Why It’s So Important to Wear Sunscreen in the Winter

Applying sunscreen during the summer is a no-brainer, especially when you can physically feel the sun’s rays heating up your skin. But even though many of us are experiencing cloudy skies and cold winds, sunscreen is still an essential step in everyone’s skincare routine. 

Why Do You Need Sunscreen in the Winter?


UV Rays Can Penetrate Winter Clouds

You may not feel the sun’s warmth on gloomy winter days, but harmful UV rays can reach your skin no matter how gray the sky is. It’s true that UVB rays are at their most intense during the summer; however, UVA rays — the ones responsible for skin cancer — never diminish in strength, no matter the season. So make sure to apply and reapply, even on the coldest days. 

Winter Weather Conditions Wear Away Your Protection

Most people know that sweat and seawater can wash away sunscreen. But winter conditions can deteriorate your sunscreen protection just as fast, and sometimes faster. Harsh winds, rain, and snow can all cause your sunscreen to wear off, so it’s just as important to apply sunscreen regularly during winter months as it is when you’re out on a summer day.

Winter Sports Put You at Greater Risk

Popular winter sports like skiing and snowboarding take place at higher altitudes. And according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, UV radiation increases by 5 percent with every 1,000 feet of elevation. This means any exposed skin is extra susceptible to UV damage, making sunscreen a must. Compounding that risk is the snow’s reflectivity: the snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s rays, so make sure to pack your favorite sunscreen (like our SPF 50 Sport) for max protection while you hit the slopes. 

Where & When Should You Apply It?

No one wants to ruin a summer day with a nasty sunburn, so we tend to be meticulous about covering ourselves with sunscreen in the summer. But where should you be applying it in the winter?

The short answer is on any exposed skin, but you should be giving extra attention to the skin on your head and face, which tend to be the most exposed in colder months. Make sure you blend your sunscreen into your hairline and, if beanies and hats aren’t for you, cover any exposed skin on your scalp. Don’t forget your ears, too! For irritation-free protection, grab our SPF 30 Faces Sunscreen.

When it comes to how often you apply, there shouldn’t be much difference between summer and winter. It’s always recommended to reapply at least every two hours, and you should increase the frequency from there if you’ve been sweating or out in the wind and snow. 

Stay Protected Year Round with Panama Jack


With Panama Jack’s sun care collection, it’s easy to protect yourself from sun damage, no matter the season. From our water and sweat-resistant Sport sunscreen to SPF 45 lip balm, we have everything you need to safely enjoy the winter weather.