It’s the middle of winter in Duluth, MN. There’s a heat wave. The temperature is a balmy 40 degrees. It’s too warm to go ice fishing today. No Eskimo winter hat needed today. So you go for a long walk outside. And later tonight, when you’re brushing your teeth, looking in the mirror, you notice that your face looks almost beet red. Last time you checked you live in the Great Lakes region, not Miami or San Diego. Why is your face sunburned?
If the sun’s UV index is relatively low, say 3 on the UV index scale, the average person can sunburn well within an hour. Even in Minnesota—in winter.
The Sun Horse Energy ranch, where we make the world’s most complex adaptogenic herbal formulas, is located in north San Diego County, California. We’re fortunate that we can drive 10 minutes and go for a surf and on the SAME DAY drive two hours to ski or snowboard on runs that are over a mile high in the sky.
And when we do hit the slopes, we always take SUN PROTECT with us. That’s because the higher you are in the sky, the more you’re exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In fact, an elevation gain of roughly 3,000 feet yields a 10% increase in UV radiation.
UV rays reflect off of every surface. Regardless if it’s sunny or cloudy or whether you’re picnicking on a blanket in a meadow, skiing down a mountain or surfing, UV rays reflect off these surfaces. But it’s snow that is the most reflective of these surfaces. In fact, snow reflects UV rays nearly twice as much as other terrestrial surfaces.
In addition to the erroneous belief that you can’t get a sunburn in winter, another common misconception is that windburn is to blame for when your skin appears beet red. Spoiler alert: it’s the UV rays that cause your skin to redden; you’ve been burned.
You might think that only the most hardcore San Diego sun worshippers that lay out at the beach all day can get sunburned in winter. But the fact of the matter is that engaging in activities more associated with the Great White North, including tobogganing, ice skating, outdoor hockey, and yes, even ice fishing, can cause sunburn.
It’s true that the UV rays in winter are weaker than in summer. However, when the sun’s rays are reflecting off of the snow and ice, the sun’s UV rays, if you’ll recall from a couple paragraphs before, are doubled. This means that even in winter, in Minnesota, the sun’s UV rays can be on par with the UV exposure you’d get during the summertime, swimming in a pool.
Obviously, you should protect your exposed skin, even in winter, by applying sunscreen. (If it’s warm enough, and the UV index is at least 2 or 3, your skin can synthesize vitamin D3 in as little as 10 minutes or so. If it’s not too cold, try to expose some skin to direct sunlight for a little bit before applying sunscreen.)
You can also eat the best foods for preventing sunburn.
ALL YEAR SKIN PROTECTION & SKIN REPAIR WITH SUN PROTECT
Those of us here at the Sun Horse Energy ranch spend lots of time in the sun, taking care of our two horses, tending to our veggie garden, hiking in the nature preserve across the street, surfing, and occasionally hitting the slopes.
So it was only natural that Dan (Moriarty, master herbalist) spent countless hours researching the most potent herbs for UV protection and skin repair. Dan narrowed it down to 3 substances: the two herbs polypodium and baicalin and the anti-aging antioxidant, astaxanthin.
Dan sourced these ingredients and formulated them, creating SUN PROTECT, a capsule that not only protects your skin from UV damage but also helps repair UV damage from the inside out.
Learn more about the ingredients in SUN PROTECT and how easy it is to use. You can also check out the links to research on each of the ingredients and learn how they protect your largest organ—your skin!