With spring skiing now in full swing, the sun is getting more intense as each day passes, especially at altitude in the mountains.
At altitude there is less atmosphere to filter out the sun’s rays, which increases in intensity by a massive 20% above 1,500m. In addition, reflection from the snow, known as albedo, is also a factor – snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays back so you’re being bombarded by potentially damaging rays from all angles.
Add to this a generally drier atmosphere at altitude (don’t forget to stay hydrated) and your skin needs protection. It’s also worth considering that most popular ski areas are a good way south – Montgenevre, for instance, is at the same latitude as Bordeaux.
So good sun protection is vital if you want to go home with a tan rather than peeling pink skin. Here are a few options to prevent you burning up on the slopes, including clothing that also offers sun protection.
Lifesystems have formulated their sun cream specifically for high-altitude conditions where UV rays are particularly strong. This means it’s a little thicker than some creams and needs to be rubbed in quite well if you want to avoid having a white/pale-looking face, but this is actually no bad thing as it ensures you have good coverage.
Mountain Sun Cream contains highly effective broad-spectrum UV filters that offer excellent protection from harmful UVA & UVB rays, and it’s available in just one protection factor, SPF 50, which will be effective for pretty much anyone. The cream is also sweat resistant, which is useful in spring when it’s starting to warm up, even at altitude.
It has been dermatologically tested and is free from preservatives, making it suitable for children and anyone with sensitive skin. It comes in either a handy, flat bottle that fits conveniently inside your jacket pocket or as a useful combi stick complete with lip protection.
I’ve been using it for spring skiing and summer mountain biking and surfing for two seasons now and have found it to be both effective and convenient.
FOR Good level of protection, convenient size bottle.
AGAINST Quite thick so needs to be well rubbed in.