Whether snow graces your home town each winter or you seek out the snow for a skiing vacation, it is incredibly important to take extra measures to keep your skin protected in the snow. While it’s not common sense to lather on sunscreen in the overcast wintertime, snow can reflect 95% of UV rays—which means the winter can actually cause more sun damage than the more predictable summer season. So before you step outside or start packing for your snowy getaway, follow some of these tips to keep your skin protected.
Goggles: While sunglasses provide great protection from UV rays, goggles are a better alternative for skiing or snowboarding as they wrap around the face to provide better all around coverage. We tend to think that UV rays hit our skin downward from the sky, but snow will reflect the rays back up from underneath, so all around coverage is important to protect your eyes. When purchasing goggles, consider finding a pair with 100% UVA/UVB protection, and find a pair that are tinted enough to fend off bright light, but not so dark that you will have to take them off during dusk hours when you might still be enjoying the slopes.
Sunscreen: Since you are likely to bundle up in the brisk weather, it is not likely that you will show much skin outside in the snow—but make sure you DO cover the areas that are exposed. This includes face, neck, ears, scalp, neck and any other area that will see the sun. Make sure to reapply during breaks on the slopes. To make reapplying less of a hassle, consider carrying a miniature sunscreen keychain with you in an easy-to-reach pocket.
Moisturize: The dry winter weather can suck the moisture from your body, leaving you with a dry and cracked skin. Try to combat dry skin by applying lotion to your entire body a couple times a day, and apply a heavier cream to your hands and feet when you wake up and before you go to bed. Make sure to constantly reapply a lip balm with SPF protection throughout the day as your lips are often exposed to the sun and subject to dry weather and UVA rays.
Hydrate: If you’re planning on hitting the slopes all day, make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and takes water breaks every chance you get. Not only will water help keep you hydrated and maintain your energy, it will also help keep your mucous membranes moist which will help prevent sunburn.