Most people wait until they go on their holidays before they stock up on sunscreen. It's true that you will probably never get sunburned during the wintertime unless for some reason you encounter a freak heatwave. However, it is still possible for the sun to damage your skin, even when the ground is thick with snow and you wear thermals as standard.

How can the sun damage your skin when it is below zero outside?
It might sound ridiculous to think that the sun can damage your skin in winter, but when you consider the type of UV light that the sun produces, it begins to make more sense. The sun emits several types of UV rays. Most people are familiar with UVB rays, as these are the rays that burn the skin and can cause noticeable damage very quickly if your skin is not properly protected. Slathering on a high protection sunscreen like Ambre Solaire helps protect the skin against short-term sun induced damages on hot days. The damage from UVA rays is not immediately noticeable, but it’s just as dangerous. UVA rays are present wherever there is sun, regardless of the temperature outside. UVB rays damage the superficial layers of the skin, whereas UVA rays penetrate deep into the dermis, which is the skin's thickest layer. They can shine through clouds and glass, and cause premature ageing, brown spots and wrinkles. So, unless you live in a dungeon and never go outside, it is pretty important to protect your skin against these rays and maintain a good sun safety routine all year round.

Pollution can also increase the chances of UV skin damage. Recent studies have shown that the grime and dirt produced in urban environments can increase stress on the skin, make it more sensitive and weaken its natural barrier. This makes it more prone to the damaging effects of UV rays.

How can you protect your skin against UV rays throughout the year?
The great thing about winter is that we instinctively layer up to protect ourselves from plummeting temperatures. Fortunately, this habit also helps protect your skin from UV rays. Covering up makes it harder for UV rays to penetrate the skin so, where possible, wrap up. Some areas are more vulnerable than others when it comes to UV rays. The hands are often left unprotected and the face is constantly uncovered regardless of the season, and this constant exposure to UV rays can really take its toll. Fortunately, it is not necessary to put a bag over your head just yet. You can protect the skin on your hands and face by applying sun cream throughout the year. Applying sunscreen in winter might seem like a hassle during winter, but it might be worth it to protect your skin. If you want to keep your skin looking youthful and feeling healthy, then it is worth investing in a facial moisturising spray. Inspired by Korean skincare, these nifty sprays are easy to use, quick drying and perfect for when you are on the go. Be sure to choose a reputable brand though. Established brands offer more accurate SPFs and have usually dedicated more time to testing their ingredients and their end products. Ambre Solaire Daily Protection offers a good choice of face moisturisers. There is even an option especially formulated for acne-prone skin, so there is no need to worry about flare-ups. Remember, one application of sun cream isn’t good enough. Maintaining a good sun safety routine throughout the year will keep your skin smooth and protected, so that you can get a tan safely in summer and leave the house without a balaclava in winter.