Sun Tanning Products

Which Sunscreen is Best for Winter? (5 Best Ones)

Written by: Anastasija

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Wearing sunscreen is an important step in every single person’s skincare routine, no matter what their skin type, concerns or other factors that could affect it. If you’re looking for some of the best sunscreens to use in the winter, here are some great options to get you started!

Do I need a sunscreen in the winter?

Firstly, we all know about the importance of wearing a sunscreen in the summer, and it becomes particularly apparent when you take a vacation to a hot country or spend sunny days out in the sea or sunbathing at the beach. However, the winter doesn’t see the same intensity of Sun in most parts of the world, so is it still necessary to wear a sunscreen?

The truthful answer to this question is, despite what you may believe, yes, you do need to wear a sunscreen at every single point of the year, rain or shine. The explanation for this is pretty straightforward, but you’ll first need to understand why you protect your skin from the Sun is the first place.

Sunscreen in winter by Anastasija Thirsty for tan

If you didn’t already know, the Sun emits different waves to the Earth, and one of these types is known as an ultraviolet (UV) wave, which can come in two different types: UVA and UVB. In their own, unique ways, both of these waves make it into the layers of your skin and are responsible for their own different types of damage they cause, and this occurs whenever the Sun is out.

That means whenever you’re at the beach, exercising, or just laying in the Sun, its UV rays are penetrating into your skin and causing their damage, but this also happens at any other time when your skin is exposed to the Sun whilst unprotected.

Although the winter isn’t usually a very sunny or warm season, it still sees the Sun, as that’s what makes the outside produce its natural light, so as long as it’s light outside, the Sun is going to be working away, emitting all of its UVA and UVB rays, which will still damage your skin. One thing to remember is that the amount of UV emitted from the Sun doesn’t actually depend on how hot it is, or vice versa, so it doesn’t matter what temperature its – even if it’s snowing – because your skin can still suffer damage.

Also read:
Should I Wear Sunscreen Every Day? (Advantages and Disadvantages)
7 Things A Sunscreen Does to Your Skin (Explained)
Do You Need Sunscreen When It’s Cloudy? (Explained)

La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense UV Face Moisturiser SPF 20

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This French pharmacy brand are known for their Anthelios sunscreen range, but this sunscreen is equally as good for the winter. One of our biggest concerns for our winter skin is dryness, even if it’s normally very oily, which goes to show how important it is to wear a moisturiser.

However, this sunscreen has a deeply moisturising, hydrating and nourishing formula to allows you to achieve your dream skin, even in cold conditions. If you don’t find that your skin gets too dry in the first place during the winter, or it’s still oily, you could always just use this as your moisturiser and sunscreen, for two products in one.

Murad Environmental Shield City Skin Age Defense Broad-Spectrum SPF 50

Murad Environmental Shield City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50-100% Mineral Sunscreen - Blue Light Defense - SPF 50 Environmental Defense Sunscreen - Light Sunscreen for Face, 1.7 Fl Oz
  • 100% MINERAL SUNSCREEN: This ultra-light sunscreen for face and neck protects against the UV rays, pollution and blue light radiation that cause uneven skin tone, dullness and wrinkles.
  • PROTECTS and CORRECTS: The broad spectrum mineral sunscreen face cream has a soft peach tint to help color correct, boost radiance and even tone for a healthier, younger looking complexion.

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In more recent times, a new danger and concern for our skin has developed, and that’s the pollution in the air of busy cities and towns in hotspot areas. Science isn’t yet completely certain about all of the effects that it can have on our skin, but there is already some concerning evidence about what it can do for our skin. This sunscreen will shield you from the environmental pollution as well as the Sun – what more could you ask for?

Not to mention, it also has some anti-aging properties, so it’s going to be a great multi-use product that will definitely be worth the money.

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Oxide Dry-Touch Mineral Face Sunscreen SPF 50

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Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Oxide Dry-Touch Face Sunscreen with Broad Spectrum SPF 50, Oil-Free, Non-Comedogenic & Non-Greasy Mineral Sunscreen, 2 fl. oz
  • 2-fluid ounces of Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Face Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion with Broad Spectrum SPF 50 provides superior protection against aging UVA and burning UVB rays to help prevent sunburn
  • Specially formulated water-resistant face sunscreen is made with naturally-sourced 100% zinc oxide and features Dry-Touch technology to help ensure it dries with a non-greasy finish

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You may be surprised that an SPF 50 sunscreen is being recommended for the wintertime, and that’s completely understandable! Although the winter doesn’t see the Sun as intense as it does in the summer, so there’s not the same demand for an extremely high protective factor, there’s no harm in using one, and it just ensures that your skin has a higher level of protection.

This sunscreen is a holy grail for many people, and there are so many reasons why they’re drawn to it, from the price to the way the formula feels on the skin and everything else in between. There’s not really anything to fault here, so it’s a failproof sunscreen that you can be confident to rely on at any time of the year.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense SPF 30 Sunscreen

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Daily Defense - Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen with Marula Oil (90 mL / 3 Fl Oz)
  • UMBRA SHEER. A sheer physical sunscreen that delivers powerful broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection and helps aid in the prevention of free radical and oxidative damage as well as photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion.
  • DAILY DEFENSE SPF 30. Umbra is a physical daily sunscreen loaded with potent antioxidants while delivering essential moisture and helps minimize the look of fine lines and wrinkles, leaving your skin looking healthy and youthful.

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You may have heard of the brand Drunk Elephant before if you’re into your skincare, and it’s known for its innovative, creative formulas which work really well for your skin. Of course, this sunscreen is no exception to this, and it’s a great all-rounder suitable for any skin type.

One of the great things is that this product is specifically created to feel light and sheer on the skin, whilst still offering plenty of protection from the Sun – SPF 30 is more than enough for the winter, but it ensures that you’re getting full protection, even if you haven’t applied it completely correctly.

Piz Buin Mountain Sunscreen SPF 30

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The Piz Buin mountain range is actually designed specifically for hiking in the mountains during the winter, and snow sports. When you participate in winter sports like skiing and snowboarding, you’re actually at a very high risk of suffering sunburn, just like you would be if you were sitting on the beach, completely exposed during the hottest part of the day.

This is mainly because the snow is bright white, so it reflects rays onto your face, and you’re also high up and your face is exposed to the Sun so it’s the perfect cocktail for a painful winter sunburn. However, this range is really effective at keeping you protected, specifically to combat the winter Sun, and you can even purchase it in an SPF 50 if you are at a higher risk of becoming sunburnt!

Bonus: Sun Bum Lip Balm Stick SPF 30

Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Lip Balm | Vegan and Cruelty Free Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Lip Care with Aloe and Vitamin E for Moisturized Lips | Key Lime Flavor |.15 oz
  • SPF 30 SUNSCREEN LIP BALM - KEY LIME. Our fav SPF lip balm trio with Aloe and Vitamin E to protect and moisturize your kisser all day long! Our smooth and hydrating formula with Aloe and Vitamin E is great for everyday lip protection.
  • LASTING LIP PROTECTION. Our unique SPF lip balm is not just for a day at the beach. This triple action formula will protect, heal and moisturize your lips, whether you’re hitting the beach, slopes or just cruising around town. We’ve got you covered.

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Although it’s not technically a sunscreen in itself, this lip balm does contain an SPF 30, and protective lip balms like these are very underrated within the skincare industry as well as among the media in general. When the winter is cold and windy, your lips can become chapped very quickly, and it can become very painful.

Using a lip balm is something most people do anyway if this happens, to relieve some of the pain in their lips, but using one with an SPF is even better. The skin on your lips is much thinner than the rest of your face, with many less layers, which is why they appear red, as the blood vessels below them show more easily. This means they are at a higher risk of sun damage, so it’s more important to protect them than you might think and using a protective lip balm can prevent a lot of the chapping and dryness in the first place.


Which Sunscreen is Best for Winter pin by thirstyfortan

Final thoughts

Although you may not think you need a sunscreen in the winter, the truth is that you actually do, and choosing one of the ones listed above is a great place to start. If you want to stay extra protected, purchasing an SPF 30 or 50 lip balm can also be very useful for snow sports or just for preventing your lips from becoming chapped in the winter whilst also protecting them from the Sun.

About Anastasija

Welcome to my website! I'm Anastasija, and as a redhead with a sensitivity to the sun, I embarked on a quest to find the perfect sunless tanner six years ago.

After extensive research and four years of personal experience, I'm here to share my wealth of tips and tricks for achieving a beautiful, sun-kissed glow.

Whether you're interested in self-tanners, spray tans, or safe sun exposure, this website covers it all.

Join me as I provide valuable insights and guidance for various methods of getting that desired tan.

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