In Bend, we love winter. If we’re not carving our way around the cone at Mt. Bachelor, we’re skate skiing or snowshoeing all around the area. But when you’re out there, don’t forget your skin. Winter can give you a mighty dose of UV radiation.
People think of cold weather issues when preparing for the weather. They protect against frostbite and windburn, but often forget about the sun. UV rays have a greater potential risk, especially at our higher altitudes.
The summit of Mt. Bachelor is 9,068 feet above sea level. That makes for some killer views…and killer UV rays. In fact, UV radiation exposure increases four to five percent with every 1,000 feet you climb above sea level. At 9,000 feet, UV radiation will be up to 45 percent more intense than at the beach. And that’s not counting that the snow reflects up to 80 percent of UV light, so you can actually get hit by the rays twice, from above and below!
Protecting yourself in the winter
Here are some sun protection tips for the upcoming winter:
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF or 30 or higher. Even on cloudy days, you’ll still get reflection from the snow, too.
- Use enough sunscreen. For your face, use at least one teaspoon of sunscreen.
- Use a moisturizing sunscreen with ingredients such as lanolin or glycerin to help keep your skin moist.
- Be sure to hit the usual missed spots: the lips, ears, around the eyes, the neck, underside of the chin, scalp, and hands.
- Always wear a lip balm with SPF 15 or higher.
- Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or if you’ve sweated a lot.
- Don’t forget your eyes — sunglasses or goggles that offer 99 percent or better UV protection will protect your eyes, eyelids, and the sensitive skin around your eyes.
And don’t forget to come see us at Deschutes for your yearly skin checkup, especially after spending all winter outdoors! Call 541-330-0900 for an appointment.