Yes, You Need To Wear SPF In Winter. Here Are 7 Of The Best

Jacqueline Kilikita

From how to use hyaluronic acid for the best results to the right way to cleanse your skin, busting beauty myths is what we do best. There's one misconception in particular which continues to do the rounds every year – ditching sunscreen in winter – and it could be putting your skin at risk.

In the summer months, applying sunscreen is a must, as we're more exposed to both UVA (rays which cause things like fine lines, wrinkles and  pigmentation) and UVB (responsible for  sunburn and  skin cancer). Come winter, however, most of us put aside our trusty SPF in favour of a moisturiser sans protection. Yet while it may be much colder and cloudier, the rays are still there. And that's a problem.

"Everyone is aware to apply a generous amount of sunscreen during the soaring temperatures, but many believe that the winter sun is harmless," says Patricia
Boland, lead product developer at Colorescience. "Although there is a slight seasonal decrease in UVB rays, UVA rays which cause skin ageing and dark spots are still apparent and can be a real danger to your skin if not protected."

Consultant dermatologist, Dr Anjali Mahto advises: "At the risk of sounding like a broken record, incorporating  SPF into your morning skincare routine is just as important in the winter months as it is in the summer. Especially if you’re using peels or exfoliators containing acids." The same goes for ingredients like retinol, as they can make your skin ultra sensitive to UV. 

Unfortunately, research shows that moisturiser containing sunscreen isn't as efficient at shielding the skin as a dedicated sunscreen. The good news is that most sunscreen formulas are already suspended in a moisturising base, so you don't have to compromise when it comes to moisture and hydration.

Click through to find a sunscreen that protects and caters to your winter skin needs.

The bottle may be small but the formula inside is mighty. It moisturises deeply without clogging pores and leaves behind a dewy glow (perfect if parched skin is your winter beauty bugbear), while SPF 50 protects against both UVA and UVB.

Rituals SPF Drops, $, available at Rituals
If your skin is susceptible to shine, even when it's cold, reach for this stuff. A 1p-sized dollop keeps areas prone to oiliness (the nose, forehead and chin especially) free from shine for longer than other formulas or simple moisturisers. Most importantly, it provides broad spectrum protection, so shields against UVA and UVB.

Murad Oil And Pore Control Mattifier SPF 45 PA ++++, $, available at John Lewis
Ultrasun's SPF 30 substitutes pore-clogging oils for other, better moisturising ingredients like squalane and ectoin, which both make skin dewy, not slippery.

Ultrasun Face SPF30, $, available at Space NK
Loved by a handful of top UK dermatologists including Dr Mahto, this gel-cream formula deflects UVA, UVB, infrared and visible light. At first it feels a little tacky, but it dries in moments and becomes like a second skin. Even better, it acts like velcro under makeup and keeps concealer and foundation in place for longer.

Heliocare 360 Gel Oil-Free SPF 50, $, available at Dermacare Direct
Zinc oxide is the star ingredient in this product. It provides a mineral SPF of 50 which works to block and mop up UVA and UVB rays. The addition of hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates, instantly minimising that tight, uncomfortable feel which is synonymous with winter skin.

The Inkey List Zinc Oxide Cream Moisturiser, $, available at FeelUnique
This beauty editor-approved gel-cream hybrid boasts SPF 30 and suits those with combination skin, which can get oily around the T-zone but is also prone to the odd dry area. It absorbs quickly without leaving behind a trace and sits perfectly under foundation.

Glossier Invisible Shield, $, available at Glossier
This is a mineral SPF powder, so it absorbs and reflects UV light off the skin when dusted on liberally. The handy brush applicator makes it very easy to top up during the day, which experts argue we should be doing regularly.

Colorescience Sunforgettable Total Protection Brush-On Shield SPF 50, $, available at Face The Future

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

Every Question You've Ever Had About SPF, Answered

9 Of The Smartest Skincare Tips For 2020

This At-Home Facial Has Transformed My Winter Skin