What do beach bunnies and snow bunnies have in common? Skin problems caused by sun exposure. A day at the shore or on the slopes is wonderful for fresh air and physical exercise, but it’s extremely important not to overlook the negative impact sunshine can have on your skin.

People who love to ski and snowboard must be especially alert. Exposure to sun reflecting off snow (known as albedo) puts them at risk of sunburn, premature ageing and dilated capillaries. Meanwhile, extreme cold, wind and altitude can lead to dry skin, dehydration and even chapped lips.

In this article, we’ve got some timely suggestions to help you look terrific après ski, when you’re sitting around the fire and sipping cocoa (or something stronger).

Skin care tip: Sunscreen is a must for beautiful skin

As you may already know, your body manufactures essential vitamin D when the skin is exposed to the sun. It’s the reason we call Vitamin D “the sunshine vitamin.” Sadly, many of us don’t get enough.

 “Vitamin D insufficiency affects almost 50% of the population worldwide. An estimated 1 billion people worldwide, across all ethnicities and age groups, have a Vitamin D deficiency. This pandemic…can mainly be attributed to lifestyle (for example, reduced outdoor activities) and environmental (for example, air pollution) factors that reduce exposure to sunlight” – U.S. National Institute of Health

Winter sports are a wonderful way to get some rays of sunshine, but there’s a dark side to this sunny process: the UV rays you’re exposed to when you’re soaking up the sun can cause permanent damage to your complexion. Unless you protect yourself, you’re at risk of

  •  Dark spots
  • Age spots
  • Early onset wrinkles
  • Skin cancer

When you’re going to be on the slopes all day—or, for that matter at the beach—use a sweat-proof, sport-appropriate sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. Be sure to apply liberally in the morning and re-apply throughout the day.

Wearing goggles will protect your vision from the glare of the sun, as well as protecting the delicate skin around your eyes. But it’s not just your face that needs protection. If you unzip your jacket on the slopes, you’ll expose your neck and upper-chest to the sun’s punishing rays. Be sure you put sunscreen on these areas, too.

Ski enthusiasts should always take care to cover the hair, face and body as much as possible to cut down on exposure to the sun. It’s easier than ever to do this thanks to new hi-tech, but not terribly expensive, protective clothing for both summer and winter activities.

Skin care tip: Make sure lips are kissed, not scorched by the sun

Lips are subject to some of the greatest abuse from the sun. Then as they begin to feel dry, you may start licking your lips, which makes them dry out even faster, as the digestive enzymes in saliva leech your lips’ moisture.

The solution is hydrating lip balm. Look for an SPF of 30 or higher to get the full spectrum protection you’ll need. Like sunscreen, lip balm is not a one-and-done process. Carry a tube of lip moisturiser with you so you can re-apply frequently, before your lips start to feel dry.

Skin care tip: Moisturise from the inside out

One of the best ways to keep your skin healthy and radiant is to get a lot of water into your system. Not only is proper hydration essential to skin health, it’s vital to total body wellness.

Fresh, pure water helps you stay hydrated. But there’s more you can do.  According to Health magazine:

“20% of our daily H2O intake comes from solid foods, especially fruits and vegetables.”

Make choices that are high in water content, low in sugar and filled with naturally body-loving nutrition, vitamins and minerals that are good for skin.  Foods that get top marks for hydration include:

  •  Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Radishes
  • Tomatoes
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Peppers
  • Watermelon
  • Star Fruit
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries

Skin care tip: Cleanse & moisturise with the right products

A gentle cleansing and deep moisturising routine day and night is essential for skiers and sun worshipers. Even if your skin is normally oily, stay away from cleansers with alcohol or witch hazel. These drying agents can deplete your skin’s natural moisture before you even step into the sun.

Follow up your gentle cleansing with a deep moisturiser that will help protect you out there in the elements. Look for products that contain ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter and vitamin E, which can help seal off skin from dry air and keep chapping at bay.

At the end of your downhill runs, wash your face and neck as soon as possible. The goal is to eliminate dried perspiration, which can irritate the skin. A gentle cleanser is the right choice, followed by a moisturising night cream.

A special tip for men: avoid shaving skin that is burned or cracked. Also avoid high alcohol-content cologne or aftershave.

See you on the slopes!

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