Celebrity fans of skiing are legion, from our own royal family to Hollywood royalty such as Harrison Ford. But it's time to treat the slopes like the seaside, says a top skin cancer expert who has issued a health warning to anyone planning to head to the slopes this winter.
Dr Jonathan Bowling, consultant dermatologist at London’s Cadogan Clinic, is concerned people underestimate the importance of sun protection when on the slopes.
“Skiing is a fantastic sport and good for general fitness, but a lot of people forget the effect that the winter sun can have on their skin," he says.
"When you’re up a mountain, at altitude, your level of UV exposure is higher than at ground level, so you’re soaking up the radiation. Add to that the geography and the sun can be incredibly intense."
Dr Bowling says anyone skiing this winter should consider sun protection as essential as warm clothing and the correct equipment.
“Anyone skiing should treat the slopes like a beach and apply just as much, if not more, sun protection to any exposed skin than they would when stretching out on a sun-lounger.
"Sun cream for skiing should be the highest factor tolerated, with a minimum SPF of 30, should be broad spectrum to protect against both UVA and UVB and should be reapplied every two hours.
"Sun-blocks that contain a higher percentage of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide should be considered as they give excellent, long-lasting protection. A practical approach would be to use these products for just the lips and nose."
Visit www.cadoganclinic.com for details of the clinic's one-day skin cancer testing system. And try ZO1 Suncare, which is designed to withstand extreme conditions.
Invisible Protection Stick SPF 30, £10.95, is made for high altitudes and is also sweat resistant and helps protect against dryness, chapping and wind damage as well as UVA and B. Available from Sweaty Betty shops; call 0800 169 3889 for stockists.