SPF application is an essential part of a daily skincare regimen. In the modern industry, experts and physicians are well versed on how and why forgoing SPF is the most damaging error a consumer can make. UVR (ultraviolet Radiation) is the common factor that negatively impacts all skin conditions, types, diseases, and disorders. The influence UVR has on our skin does not lessen based on the hemisphere one lives in, season, age, ethnicity, skin tone, or gender. Many people believe the massive skin myth that SPF is not necessary during the winter. As professional skin enthusiasts, it is our primary responsibility to confidently educate the misinformed and inquiring public on the importance of SPF and to then provide appropriate recommendations. Every year, as autumn wanes and winter approaches, we find ourselves facing challenging conversations as to why SPF habits must be maintained. At iS Clinical, we provide consumers worldwide with superior SPF options, but we also make it our mission to support our product usage with concrete evidence by showing its importance and performance. It is necessary to understand why our SPF products should be routinely purchased and applied no differently than they would be in the spring and summer.
Skin is a highly sophisticated organ that is designed to protect and maintain normal bodily functions and block foreign substances. Our skin is constantly renewing itself to act as an adequate shield. Between mitosis and desquamation, our keratinocyte cells release a complex blend of water-soluble chemicals, antioxidant-rich lipids, and strengthening proteins. This constructs a durable physical and chemical-based acidic barrier, designed to preserve our water and lipid levels and work in tandem with our immune system. UVR is a key antagonist leading this process away, and UVR is not inactive during the winter!
Ninety-five percent of radiation comes from UVA (ultraviolet aging rays). UVA penetrates the dermis, deteriorating the skin’s scaffolding of proteins such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. UVA does not lessen in strength during the winter and is still active and present on the grayest and coldest days. UVA’s counterpart, UVB (ultraviolet burning rays), is equally damaging. UVB primarily affects the epidermal layers and is directly linked to skin cancer. UVB particularly affects melanocyte, Langerhans, and Merkel cell destruction. They are harmful even without tanning or burning. Believe it or not, there is no such thing as a healthy tan. Tanned and sunburned skin experiences apoptosis – the process of mutated cells opting for suicide and peeling off. The remaining cells with mutated DNA proceed to birth a permanent chain of mutated cells during mitosis. It is crucial to understand that UVA and UVB are both cytotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic. Both rays contribute to broken capillaries, edema, and erythema. Additionally, they are responsible for excessive TEWL (trans epidermal water loss) and loss of critical barrier lipids.
We expect skin to appear tight and dry after prolonged periods of sun exposure, but the skin naturally experiences water and lipid loss in the winter due to lower temperatures and lack of humidity.
"UVA penetrates the dermis, deteriorating skin’s scaffolding of proteins such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid"
Did you know that even though UVB rays are stronger during summer, you can still get sunburn during the winter? This is common for winter sports lovers.
The sun is closer to the earth during the winter months, making sunburn a possibility, especially in snowy areas. Spending time snowboarding, skiing, mountain climbing, or engaging in other winter sports makes it imperative to load up on SPF, and even an additional moisturizer below the SPF layer! Ice and snow are strong UVR reflectors. If there is a personal or familial history of skin cancer, or if you are prone to moles and skin anomalies, it is important to know that mutated cells do not refrain from accumulation in winter months. Skin cancer does not appear overnight; it is a cumulative process that does not seasonally deactivate. The same can be said for the aging process, hyperpigmentation formation, and acne. With falling temperatures and dry air, the skin’s barrier is automatically compromised, as TEWL will increase and the lipid barrier can weaken, especially for those who have naturally dry or sensitive skin. The ozone layer is thinner during the winter months, which is why you have less protection from the sun.
Even though you are feeling the winter chill, your skin can absorb more UVR.
Certain landscapes can also increase and potentially double our exposure to UVR. The World Health Organization finds that snow and water reflect up
to 80%. Pavement ranks at 25%, and 85% of UVA penetrates through glass. We also need to ensure that clients are not fooled by partially cloudy skies, dreary dark days, and shady areas, where 80% of UVA rays remain active.
"UVB primarily affects the epidermal layers and is directly linked to skin cancer."
Oily or dry skin? Is there a primary concern, or a variety of issues? Your knowledge of skin types and conditions is the cornerstone to happy clients and accurate product recommendations. While it is necessary to execute a proper verbal or formal consultation and skin analysis, it is also helpful to acknowledge that when it comes to SPF, there is no wrong answer. Much of the product selection will simply boil down to the textural preference of the client. It is also okay for the user to change their formulas seasonally.
Many people will gravitate to Extreme Protect SPF 30 or 40 once the brisk weather sets in. The name of this product says it all! With a superior blend of antioxidants, Extremozymes, and hydration and moisture sourced from aloe and olive leaf extract, this SPF option does it all! Extreme Protect SPF 30 or 40 provides the UVR protection we need while supporting barrier strength to the fullest, preventing lipid and water loss. For those with a naturally dry skin type or those who feel noticeably dry once winter sets in, this will become a staple to their winter skin
"By forgoing daily SPF use, we see and feel a collection of manifestations on the skin and put our health at risk."
Eclipse SPF 50+, the lightest of the iS Clinical SPF family, may not be an obvious choice for winter skin proofing. However, there is a demographic of highly active individuals who opt for this product in all seasons. It is popular among athletes, as sweating in winter sports is still a factor in their decision-making. It may be icy cold, but this does not stop an active individual from perspiring. For this reason, they often continue to opt for the lighter texture of Eclipse SPF 50+.
By forgoing daily SPF use, we see and
feel a collection of manifestations on
the skin and put our health at risk.
UVR induces barrier impairment,
allowing more pollutant, viral, and
bacterial matter to permeate our skin.
Reapplying is fundamental during active days outdoors, but our savvy clients still may choose to reapply on cozy days spent inside clinging to their devices. This is where PerfecTint Powder SPF 40 becomes a must-have product for everyone! This product does not disrupt makeup and hydrates the skin, which is ideal since we are spending more time indoors with our furnaces running dry heat.
Finally, we can’t forget the lips! Lip products, including those with SPF, are always in high demand. Many of us may be genetically prone to dry or cracked lips, or experience this particularly in the wintertime. Some are also prone to sunburnt lips which we can still be at risk for depending on where we live or engaging in winter snow sports. LiProtect SPF 35 is another easy portable product loved by men and women of all ages. This is a gloss and shine-free balm that moisturizes and heals delicate lip skin with the added value of SPF. Because of its ability to truly nourish and build the lipid and water content of the lips, users will find the texture and appearance of their lip skin noticeably improve!
Sunscreen must be used daily as the top layer product on the skin. Layering or mixing with high-powered serums, eye and lip treatments, or additional moisturizers maximizes SPF performance, creating a stronger antioxidant-rich safety net for your skin. Keeping these strong habits all winter long will make a valuable, healthy impact on the skin!