will get a sunburn while playing outside in the snow. I smile while wondering how silly they will look with a sunburn on just the parts of their face not covered by goggles or sunglasses.
So many people believe that during times of bad weather, especially in the winter, that applying sunscreen will block their skin from pulling in the natural vitamin D they need. Honestly, they are right about the need for vitamin d, especially in months where sunshine occurs less frequently. They fail to realize that our face is not the only area of skin capable of pulling in that needed vitamin d. Any other skin that is exposed, like the tops of our hands will do just fine. It is more important to apply sunscreen and protect your face than it is to bask in that vitamin d.
Applying sunscreen should follow the same rules you adhere to in the summer months – apply the sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside, then apply every 90-120 minutes thereafter so you do not get burned. If you skin gets wet a lot, reapply every 60-90 minutes. While you are applying each day and re-applying, be sure to get all of your neck, ears, and even the tops of your hands. The goal should be to protect all of your skin equally rather than selectively.
Finally, with winter in full swing, you may want to consider carrying a moisturizing lotion that contains SPF. Winter weather is notorious for drying out your skin, so applying moisturizing lotion with SPF will kill two birds with one stone for you. One skincare representative from Fleuresse shared her expert tip of carrying a small travel size container of both moisturizer with SPF as well as lip balm with SPF when she hits the slopes.
With that, stay warm and enjoy your hydrated & protected skin this winter.