Burns, photoaging, skin cancer… The sun's rays and not wearing sunscreen can be the cause of numerous health concerns. To protect yourself from these harmful effects, we advise you to protect your skin by applying an appropriate sun protection. However, many people wonder if they should use SPF products all year round and what happens if they don’t wear sunscreen in the winter. Here's our advice.
Should You Wear SPF All Year Round?
- What Is SPF?
- Is It a Good Idea to Use SPF Every Day of the Year?
- Do More Than Just Use Sunscreen: Increase Your Protection
What Is SPF?
The acronym SPF stands for “Sun Protection Factor”. It is an index allowing to measure the level of solar protection of a care. This index also makes it possible to know its effectiveness against UVB rays. These rays are the cause of sunburns and skin cancers. There are four levels of SPF:
From 6 to 15 for a weak protection;
From 15 to 30 for medium protection;
From 30 to 50 for high protection;
50+ for very high protection.
Each index represents a percentage of UVB rays blocked. Your choice of sun protection level depends on your needs and your phototype.
Is It a Good Idea to Use SPF Every Day of the Year?
Many people think that skin protection against UV rays is only necessary when you are in the sun and only during the summer months. However, the use of a sunscreen in winter, autumn, or during rainy periods is essential since the skin is still exposed to UV rays. In fact, even if the sky is overcast, clouds allow between 80% and 95% of the sun's rays to pass through. The application of a sunscreen all year round is particularly recommended to protect against UV rays when you stay outside for more than two hours.
Do More Than Just Use Sunscreen: Increase Your Protection.
It is well known that UV radiation has adverse effects on the skin. So be aware that even with a high SPF, the application of a sunscreen every day will not fully protect you from the sun's harmful rays. Therefore, in addition to using a suitable sun care product, we advise you to expose yourself to the sun in a reasonable manner: not too long and outside the hours when the sun is at its peak (between 11am and 3pm).
BUABBAS H. & al. Photoprotection: clothing and glass. Dermatologic Clinics (2014).
LIM H. W. & al. Sunscreens: An update. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology (2017).
LINOS E. & al. Sunscreens, cancer, and protecting our planet. The Lancet Planetary Health (2018).