With temperatures hitting record lows, a brightly colored tube of sunscreen may be the last thing on your mind—but according to New York City dermatologists Lisa Airan and Adam Geyer, there are still plenty of good reasons to reach for a daily dose of SPF when it’s freezing outside.Photographed by Raymond Meier, Vogue, February 2008
- “In the winter, we get more UV exposure than we expect,” explains Geyer. “Sunlight penetrates even through gray clouds; it comes in through windows.” Translation: Just because it’s cold enough to see your breath doesn’t mean you’re protected from the effects of sun-induced photo-aging—or the long-term damage that may contribute to skin cancer.
- If that’s not enough to persuade you, this might do the trick: A rich, creamy sunscreen can double as a powerful moisturizer in the winter months, when skin tends to be drier and flakier. The latest wave of next-generation–formulas—like Ocean Potion Broad Spectrum Anti-Aging Lotion SPF 50 or John Masters Suncare SPF 30 Natural Mineral Sunscreen with green tea—are also spiked with potent antioxidants, meaning you can tick off multiple boxes with a single product. If you tend to be slightly oily, a lightweight daily moisturizer with SPF 30 will still get the job done. Geyer likes Pro+ Therapy MD’s Advanced Ultra Light Day Repair and Kiehl’s Powerful Wrinkle Reducing Cream.
- A midwinter ski escape to the snowy, white-capped mountains may be one of the season’s highlights, but the sight of sun sparkling on fresh powder provides just one more reason to smooth on an extra protective barrier. “With the altitude, the reflection of the snow, and the number of hours you’re out there, you’d be crazy not to wear a sunblock,” says Airan. The die-hard ski enthusiast, who spends winter weekends in Geneva and Aspen, swears by Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock Lotion SPF 60+. Consider us convinced.