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Sunscreen & how it works to protect our skin

Sunscreen shields the skin. It is essential for safeguarding the skin by blocking ultraviolet (UV) radiations of the sun. UVA and UVB are the two forms of UV radiation that harm us. UVA is always present and has the ability to penetrate deeper into the skin. It causes damage to the deeper skin layers, hastening the ageing process and raising the risk of skin cancer. Your skin requires protection year-round since UVA rays are strong all over the year. On the other hand, the strength and time of year of UVB radiation varies. They cause sunburns and skin cancer by harming the skin's outermost layers. On the sunscreen, a label named SPF is mentioned. It is known as the sun protection factor, that is a measure of how well the sunscreen protects against ultraviolet rays. Higher SPF means more protection from the sun rays.
You are exposed to the heat and the sun's damaging rays during the spring and summer, so you can wear sunscreen every day. But should you use sunscreen throughout the winter? The answer is that sunscreen should be worn every day of the year, even during the chilled winter weather. The sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays may not feel as warm or intense on your skin during the winter time but it continues to tear down the skin cells at a very fast rate resulting in a condition called photoaging. This will make you appear older than you are by hastening the development of wrinkles, sunspots, fine lines and discolouration. A sunscreen product blocks UV photons before they can harm the skin by acting like a very thin bulletproof vest. It has both inorganic and organic pigments. Inorganic molecules absorb, scatter, and reflect UV whereas organic sunscreen molecules absorb UV.
This winter, you can protect your skin as much as you can by:
  • Applying sunscreen on your exposed skin and even on your lips.
  • Wearing sunscreen 20 minutes before going outside.
  • Reapply sunscreen again at least every two hours.

Why You Should Wear Sunscreen in Winter

It's a big mistake to forgo sunscreen in the winter even if the sun rays might not feel as strong. No matter the weather, you ought to always use sunscreen. Here are some reasons why using it in the winter is extremely crucial:

Thin ozone in winters

The ozone layer is at its thinnest during the winter. This inevitably means that during this season, the ozone layer will absorb fewer ultraviolet (UV) rays and your risk of UV exposure will significantly rise. Therefore, your best defence against UV exposure throughout the winter is a sunscreen with a high SPF.

Anti- ageing benefits

The harsh winter climate makes your skin dry and dull. Your skin's collagen and elastin are harmed by UV rays, which accelerates the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It is therefore strongly advised that you apply sunscreen as it shows anti- ageing properties.

UV radiation is also caused by indoor lights

In winter months sun exposure may be lower and entails a larger reliance on electric lighting. However, the UV rays are also emitted by ambient, blue, and infrared lights. Increased UV exposure can also harm skin and raise the chance of developing skin cancer. Therefore, even if you are inside during the winter, it is crucial to use sunscreen.

Snow reflect sunlight causing sunburn

Higher the sea level, the greater the risk of UV radiation. Every thousand feet above sea level, UV radiation has been observed to increase by 5%. Even in the winters, you are at major risk of getting a sunburn due to the reason that snow actually reflects sunlight back at you. If you're in the mountains, remember to reapply sunscreen frequently.

Sunscreen loses its effectiveness more quickly in the winter

Sunscreen will wash off more quickly if you sweat in the summer heat, swim, or spend time on a sandy beach. As a result, you must frequently reapply. Many individuals are unaware that the harsh winter temperatures will also quickly decrease sunscreen's effectiveness. The effect of sunscreen reduces by wind, snow, sleet, and even the cold temperatures, so you should reapply often for maximum protection.

How To Choose The Right Sunscreen for Winter?

When including sunscreen in your daily skin care regime, factors to take into consideration are as follows:

Broad spectrum

Skin cancer and sunburn are both brought on by UVB radiation. In addition to this, photoaging and early skin ageing is caused by UVA rays. If your sunscreen is only protecting against one of the rays you are not getting full protection. Always look for broad spectrum sunscreen that gives protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Water resistant

Choose water resistant sunscreen so that it protects you from the harsh wind and rain. Also, wear it during swimming or other physical activities involving sweating. There are some sunscreens that are extra resistant to water so they last more.

SPF 30 or higher

In the winters, it's crucial to choose a high level of protection because UVA radiation can still cause sunburn even when there are clouds in the sky. Applying a sunscreen with SPF less than 30 will provide insufficient coverage. Therefore always choose sunscreen with SPF 30 or more than that.
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Sunscreen made from natural ingredients

Zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide are the two most common natural components used to make mineral or physical sunscreen. In order to deflect the sun's UV rays away from your skin, these sunscreens serve as a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. These types of sunscreens are more durable and stay on the skin for longer.

Moisturising formula

The winter months require you to give your skin more nourishment and hydration because of the harsh climatic conditions. Using sunscreen having hydration properties is a good option.
Based on your skin type, you can choose the sunscreen that suits your skin. Here are the top picks of active ingredients in the sunscreen for different skin types:

Sensitive skin

As sunscreen frequently contains chemicals, use products that are fragrance-free, have no parabens, and have minimal irritants. Mineral sunscreens and sunscreen containing niacinamide & hyaluronic acid as their active ingredients are usually beneficial as they will ease the sensitivity of your skin.

Dry skin

For individuals having dry skin, sunscreens containing glycerin, ceramides and hyaluronic acid are preferred. These ingredients will also help the skin to retain moisture and also protect against harmful UV rays
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Oily skin

People with oily skin type can prefer a chemical based sunscreen that provides a non- oily look to their appearance.
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Acne- prone skin

For individuals having acne- prone skin, use light weight products having niacinamide as an active ingredient and are non-comedogenic in nature. This is because the thicker products can cause clogged pores and thus results in acne.

Product to Protect Your Skin From The Sun

Everyone should apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30, which blocks around 97% of harmful UV radiation and protects against both UVA and UVB rays. For instance, if you participate in winter sports or spend a lot of time outside during the cooler months, you need sunscreen that is sweat and water-resistant. For the best defence against reflected rays while you're at higher elevations, like a ski resort, seek sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or greater.
An individual should always use sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun. exposure from the sun can lead to hyperpigmentation and premature ageing. Kosmoderma Photo Protect Sunscreen Gel with SPF 40 is a good choice. The formulation for this sunscreen is light and is simple to apply. All skin types can use it because it is non-sticky and non-oily. A broad spectrum sunscreen gel that provides protection from both the UV rays and blue light. The gel creates a substantial layer of long-lasting sun protection. It is a non-comedogenic product that ensures a matte finish and is light and clean. The gel's vitamin C antioxidant gives skin time to recover from free radical damage.
It contains propylene glycol and ascorbic acid as active ingredients. The former one usually works as an emollient that creates a layer on the skin. This will not only prevent harmful rays from penetrating the skin but will also help in holding moisture content. This will result in healthy and smooth skin. The ascorbic acid (vitamin C) increases sunscreen buildup on the skin's surface by boosting effectiveness and shielding skin from photo-damage.

Conclusion

It's winter, so slather on that sunscreen and use it to keep your skin radiant. The sunscreen that best suits your particular needs will, nevertheless, be the greatest option for you this winter. With the aforementioned suggestions in the blog, you can enjoy a winter with skin that is healthy, happy, and hydrated. To help you protect your skin all year long, make sure to get a broad-spectrum, water-resistant, mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. Make sure to apply every morning before you go outside. This will not only protect your skin from UV rays but will also keep your skin healthy and flawless.

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