Most of us know how important it is to protect our skin from the harmful rays of the sun in the summer time – but did you know the sun can impact our bodies in the winter, too?
Not only should we be protecting our skin from UV rays all year round, the sun can wreak havoc on our hair, too.
If you hadn’t given winter UV protection much thought until now, then don’t panic. Just like planting trees – the best time to start thinking about sun safety was a few years ago, but the second best time is now!
Here’s our guide to SPF and UV protection for your hair, body and face.
Myth-busting winter sun safety
Ask any skin specialist, and they'll tell you that UV rays are the number one cause of premature ageing. So if you want to keep your skin youthful, hydrated, and healthy, you'll need to invest in top-quality SPF products to use all year round.
No matter how thick those overcast clouds look in the winter, up to 80% of the sun’s rays can still penetrate them, making it just as important to keep safe from the sun in January as it is in July.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there around winter sun safety and how to get the best out of your SPF products – so we want to set the record straight! For the best level of protection, we recommend applying 2g of product (you don’t need as much as you think) of your chosen SPF half an hour before you head out into the sun.
In the summer, you’ll likely need to reapply every couple of hours – especially if you’re sitting in the sun or swimming in the pool. In the winter, you can get away with reapplying less often – unless you’re heading off on a ski break, then you could be exposing your skin to more sun than you think!
And it’s not just the sun that can cause harm to our skin. In the winter, we spend a lot more time sitting inside watching TV, working on our laptops or looking at our phones. The blue light can cause UVB damage, so it’s important to use SPF every day even if you don’t plan on heading outside.
Mineral SPF sunscreen
When you think of sun protection, you probably think of a thick, white and chalky cream that leaves your skin feeling greasy and irritated. Technology has moved on a lot in recent years, and SPF products come in all kinds of different formulas and even shades these days.
Paul’s number one SPF product is Brush On Block – Mineral Powder Sunscreen. There are lots of benefits to using a mineral sunscreens for both men and women, but it’s often overlooked in favour of more traditional options.
Brush On Block is perfect for everyday use. With its easy brush-on application, you can apply and re-apply it in seconds, and its slimline packaging means you can take it everywhere for effortless on-the-go sun protection whenever you need it.
“Being a mineral SPF, it lies on the surface of your skin, so you can apply it over your make-up and top it up throughout the day. It’s great because you can apply it through your parting, around the edges or over the top of your head so you can avoid that shiny, red look.”
“It’s also easy to travel with as you can just pop it in your pocket and easily re-apply every couple of hours. ”
Sunscreen for every skin
Gone are the days of SPF products leaving a bright white layer on your skin. At Paul Edmonds, we stock sunscreen gels and creams that add a healthy glow back into your pale winter skin.
The harsh winter conditions can leave our skin dry and more prone to damage, so it’s a good idea to ramp up your moisturising routine under your make-up.
Heliocare – Sun Touch SPF 50 is a light cream that not only provides essential sun protection, but also moisturises the skin and adds a shimmer, leaving it looking sun-kissed even in the depths of January. We also stock the Bronze Intense shade which acts as a tinted moisturiser or light foundation so you can easily incorporate it into your everyday make-up routine.
The fernblock found in the Heliocare range is a naturally derived ingredient that helps repair cellular damage, so not only do you get the benefits of protection but you can also correct damage that’s already been done.
Winter skin treatments
The colder months are a good opportunity to take advantage of specialist skin treatments, but some of these come with specific SPF requirements.
For blemish-prone skin, Skinceuticals Oil Sheild is a great partner to Silymarin CF, working in harmony to prevent UV damage, but with the added antioxident to help repair and prevent signs of aging and loss of collagen.
If you’re undergoing treatment for your acne, an oil-free gel is a good option to keep your skin protected while optimising the treatment. With retinol treatments in particular, it’s extremely important to use sunscreen to prevent intense exposure to UV rays.
Post-treatment, your skin is in recovery so you’ll want to use something that sits on top of the skin. A mineral-based SPF like Brush On Block, Heliocare Mineral Tolerance Fluid or SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defence are all great choices.
UV protection for hair
The sun's rays can dry your hair out, upping your risk of damage and breakage. UV rays also contribute to the oxidation of colour and bleached hair, bringing those unwanted warm tones through and ruining your look.
Some products like Shu Uemura’s Essence Absolue range provide UV protection for your hair, without weighing it down, making it perfect for everyday use on even the finest of hair. For a luxury option, Ashita Supreme Intense Revitalisation Serum helps maintain soft and smooth hair during the cold months while still adding a level of protection on those occasional sunny days.
Head to our online shop or pop into our Battersea salon for your SPF and UV protection essentials.