Winter is approaching, which means it will be time to enjoy outdoor activities, such as skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing. Sports enthusiasts are at an increased risk of exposure to the sun’s UV rays, so it’s important to take precaution. Most people are unaware that UV rays can be just as damaging on the slopes as they are on the beach. For every 1,000 feet above sea level, UV radiation increases 4-5%. Snow also reflects up to 80% of UV light from the sun, exposing you to the same rays twice! Be sure to take extra precaution and follow these tips to prevent sunburn and the risk of skin cancer this winter.
- Use a broad spectrum SPF and apply 30 minutes prior to exposure.
- Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin, including your lips.
- Try using a moisturizing sunscreen, especially with harsh winter conditions.
- Be aware that the sun’s reflection off the snow is still strong on cloudy days. Up to 80% of the sun’s rays can penetrate clouds.
- Always reapply, especially if you’re sweating. Applying SPF once in the morning isn’t sufficient enough.
- Be sure to wear sunglasses or goggles. You will be protecting your skin from the sun and decreasing the amount you squint, which causes wrinkles.
- Keep your head covered. It’ll keep you warm and will also protect your scalp from UV damage.
- If you have the option, try to participate in outdoor activities before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. The sun’s UV rays are the strongest in between those times.