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As the winter continues, there is one item you may forget to pack on your cold weather trips: sunblock. If the sun’s out, even if it’s cold, you should remember to wear sunblock especially in high altitudes and while participating in outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking or boat trips.
Surprisingly, the damage the winter sun does to our skin is more than what we imagined. Read to learn our sun safety tips for outdoor winter trips!
Sun Safety Tips
“Winter sun is just as dangerous as summer’s. The snow reflects the glare of the sun – and the damaging UV rays,” says skin expert Dr. Adam J. Scheiner.
Whether you’re planning a Colorado ski trip or Alaska cruise, don’t forget to pack your sun block. The water and snow act like mirrors all around tilting back those harmful rays towards you. People who love mountain sports such as skiing and snowboarding are potentially getting more UV damage; about 4-5 % for every 1,000 ft. above sea level.
“It’s not OK to lie baking in the sun for hours,” Scheiner reveals, “even if it’s just one week out of the winter.”
My face burnt to a crisp in the winter in Lake Titicaca, Peru. Other travelers and I didn’t even think to wear sunblock since it was freezing cold. However, we were on a boat in the highest navigable lake in the world so that was a recipe for sun damage disaster.
As winter makes escaping the sun more tedious and almost impossible, there are things you can do to save your skin from further damage:
Sun exposure does not only occur when we are on the beach, going on a mountain hike or even skiing. “Anytime you go outside, you’re exposing yourself to damaging UVB and UVA rays,” Dr. Scheiner shares. “The result is cumulative. A little bit here and a little there adds up,” Scheiner says.
How to avoid chances of having skin cancer on winter? Wear sunscreen always even when driving. Studies have shown that the left side of the driver’s body is always most at risk. Choose products with at least with 30 SPF or more.
For full body coverage, here’s a range of clothes with SPF 30+.
The way to minimize its effect is to choose the products you apply on your skin, as well as eating healthily. Foods rich in antioxidants can help detoxifying the body from the harmful agents acquired externally. This includes carrots, tomatoes, blueberries, beans, peas, nuts and fatty fish. Also, take in lots of Vitamin C.
The skin needs a good detox too; removing dead skin cells is your first step to a healthier, glowing skin. Topical creams such as moisturizers can reduce wrinkles and age spots.
TFG loves this face scrub!
At the first sign of damage, it’s time to hit the counter. Exfoliate your skin every once in a while. Switch your regular lotions with a heavier moisturizer. Minimize longer, hot baths and allow your body’s natural oils to replenish your skin. When the damage can’t be treated by products alone, it’s time to consult a doctor.
For a convenient travel option, check out this purse friendly sunblock stick that’s perfect for your face. It’s easy to apply and just a bit bigger than a chapstick!
What are your sun safety tips for outdoor winter trips?
For more tips, please read:
- Winter Skincare Tips for Travelers
- Sun Safe Travel Clothing
- 5 Ski Trip Travel Gear Tips
- Machu Picchu Packing List