We talked with a dermatologist to find out the best way to prevent the winter sun from damaging your skin
You’re probably careful about protecting your skin when you’re at the beach in the summer, but do you take the same precautions when you’re skiing? You should, because skiing at elevation actually puts you at greater risk for sun damage than when you’re summering at sea level.
“You’re actually experiencing higher exposure to harmful rays because of the higher altitude and thinner atmosphere,” says Doug Grossman, a Salt Lake City-based dermatologist who practices at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. The institute recently partnered with the National Ski Areas Association to raise awareness among skiers and snowboarders about the importance of protecting your skin on the slopes.
“With every thousand feet of elevation gain, you’re experiencing 10 percent more sun exposure,” Dr. Grossman says. “So here in Salt Lake, if you’re skiing on the mountains, you’re getting twice as much sun exposure than when you’re in the valley.”
Dr. Grossman recommends adding a mineral-based sunscreen to your ski bag so you never forget to apply it to your face before you hit the lift. We’re taking it a bit further and recommending five different skin-care products to help keep your face from getting weathered this season.
Original Ski Balm ($13)
Mineral-based sunscreens are best because you don’t have to reapply them as often. Original Ski Balm is an all-natural salve with SPF 40 sun protection, and it forms a protective layer against harsh winds.
Beyond Coastal Lip Balm ($3)
All of Beyond Coastal’s lip balms have SPF 15 sun protection and are made with all-natural ingredients like aloe vera, shea butter, and vitamin E to help moisturize your lips. We like the coconut flavor.
Brickell Men’s Daily Essential Moisturizer ($35)
Your skin takes a lot of abuse, even if you use sunscreen regularly. A daily moisturizer helps hydrate and heal the damage done. Brickell is all-natural, vegan, and consists mostly of shea butter and jojoba oil. It’s a nongreasy formula, so you won’t leave behind residue on your gear or your pillow.
Rugged and Dapper Daily Facial Cleanser ($25)
This daily scrub foams and exfoliates to strip away all the grime your face has collected throughout the day. It’s all-natural, organic, and full of things like rose-hip oil and aloe, so it moisturizes while it cleans.
Honest Amish Beard Balm Leave-in Conditioner ($12)
Your beard needs just as much attention in the winter as your face does. This beard balm hydrates it with natural oils like avocado and pumpkin seed as well as shea and cocoa butter. Put it on after a long day in the sun and wind to soften and condition your battered beard.