Fresh Turns, Not Sun Burns - A Reminder for Spring Sun Protection
Working in the ski industry, I know ski guides who swear by their trusted brands of sun protection to avoid yet another hazard which is ever present in their work. And with spring skiing hitting it’s sunniest, brightest days, why not explore what you should be applying, and re applying while enjoyed some epic bluebird skies.
- Block vs Screen
Sun “screens” work by way of chemical compounds absorbed into the skin and absorb UVA rays before they can damage the skin. Sun “block” is a physical barrier or reflector that will prevent UVB rays from burning the skin.
Both are important in protecting yourself from the sun, but in my experience, the block appears to be the weapon of choice in the battle against the sun. I base this on the amount of white faces, noses and lips that dominate many backcountry ski guides faces, and talking with many who swear by sunblocks containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These are noticeably white in colour when applied, somewhat greasy but in the end, act as an amazing sun, wind and cold weather protector. If you want to get really into it, you can even make your own:
- Clothes Count
Merino wool base layers can be used as an additional protector from the sun. Wearing a light base layer while touring up is way better than say a tank top (or hey, no top). So consider that when layering up on those sunny days. Also keeping a buff around your neck, or even over the face will do wonders preventing sun burn. If you’ve forgotten to apply sunblock, or to reapply, this will be the next best thing.
- Cover your mouth
Unless you want to end your tour looking like you just won the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge, buy a lip chap that contains sunscreen or block, and use it MANY times throughout the day. The look of sunburnt, chapped lips is the stuff of nightmares.
**note: I am not a doctor. Please consult a skin care professional and/or conduct your own research, ask you mom etc. for additional info on sun/skin protection.