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Friday, February 22nd, 2008

Smart Tanning Means Teaching Spring Skiing Sun Care

Professional indoor tanning facilities teach outdoor sunburn prevention as part of their charge. And that includes sunburn prevention for downhill skiers.Sunlight on ski slopes — particularly in the spring — can be more intense than summer sun at the beach. That’s why it’s important for skiers to be prepared.

2008-02-21-sunny-slopes-tanningnews-copy.jpg“Smart Tanning means sunburn prevention,” Smart Tan Vice President Joseph Levy said. “Skiers can easily avoid sunburn by practicing some common sense on the slopes. The professional indoor tanning community wholeheartedly encourages the appropriate usage of sunscreen outdoors as a tool to help prevent sunburn when sunburn is a possibility. Ski slopes are on that list.”

Skiers should be taught:

  • Put on full-spectrum sunscreen at the beginning of the day before going out on the hill and re-apply the product during breaks. “Your nose, above your eyes and your ears are the parts most people forget,” Levy says.
  • Wear fully protective lip balm to avoid chapping or burning your lips.
  • Indoor tanning prior to the ski trip — for people who can develop tans — is an excellent way to multiply the effectiveness of sunscreen on the slopes. “A tan makes your skin naturally more resistant to sunburn – it multiplies the effectiveness of sunscreen,” Levy said. “For many people, sunscreen alone in sunny areas is not enough. Base tans do help to prevent sunburn.”

Sunscreen manufacturers and groups representing them have, in the past few years, been aggressive at “sun scare” tactics in ski resorts. This past year, The Skin Cancer Foundation — a group funded by sunscreen manufacturers that conveniently recommends daily usage of sunscreen 365 days a year — sent out press materials encouraging skiers to “limit the time you spend in full sunlight, especially between 10 am and 4 pm.”

“That’s laughable,” Levy said. “Most ski areas open at 9 a.m. and close at 4 p.m. When are people supposed to ski? It’s sad that groups like these that could be teaching people practical, responsible sun care are instead preaching sun abstinence and over-use of sunscreen products.”