When you step outside in the frigid cold temperatures and trudge through the snow, the last thing you think about is putting on sunscreen during the process of bundling up. Even when the sun decides to appear, there’s something about the thought of wearing sunscreen that can almost feel peculiar during the wintertime.

But according to many studies, leading experts are stating otherwise. No matter the temperature outside, the reality is that when the sun is beaming down, sunscreen is always a must in order to avoid winter burns. Here’s why.

Skin Can Become More Sensitive During the Winter

Our skin adapts and changes with the seasons. During the warm summer, your skin receives much more frequent sunlight than in the winter. And with the frequency comes that tanned glow which can also provide more resilience and protection against UV radiation. But when your skin receives minimal sunlight in the winter, it can become increasingly sensitive during that time frame. Putting on that sunscreen is imperative to protect against that heightened sensitivity.

Cold, Dry Air, and Sun Are Harsh on Skin

The combination of cold, dry air and sunlight can cause skin to crack and develop burns easily. And damage from each of these factors can negatively affect the appearance and vitality of your skin.

Intense Reflections From Snow Can Cause Burns

Aside from the combination of cold temperatures and sun, when you combine those intense UV rays with snow, the reflective properties that result can really intensify those rays and cause the skin to burn. That’s why winter sunburns are not uncommon when areas of skin are exposed without sufficient protection.

Protect All Exposed Areas

It’s not just your skin that needs protection each time you head out into those sunny winter days. It’s important to take the time to apply sunscreen SPF, or other means of protection to each area that may be exposed since they are all vulnerable to the sun. That includes your ears, hands, neck, lips, and even your eyes.

It’s easy to forget about protecting our skin against the sun’s powerful UV rays and radiation during the winter months. But it’s imperative to remember that it can be just as damaging, if not more, than in the summer. To avoid sun damage and winter burns, always take proper care to apply sunscreen and reduce exposure of your skin when you’re heading out to indulge in some winter fun.