Skiers are just as likely as beachgoers to get sunburned and suffer premature wrinkling or even skin cancer, says James Leyden, a University of Pennsylvania dermatologist.
Leyden says that although more of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays reach the earth during the summer months, "UV dosage increases by about 5 percent for every 1,000 feet above sea level, and the snow reflects up to 90 percent of these rays, thereby intensifying the potential for skin damage."Leyden, a consultant for Avon Products, suggests that skiers use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 15, paying special attention to sun-sensitive spots such as the nose, ears and eye area. Apply sunscreen at least 15 minutes before going outdoors to allow it time to form a more uniform barrier.
He suggests wearing sunglasses that offer maximum UV protection. Eyelids are not only prone to burn, he says, but recent studies have linked cataracts to sun exposure.