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Is sunscreen necessary during winter?

Is sunscreen necessary during winter?

If you’re contemplating skipping sunscreen during the cooler months, consider this: going barefaced is the number one cause of premature ageing. Because, while burning UVB rays  may be less aggressive during winter, photo-ageing UVA rays are undeterred by grey skies and lower temperatures.

A key cause of pigmentation, dullness, wrinkles and loss of firmness, UVA radiation can penetrate glass, cloud and even clothing. Therefore, daily broad-spectrum sun protection is a year-round essential for youthful looking skin.

UVA versus UVB

There are two primary types of UV radiation that affect our skin’s health and appearance: UVA and UVB. Long-wave UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are the primary cause of premature ageing. Short-wave UVB rays, on the other hand, have more impact on the outer layers of the skin, and are typically associated with redness, sunburn and skin cancer. However, UVA is also believed to contribute to some skin cancers.

While winter sun feels less intense and UVB radiation is reduced, that doesn’t mean you’re safe to skip the sunscreen. Any level of UVB radiation can be damaging, and UVA radiation – able to cut through glass and cloud cover – is equally strong in January or June.

UV reflection

Any skier will know that sunburn can still occur during winter. This is for two reasons. Firstly, ice and snow are considerably more reflective than sand, intensifying UV exposure. Secondly, UV radiation intensity increases by around 10–12% for every 1000 metre increase in altitude1.  Therefore, sun protection is equally important whether you’re in the mountains, at the ski field, or on the beach.

Finding the perfect fit…

Despite these factors, many people eschew daily sunscreen wear because they dislike the heavy or oily sensation of some products. Therefore, finding the right sunscreen – one that is comfortable, invisible, and tailored to your skin type – is a crucial first step in your winter skincare regime.

Optimal comfort, as well as the highest level of UV protection, is at the heart of La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios range for sensitive skin. Non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested, all sunscreens can be worn summer through winter, and are available in sheer and tinted formulas to suit differing coverage requirements.

Your winter sunscreen prescription

Sensitive dry skin, in particular, needs extra TLC during winter, when humidity is low and dryness is exacerbated by artificial heating and cold winds. In addition to a rich, high tolerance moisturiser such as Toleriane Ultra, this skin type will benefit from a more nourishing sunscreen formulation. Anthelios XL SPF50+ ULTRA Comfort Cream protects and moisturises drier skin, without clogging pores or leaving any white marks.

Enriched with antioxidant Baicalin, the non-greasy formula is instantly absorbed, helping neutralise free radicals as it soothes dry winter skin. Meanwhile, unique UV filtering system Mexoplex2 helps prevent sun-induced pigmentation (including sun spots), premature ageing, sun intolerance, and long-term skin damage.

For normal to combination sensitive skin, Anthelios XL Ultra Light SPF50+ is an instantly absorbed, non-sticky fluid, formulated with soothing La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water. Or, for oily and acne-prone sensitive skin, Anthelios XL Anti-Shine Dry Touch SPF50+ is La Roche-Posay’s all-year-round mattifying solution. Non-greasy and ultra-comfortable to wear, Dry Touch proactively controls shine, thanks to powerful ‘anti-sweat molecule’, Airlicium.

To shop the Anthelios range and stay sun-smart all year round, visit your local Priceline or Chemist Warehouse. Or visit the website to learn more about La Roche-Posay's SPF range.


Source1: Sunsmart
Source2: Mexoplex is comprised of the following UV filters: DROMETRIZOL TRISILOXANE, ECAMSULE, BEMOTRIZINOL. To view these active ingredient concentrations by product, visit the website.

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