As the sun sets earlier, we spend more time inside, and the temperature plummets, it’s tempting to take a winter break from applying sunscreen every day. However, if you’re sitting by a window (including while driving) or venturing on a walk or ski trip, you’ll want to protect your skin from the sun. Even if it’s cloudy and cold, UV rays peek through and can up your risk for premature aging and skin cancer.
We know — sunscreen can feel like it’s weighing it down. Maybe it’s clogged your pores or made your skin feel greasy in the past, and it’s another step to your skincare routine. Whatever your case against sunscreen might be, we are here to argue it. Keep scrolling to find our best sunscreens for winter weather. Each of these products contains high SPFs and powerful ingredients that won’t clog your pores or leave your skin feeling greasy or sticky. We can’t do much about the time factor, but consider these seven sunscreens an investment in you.
Best for acne-prone skin: EltaMD UV Clear Face Sunscreen SPF46
Designed without fragrance or oil, this broad-spectrum lightweight sunscreen is perfect for those with acne-prone or sensitive skin. Lactic acid and sodium hyaluronate work together to keep your skin clear and moisturized.
Best for sensitive types: Blue Lizard Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50+
Along with providing protection from harmful UVA and UVB rays, this broad-spectrum mineral formula is designed with our delicate coral reefs in mind. No oxybenzone or octinoxate around these parts! A great product for users with sensitive skin.
Best at keeping grease at bay: Supergoop! PLAY Everyday Lotion SPF50
What could be better than a non-greasy, reef-safe, and water/sweat-resistant everyday sunscreen? Supergoop continues to be a leader in the sunscreen space with its clean formulas designed for all skin types.
Best for people in cities: Murad Environmental Shield City Skin Age Defense SPF50
If the price is of no concern this broad-spectrum SPF by Murad harnesses the power of antioxidants to protect the skin from UVA, UVB, pollution, blue light from devices, and infrared radiation. The ideal product for city-dwellers whose exposure to the elements accelerates the signs of aging.
Best European: La Rouche-Posay Clear Skin Sunscreen SPF 60
French pharmacy brand La Rouche-Posay is known for its superior quality and is Europe’s secret for skin protection. If you struggle with oily skin or acne, this oil-free sunscreen is your best bet this winter.
Best anti-aging: Vichy Capital Soleil Face Susncreen Lotion SPF 50
This dermatologist-recommended daily anti-aging sunscreen is lightweight, broad-spectrum, and water-resistant. Just remember to shake the bottle before each use.
Why you should use sunscreen in the winter
The truth is that no matter what time of year, the sun’s rays are still incredibly harmful to the skin. Your body might be covered more during the winter so you’ll need less body sunscreen but your face is still exposed. You’ll need a powerful SPF to keep UVA, UVB, pollution, and infrared rays at bay. On top of that, you’ll need to moisturize more regularly because the cold air and brisk winds are known to dehydrate.
How to choose the best winter sunscreen for you
There are tons of options to choose from, including our recommendations for the best winter sunscreens. It can feel overwhelming. Ultimately, we recommend using an SPF that has hydrating properties, as well as a combination of both mineral and chemical sunscreens. Mineral sunscreens (most commonly zinc oxide but also titanium dioxide) block the sun’s rays from penetrating the skin. Chemical sunscreens absorb and diffuse the rays, rendering them powerless. You should try to avoid oxybenzone, as it has been found to be very harmful to coral reefs and other marine wildlife when washed off into the water supply. Instead, opt for reef-safe sunscreen.