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The World Health Organization's Ultraviolet Radiation Index (UVI) classifies UV radiation from 0 (low) to +11 (high). When this scale is 3 and above, it is necessary to be protected from the sun's rays. While enjoying the sunny weather in spring and summer, many people use sunscreen to protect themselves from UVA and UVB rays, but they neglect this important step of skin care when it gets colder. However, in the winter months, the UV index continues to rise above 3 in many regions. Therefore, it is necessary to use sunscreen not only in spring and summer but also in winter. So, are you ready to discover the importance of using sunscreen in winter?
Although UVB rays are seen intensely in summer, they do not disappear in winter. In addition, the risk of exposure to UVB rays is much more intense on surfaces such as ice and snow, which reflect light and heat by 80%, and in high-altitude areas. Nearly double exposure to the sun's rays due to reflections can also significantly increase the risk of skin damage and skin cancer.
In addition to UVB rays, we are also exposed to UVA rays throughout the year. Although it does not cause sunburn, UVA rays, which can cause rapid progression of types of skin cancer such as melanoma, can easily pass through surfaces such as glass. Therefore, even when you prefer to get in your car or watch the outside from your window instead of walking, it is not possible to avoid UVA rays unless you use sunscreen.
UV rays damage the collagen and elastin in your skin, causing fine lines and wrinkles to increase. Since these rays can easily penetrate your skin during the winter months, it is important to use sunscreen as an anti-aging method. Because quality sunscreens allow you to have younger and more vibrant-looking skin.
During the winter, your skin barrier becomes more vulnerable due to environmental changes because it cannot always cope with the cold winds of the winter months and temperatures falling below 0 °C. Your skin can become dry, irritated, and red more easily in the winter. That's why it's so important to include sunscreen in your skincare routine. Sunscreen moisturizes the skin while protecting it. It also prevents the formation of redness and pigmentation caused by harmful UV rays on your skin.
People living in the northern hemisphere are closer to the sun during the winter months. In other words, even though the weather is cold, you may be more affected by the sun's rays due to this proximity. Moreover, the ozone layer becomes thinner during the winter months, and therefore this layer that protects the world weakens. This means more exposure to UV rays. Therefore, it is necessary to take precautions to protect your skin from the sun during the winter months.
As we mentioned before, UVB rays do not become ineffective during the winter months. UVB rays are behind sun-induced skin burns. Therefore, there is a risk of getting burned in the winter months. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from sunburn by regularly using sunscreen with a high SPF. At this point, you can make sure that the SPF ratio of the sunscreen you will use is at least 30. You can benefit from the moisturizing effect of these products by choosing mineral-based sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium oxide. In addition, you can get the maximum benefit from moisturizing sunscreens that contain water-retaining components such as glycerin, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and glycol.
Although the intensity of sun rays, swimming, sweating, and sunbathing in summer may remind you to refresh your sunscreen, thick clothes in winter may make you forget this necessity. However, all factors such as wind, snow, sleet, and low temperatures reduce the effectiveness of sunscreen. Therefore, you should reapply sunscreen every two hours during the winter months. Thus, you can protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun while doing winter sports and doing your daily work.