Winter: Sunscreen Is A Must

We might not have much hope for a white Christmas in Hyderabad, but we do have the non-summer - that time of the year when there’s a little bit of a nip in the air, when it’s tempting to curl up and hit that snooze button because it’s just so cosy under the blanket. One of the downsides to this time of year, unfortunately, is dry skin. It’s time to do more than just air out the blankets; better get out the entire arsenal of winter skincare products: the body butter, moisturizers and skin softeners. But there’s something else you can’t afford to forget, even if the sun doesn’t seem as punishing as usual, and that’s sunblock. Protection against the sun during winter is as important as it is during the hotter months. After all, the harmful UV rays don’t fly south for the winter!

It’s difficult to forget about protecting your skin from the sun during the summer months. But we must remember that it can be equally harmful when the weather turns cooler. A good sunblock is as important as the perfect moisturiser. So, it’s very important to understand what exactly your skin needs during the cold(ish) months ahead.

So, what exactly does daily winter sun protection mean?

  • The most important step in proper skin care is to first establish what your skin type is. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to choose a sunscreen/sunblock that is specifically meant for sensitive skin. Keep in mind that you might be more prone to sunburn.
  • Use a sun block with an SPF of15 or higher. A weak sunblock does not provide the right amount of protection. So, before picking it up, carefully check if it has the right level of SPF to do your skin justice.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen along with your moisturiser. Don’t get fooled by the dry weather, which begs for extra moisture!
  • Apply sunblock well before you leave the indoors. It takes a little time for the lotion to actually get under your skin (no pun intended!) and be most effective.
  • Even when indoors, it is just about impossible to stay away from the sun (explains why vampires stay indoors with the curtains drawn, doesn’t it?!). But since you must enjoy nice views and fresh air, even while safely tucked away inside, do not forget sun protection.
  • Don’t forget to apply a thin layer of sunscreen under your lip colour. A simple lip balm or gloss might prevent cracking, but a sunblock will reduce the slight tan your lovely pout might get.
  • One does tend to wear an extra layer of clothes in winter; it is important to keep your skin covered even during daytime hours. So wear long-sleeved clothes which will add to your armour.
  • Don’t put those wide-brimmed hats away for the season. Donning a hat during the day is not only fashionable (it does match the winter attire), but it helps protect your ears and provides some additional cover for your face, eyes and neck.
  • Given the chance, stay away from the sun during the late morning hours until early evening (10 am - 4 pm). It might not be as scorching as a hot summer afternoon, but there is a chance of skin damage. And with the days getting shorter, try to restrict your outdoor activities to the early morning or evenings.
  • If you’re the adventurous type and want to head out to the even colder mountains to ski instead of lazing on a sunny beach, do remember that you’ll need more protection against the skin here than at a lower altitude. Ice and snow reflect the sun, and that can be doubly dangerous!
  • There’s plenty to choose from when it comes to skincare products. Try picking up a good moisturiser which does the extra job of protecting you from the sun. You can even pick up a lip balm which offers you this added service. You not only save time in the morning before rushing out, but these two-solutions-in-one bottles/tubes are easier to fit into the bag.
  • Don’t forget to carry your winter protection with you at all times. Stash these in your bag, your desk or even the glove compartment of your car. You’ll need replenishment sooner than you imagine.

Winter sun does not have to mean hiding, though; bumming out on the beach, skiing down the slopes or just a regular day out, with plenty of protection solutions at hand, it’s your time to shine!    

- Pallavi