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Winter Skin Care Tips for the Slopes

by kelly / January, 27 2016 01:30

Snowboarding on the mountain

One of my favorite activities in life takes place in the winter - snowboarding. Snowboarding and dancing are my two all time loves. I live for the smell of crisp mountain air, the rush of shredding down a hill and ending the day with hot cocoa by the fire. Of course a long day on the mountain can be brutal on the skin - so I've put together this quick hit list to keep your skin safe and protected on the slopes.

Sunscreen is a MUST

I mean this had to be on my list and I promise it's not for selfish reasons. Sunblock is necessary in the winter, all year-round, everyday and most definitely on the mountain. According to Perry Robins, PMD, President, The Skin Cancer Foundation:

"It's easy to associate winter with frostbite and windburn, but most people are unaware that UV rays can be every bit as damaging on the slopes as on the beach...With the winter sports season ahead of us, it's more important than ever to take proper precautions on the slopes."

The combo of higher altitudes and UV rays reflecting off the snow put snowboarders and skiers at an increased risk of sun damage. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that:

"UV radiation exposure increases 4 to 5 percent with every 1,000 feet above sea level. At an altitude of 9,000 to 10,000 feet, UV radiation may be 35 to 45 percent more intense than at sea level. In addition, snow reflects up to 80 percent of the UV light from the sun, meaning that you are often hit by the same rays twice."

Sun damage is no joke on the slopes. So make sure you stay protected and reapply sunscreen at least every two hours as the snow, wind and sweat can wear away at it. Don't forget to apply sunblock to other exposed areas of your body beyond the face like the neck and hands.

Cover Up

Definitely bundle up in that snow to keep your head, face and skin protected and warm. Wear a hat or helmet to protect your scalp from sun exposure. Ski masks are useful for preventing wind burn as you race down the mountain.  Finally don't forget about your eyes. Look for goggles or sunglasses that provide 99% or greater UV protection and have wrap-around or larger frames to protect your eyes and the sensitive skin around them.  

Drink Lots of Water

It's easy to forget that you are expending a lot of energy and need hydration when you are skiing or snowboarding. I know I forget because I tend to associate heat and heavy sweating with exercise. When I'm boarding I'm usually cold. So I always have to remind myself to drink plenty of fluids while I'm on the slopes. Remember hydration is also key for healthy looking skin.

Enjoy the slopes this season - just practice these simple tips and others to keep your skin looking it's best. Happy carving!

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