Powder and sunshine. There is probably nothing better for winter sport enthusiasts. The sun is a blessing for us all. Whether whilst walking, cross-country skiing or just in the mountains, we all love the sun. Unfortunately the sun also has a darker side. The happy-making rays (the ‘happy hormone’ Serotonin is released) are very strong in the Alps. This provokes not only a good mood, but can also cause sun allergies, sun burn and in the worst case, skin cancer.
Even when using appropriate skin protection, you will get some colour. The ‘harmful’ rays are only blocked and the melanin formation (the natural pigment of the skin) is stimulated.
Regardless of the weather, whether it be clear or cloudy, there is a difference from UV-A, UV-B and UV-C rays. The three UV rays differ in wavelengths:
- The UV-A rays are the long-wave rays and cause a fast but ‘unhealthy’ tan.
- The UV-B rays are the short-wave rays; these form a light callus layer (callus layer – protective layer)
- The UV-C rays are absorbed 100% by the ozone layer provided there is no hole in the ozone layer.
Important: Protect your eyes with sunglasses or ski goggles with a UV protection!
How long can I stay in the sun without sun protection?
The time you can be in the sun without protection is the self-protection time. The duration of this will depend on what kind of skin you have:
- Skin type: The Celtic type. Mostly red hair, light skin tone, freckles never really tans. Self-protection time: 10 minutes.
- Skin type: The Northern European type. Mostly blonde/brown hair and light eyes. They usually have freckles, tan slowly and often get burned. Self-protection time: 10-20 minutes
- Skin type: The Hybrid type with brown hair and normally brown eyes. They can be safely exposed to the sun for 20-30 minutes
- Skin type: The Mediterranean type: They have brownish skin and never have freckles. They can be in the sun for longer than 30 minutes
- Skin type: Dark skin types. They have dark to light brown skin and no freckles. Protection time: > 90 minutes
- Skin type: Black skin types. They have dark brown to black skin and no freckles. This skin type can be in the sun longer than 90 minutes.
Regardless of your skin type, you should always use sun protection because it’s not just the risk of sunburn that you need to be mindful of.
What does sun protection factor (SPF) mean?
The sun protection factor refers to how long you can be in the sun for whilst using the product without getting sunburned. The self-protection time x the SPF indicates the time that you can stay in the sun.
How do I correctly use sunscreen?
The sun is a life elixir and gives us energy, positive moods, health and vitality. In winter it is especially important so we should treat our skin carefully:
- You should apply your sunscreen roughly half enough before you are exposed to the sun.
- Depending on the strength of the SPF and your skin type, you will regularly need to reapply.
- Do not spare when applying!
- At the beginning of a holiday you should apply a higher SPF cream so the skin can slowly get used to the sun.
- Choose a higher SPF in winter – the altitude and snow make the sun stronger. Snow and ice reflect up to 80% of the UV rays, this is then increased by 4% with every 1000m of evelation.
- Even in bad weather, we recommend the same sun protection as in good weather because the snow reflects in both good and bad weather.
- Always think about your ‘sun terrace’: nose, mouth, ears and neck, they require a lot of protection.
Other than the SPF, what else is important in a sunscreen?
- Waterproof: We do not plan to land on our face whilst skiing but skiing is a physically demanding sport where you will often sweat. As soon as this happens, a regular sunscreen is as good as gone. In addition to this, a waterproof sunscreen will keep you protected in snow and rain.
- Cold protection: This is especially important for those who have sensitive, dry, thin or vasuclarly unstable skin due to genetic or environmental causes. As there are constant changes in temperature, the blood begins to accumlate and the blood vessels widen.
- No perfumes: Parabene and paraffins are not the most favourable ingredients so better to use a sunscreen without them.
- Adequate sun protection also prevents the skin from aging!
What should I do after a day in the sun – After Sun?
Care tip to make yourself: Quark–Honey Mask
- Quark: this has a high content of lactic acid and provides and binds moisture in the skin. It also regulates the PH value of the skin.
- Honey is not just yellow gold for our toast in the morning. It is also very rejuvenating and regenerating for our skin.
- Aloe Vera is very well known for cooling the skin and providing it with moisture. It also works as an antiseptic for rashes and as a healing agent should the skin already be lightly burned.
- Application: First clean the skin with lukewarm water, mix the quark and honey and then apply to skin. After 10-15 minutes, wash the skin again with water and apply the aloe vera gel.
If you are short on time then an After Sun Lotion is also sufficient as it is soothing and moisturises the skin. It will also help extend the life of your tan.
Also recommended: After a nice day in the sun, treat yourself to a facial. This is good for the relaxation and regeneration of the mind, body and soul. The condition of your skin will be assessed and a facial will be tailored to you.
Consult your beautician, pharmacist or dermatologist if you have any intolerances or allergies and they can help find the right product for you.