Sunshine on a Cloudy Day.

pop quiz: the lyric above is from what song and artist? clue: girl, it’s tempting!

It has been a glorious ski season so far. There has generally been loads of snow across the Northern Hemisphere and, for the most part, there has also been great expanses of blue sky and sunshine. Consequently, there are lots of skiers returning to work with google eyes and rosy cheeks.

Of course, sunshine does also come with one or two problems. Snow and sunshine don’t mix well. Thaw conditions during the day can lead to ‘slush puppy’ skiing in the afternoons. An overnight freeze and groom can lead to skiing on cobbles in the mornings. But hey, the sun is shining!

No risk of goggle eyes if you don't expose skin

When skiing in Winter it is usual to have very little skin exposed to the elements. Come Spring, and you may be tempted to expose a little more. If you do, please take heed of this research by Columbus Direct, supported by their brand ambassador, Chemmy Alcott.

  • It’s may be cold but the sun still burns. Over three million people on winter holidays have suffered from sunburn on the slopes within the past five years.
  • The reflection of the sun off snow makes eyes even more venerable. Almost three quarters of those surveyed said they don’t always wear goggles or sun glasses in the snow.

The combination of holidaying at higher altitude and UV rays reflecting off ice and snow puts snowboarders and skiers at an increased risk of sunburn and long-term damage such as wrinkling, premature ageing and skin cancer. More than 90 per cent of all skin cancers are associated with sun exposure.

Chemmy Alcott, four-time British Winter Olympian.

Chemmy urges skiers to always wear eye protection to avoid suffering the painful condition of snow blindness. She also recommends packing high factor sunscreen on all exposed skin.

Chemmy said: “Anyone hitting the slopes this season should pack their zinc stick, high factor sunscreen and protective eye gear and remember to cover and protect any exposed skin, especially on your face, neck and ears. Falling snow and sweat can wash off sunscreen so it’s important to re-apply it frequently.”

Rob Thomas, Head of Brand at Columbus Direct added: “Most holidaymakers would have sunscreen on their packing list for their summer beach holiday, but it doesn’t have to be warm for the sun to be dangerous. Those heading off to the snow should be mindful of packing high factor, water resistant sunscreen and protective eye gear, not just to stop their skin from burning, but also to avoid painful conditions like snow blindness which can be extremely serious. As with any holiday, especially one involving winter sports, travellers should ensure they have comprehensive travel insurance as medical treatment abroad can be extremely expensive.”

pop trivia: ‘Sunshine on a cloudy day’ is from the opening line of ‘My Girl‘ from ‘The Temptations’ a hit in 1965.