“It’s all too easy to forget about skincare when you’re covered from head to toe, but at altitude, the risk of sunburn remains high.” – Dr Anjali Mahto, Consultant Dermatologist & British Skin Foundation spokesperson.
When I first tried my hand (or should I say feet?) at snowboarding in the beautiful white mountains of Andorra, I was surprised to see Suntan Lotion on my advised packing list. Call me naive, but as someone who had never done a winter holiday before I had no idea that it was even possible to get sunburnt on a snowboarding trip. But getting burnt on the slopes is not just a possibility, it’s a very serious risk that all skiers, boarders and winter holiday makers need to be aware of.
You see, the amount of UV rays that reach the earth’s surface increases up to 5% for every 1,000 feet that you are above sea level. Basically this means that as you set off for a day of fun on the frosty mountains you’re putting your skin at risk without even realising it. And it doesn’t help that both ice and water are strong reflectors of UV radiation.
Fortunately the wonderful team over at the British Skin Foundation have shared these simple tips for protecting your your skin when on those crystal white slopes…
- Choose a sunscreen which is at least SPF30 or higher and don’t forget to look for one with a high level of UVA protection.
- Apply the sunscreen BEFORE heading up on that Ski lift and take a little bottle with you up on the slopes.
- Re-apply it as frequently as you would if you were on a summer holiday.
- Make sure to cover ALL exposed areas, including the spots we sometimes miss such as the ears, lips and the back of the neck.
- Remember to stay moisturised. Keeping moisturised won’t necessarily protect you from the sun, but the winds, the colder temperatures, not to mention gliding through the cold air on your ski’s or board, will strip the skin of its natural moisture, leaving it drier and more susceptible to cracking.
We all hate applying sunscreen, well I do anyway, it’s sticky and annoying. But neglecting to use sunscreen will not only leave you with a sore face and embarrassing ‘Panda Eyes’, it could potentially lead to long-term sun damage. And as someone who has suffered horrific sunburns before, trust me, you don’t want that. So if you’re lucky enough to be headed off on a Ski trip this Winter, make sure to follow these BSF approved tips – for your skins sake.