Bundling up to head outdoors this time of year can be a real chore. Heavy coat, bulky boots, hat, scarf, gloves—all of it absolutely necessary to protect your precious parts from the freezing cold and whipping winds of winter. But there’s one accessory many of us forget, even though it takes just a few seconds to put on and keeps us safe no matter what the weather.
Every time you leave home, snow or shine, be sure you’re wearing sunscreen. It may be 10 below and flurrying, but behind those clouds lurks enemy number one to your wrinkle-free face.
The sun emits harmful UV rays whether you can see it or not, with 80 percent of the damaging type able to shoot right through that overcast sky. It’s also no less forgiving when you’re shivering on the slopes than it was a few seasons back as you lounged on the beach. In fact, a blanket of bright white snow reflects the sun’s rays, nearly doubling their UV strength. This puts you at risk not only for skin damage but for painful, red sunburn—not quite the look most ski bunnies are going for.
If slathering on thick, coconut-scented lotion to shovel the sidewalk doesn’t feel right, you’re onto something! Those heavy-duty, high-SPF sunscreens that live in your beach bag all summer are ideal for total-body coverage. During the winter months, you want a formula that’s more face friendly—lightweight, with a sun protection factor of at least 15 and a built-in moisturizer to prevent cold-weather dryness.
Here are some of my top winter sunscreen picks:
Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+. With a feather-light, completely non-greasy feel, this all-natural sunscreen absorbs quickly and won’t clog poes, as it was designed specifically for those sensitive to breakouts. It offers full-spectrum UVA/UVB protection, plus a nourishing moisturizer to keep skin smooth and soft. Wear it alone or apply under makeup.
Alba Botanica™ Very Emollient Sunblock Facial SPF 30. Is your skin easily irritated? This hypoallergenic sunscreen is extra gentle and perfect for daily wear. Paraben and fragrance free, it also provides full-spectrum UVA and UVB protection with added herbal extracts such as chamomile, calendula and aloe vera to soothe and comfort sensitive skin.
Kiss My Face Face Factor™ SPF 30. Whether you’re skiing, sledding or braving a blizzard to pick up your dry cleaning, Face Factor is the sunscreen you want when wet snow is in the forecast. It’s water resistant in addition to being paraben free and fortified with powerful, wrinkle-fighting antioxidants including green tea, vitamin C and alpha lipoic acid.
Yes To Inc. Yes To Carrots Lip Butter SPF 15. Your lips need love, too! If you’re already using lip balm to combat chapping, why not choose one with added sun protection? This creamy lip butter from Yes To Inc. offers a SPF of 15 and lip-smacking Sweet Fig flavor.
The Beauty Boss is written by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and antiaging tips and trends. Have a beauty question or want to suggest a product for Vitacost.com to carry? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.