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If we spontaneously think to protect our skin when we’re at the beach, under the summer sun, it is just as important to opt for adapted products when we go to the mountain in the winter to enjoy some ski. The face, the lips, and hands should receive special attention to avoid small injuries that could ruin a winter holiday…
We sometimes forget that the sun in the mountains is more aggressive than at the beach. This can be explained in a number of ways. First, the ultraviolet rays have less of an atmospheric filter because of the altitude. Further, the sun reflects off the snow and sends back 85% of the ultraviolet rays (where the sand only reflects back 20%). Finally, in the mountains, we tend to be more concentrated on the cold and we forget about the dangers of the sun. And the mountain sun attacks your skin even when it’s cloudy. The cold’s numbing effect is such that you will not feel a sunburn and fair-skinned skiers can face important sunburn risks.
Given the above, it is imperative not to forget to pack a few products that will help to protect your skin while you ski. First, plan on a sun cream that is adapted to your skin type: opt for a cream rather than a spray or a lotion. We tend to slather on more of the creamier products. The protection level is especially important: opt for an SPF level of 50+ especially if you have sensitive skin (we’re thinking of the kids here) or if you expect a prolonged exposure. This is particularly true in the spring and/or at very high altitudes. Renew the application at least twice a day (morning and beginning of afternoon) and more if you are spending the entire day on the slopes. The regular use of a lip balm will complete the face’s protection and avoid chapped, blistered lips, along with the application of a good hydrating cream at night like a cold cream to fight the cold that can dry out the skin.
Because our hands are more often than not protected by gloves we often forget that they also suffer from the cold and the dry mountain air. Often, the skin of the hands, already fragile, becomes rough and chapped. Pack a good moisturizing cream for the hands, apply at least once a day and more if necessary.
Read the other topics from the "How to prepare your ski holidays" section.
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