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Why You Still Need to Wear Sunscreen in the Winter

You may think that sunscreen is only necessary in the summer when you are laying by the pool soaking up the sun’s rays. It is actually a year-round necessity that should be incorporated into your routine each time you plan to go outside. Here’s why:

UV Rays Penetrate Clouds

Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate through those thick overcast clouds in the winter. There are two types of UV rays that affect us, one of them being UVA rays that are always present, even in the winter. They can penetrate through clouds, glass, and deeper into the skin. These rays damage deeper skin layers, resulting in premature aging and increased risk of cancer. UVB rays, however, vary in intensity and are greater on sunny summer days. These rays often result in sunburn and skin cancer. Protect your skin year-round by always wearing sunscreen.


The harsh weather that arises in the winter is very hard on the skin. One excellent benefit of sunscreen is that it has proven anti-aging properties. A study in 2013 followed 900 participants for four years; some were told to use sunscreen daily, while others were given no direction on when to use sunscreen. Those who used sunscreen daily were 24% less likely to show increased signs of aging. It is never too late to start wearing sunscreen to protect your skin.

Reapply Regardless of Season

People are usually more likely to remember to reapply their sunscreen in the summer because they know that their sweat or the water in the pool has washed it away. Did you know that the winter’s harsh conditions wipe off your sunscreen even faster? It also reduces its effectiveness, so applying just once won’t protect you all day. Reapply every two hours and immediately after sweating. 

Skin Cancer

The sun can cause skin cancer at any time, not just on bright, sunny days. You are still at risk of skin cancer during the winter. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends generously applying a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher whenever you are going to be outside, even on cloudy days. Broad-spectrum sunscreen provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Premier Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery

For the past three decades, Premier Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery has been Delaware’s practice of choice in skin and aesthetic services. Our goal is to address all of your skincare needs under one roof by integrating medical, cosmetic, surgical and aesthetic expertise with the highest standards of care and compassion. We are able to provide a comprehensive approach utilizing our different but complementary training backgrounds, philosophies, and techniques, to achieve premier results. Our dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians work collaboratively to integrate treatment plans that help you look and feel your best. Contact us today!


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