Avoiding Winter Sunburns

When the temperature drops, do you stash your sun protection products in the cupboard until next summer?

Hang on! If you enjoy sports like skiing and snowboarding, you need to protect yourself and your family from the winter sun. In fact, higher altitudes and UV ray reflection off snow increase the risk of sun damage—even on cloudy days. And the bottom line is this: over 90% of skin cancers are linked to sun exposure.

You can protect your skin from sun damage in the following ways:

  • Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin. Put it on 30 minutes before going outside and apply it evenly and liberally.
  • Pick the right level of protection. A broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher is needed for extended exposure.
  • Choose a moisturizing formula. Ingredients like lanolin or glycerin will help you cope with the snow and wind.
  • Take extra care applying around the lips, ears, eyes and neck, as well as under your chin and on your scalp and hands.
  • Use a lip balm with at least 15 SPF.
  • Just like when swimming, reapply sunscreen every 2 hours.
  • Use hats, gloves and goggles to protect yourself from sun exposure, as well as to keep warm.

Other ways to take care of your skin? It also needs hydration: drink plenty of water. When possible, take a break from the sun during the midday hours—that’s when UV rays are most intense.

With these precautions, you’ll be more comfortable, will protect your appearance and avoid unwanted sun damage.