Trail (UK)

Why sunglasses are essential in the snow


QPeople often tell me that I should wear sun cream and sunglasses when I’m out in the mountains, but is this really necessary in winter? Jack Corby, Cirenceste­r

Trail says Regular visitors to high, snow-covered slopes should be familiar with the need to protect themselves from the sun. The higher altitude combined with the sun reflecting off the snow means our skin can be exposed to more UV in the mountains than it would be on a beach. This exposure can be high enough to be damaging even when it’s cloudy, so the regular applicatio­n of sun cream is indeed sensible. But it doesn’t end there.

A study published by scientists from the Department of Eye & Vision Science at the University of Liverpool shows that the area around the eyes (specifical­ly the eyelids and between the inner corner of the eye and the bridge of the nose) is often missed when applying sun cream. Dr Kevin Hamill from the university explained: “The eyes, and the skin around them, are especially vulnerable to UV radiation. A thoroughly-applied sunblock of at least SPF 30 is a good start but isn’t enough. You also need to wear goggles or sunglasses. Wraparound frames that protect the whole eye area and have 100 per cent UV protection are ideal.”

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