Does Sunscreen Prevent Windburn?

Man hiking a snowy mountain

Have you ever experienced a painful, reddish skin condition after a chilly winter day outside? If you have, then you’ve probably encountered windburn. May factors come into play when it comes to this skin condition, but does sunscreen prevent windburn?

What is windburn?

Man snowboarding on a snowy mountain

Windburn is a common yet often underrated skin condition typically caused when cold, dry winds strip away your skin’s natural oils and moisture. Contrary to misconceptions, windburn is not a type of sunburn, but exposure to UV radiation can exacerbate the condition.

This dermatological condition manifests as redness, a burning sensation, skin irritation, and, in some cases, skin peeling—similar symptoms to sunburn. Its occurrence is more prevalent during the winter months when coupled to harsh winds and cold, dry air.

Causes of Windburn

Man wearing winter clothes

When exposed to intense winds, particularly in cold, dry, weather conditions, the skin’s oil layer, which is responsible for moisture and protection, can be stripped away. Additionally, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can also harm the skin, causing symptoms that may resemble those of sunburn. The lack of moisture and oil in the skin because of cold and windy conditions can result in windburn.

Preventing Windburn: does sunscreen help?

Man in pajamas putting on moisturizer on his face; in front of a bathroom sink and mirror

Prevention is a crucial step in managing windburn. It is advisable to wear wind-resistant clothing, such as gloves, winter headwear, and scarves, to shield your skin. Frequent application of hydrating moisturizers also helps maintain adequate skin hydration.

Never underestimate the power of sunscreen, even on chilly, overcast days. UV radiation can reach the skin, even in snowy conditions. So, the use of sunscreen with a high SPF is recommendable.

Other preventive measures include minimizing exposure to extremely windy conditions, staying well-hydrated, and using lip balm to prevent chapped lips.

Treating Windburn

Aloe vera, slices of aloe vera, and aloe vera gel in a jar

If you are already suffering from windburn, remedies such as aloe vera can offer relief. Rehydrating the skin with quality moisturizers also helps restore its natural barrier. CANhaveTODAY’s Sparkling Rain moisturizer is an all-natural moisturizer that can be of great help for windburn. It boasts the properties of aloe vera extract, shea butter, grapeseed oil, and the powerful antioxidant Chaga mushroom extract.

Sparkling Rain New Product Photo

Over-the-counter medications, like hydrocortisone cream, can help reduce inflammation and redness. If symptoms are severe or persist for an extended period, consult a healthcare professional.

Wind can burn too, but sunscreen can help

Windburn is a common but often overlooked skin condition that not only causes discomfort but can also damage the skin if not treated correctly. Understanding its causes and implementing preventive and therapeutic measures can help keep your skin healthy, even in the harshest weather conditions. While sun exposure is not the primary cause of this condition, applying sunscreen can help for prevention of exacerbation. So, always apply sunscreen, even in winter!


What is windburn?

Windburn is a skin condition that condition that occurs when the skin is exposed to cold, dry winds, causing redness, irritation, and burning sensation. It often resembles sunburn but is caused primarily by wind exposure.

How can I prevent windburn?

To prevent windburn, wear wind-resistant clothing such as gloves, winter headwear, and scarves. Keep your skin hydrated by applying moisturizer regularly, use a sunscreen with a high SPF, and minimize exposure to extreme winds. Staying well-hydrated and using lip balm also help reduce windburn risks.

How do I treat windburn?

For immediate relief from windburn symptoms, apply aloe vera. Keep your skin hydrated by using moisturizers, and consider using over-the-counter medications if natural treatment is not working for you. Consult a healthcare professional if symptoms are severe or last an extended period.

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