Many people don’t realize they are at risk for skin cancer in the winter, but Julia Mancuso does. She’s a skier on the World Cup circuit and the most decorated Olympic female alpine skier in America. Julia knows skiers are at a higher risk for skin cancer because sunlight is stronger at higher elevations and rays reflect off the snow. “Ever since I was a little girl, my mom instilled in me the importance of protecting my skin from the sun," she says. "I follow that advice to this day — on the mountain or off.”
She's also passionate about raising awareness of skin cancer because her grandfather and aunt are dermatologists.“Ever since I was a little girl, my mom instilled in me the importance of protecting my skin from the sun. I follow that advice to this day — on the mountain or off.”
Julia shares her tips for protecting her skin while on the slopes:
- Put sunscreen on 15 minutes before going outdoors because it takes time for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and start protecting you.
- When selecting a sunscreen, choose a product that has an SPF of 30 or greater with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protection to prevent skin cancer and wrinkles.
- Make sunscreen a part of your ski gear bag so you always have sunscreen with you.
- Don’t forget your nose. I always protect my nose and wear zinc oxide to protect against sunburn.
- Find a time while you are on the slopes to reapply sunscreen every couple of hours because sunscreen wears off. I reapply every time I go into the lodge.
- To make sure you never forget to protect your skin, start your day with a daily moisturizer that has sunscreen in it.
- Wear goggles or sunglasses with UVA/UVB protection to protect your eyes.
- Because UV rays are more powerful at a higher altitude and rays reflect off the snow, wear a mask or bandana to protect your face from the sun. Doing so also helps prevent wicked goggle lines.
- Wear a hat. When I am not wearing my helmet on the slopes, I love to wear my trucker hats, which help protect my face from the sun.
“Be sure to protect your skin when outdoors no matter the time of year and check your skin regularly for signs of skin cancer,” says board-certified dermatologist Daniel M. Siegel, MD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology. “If you spot anything suspicious, see a board-certified dermatologist.”