Don't Shelve the Sunblock - Sunburn Risk Can be Even Greater in Winter

Monday, October 6, 2008 General News
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RENO, Nev., Oct. 6 If you think now is the time tosideline your sunblock, think again. Head to the mountains this fall or winterand you could get burned twice as fast as you do at the beach. According tothe American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), UVA rays from the sun increaseexponentially with altitude and can be significantly more damaging in themountains than at sea level.

Located in the heart of Lake Tahoe's Sierra ski country and founded by afemale dermatology insider, Sierra Summits specifically formulated its HighAltitude Adventure Sunblock (SPF 40) to meet the demands of high-altitudeactivities and exposure. The lightweight product offers high performance anddependable sun protection for even the most stringent winter or altitudeconditions. The company is now distributing this product nationwide via itsWeb site,, and to select retailers in California,Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Virginia, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Idaho,Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Virginia and Vermont.

"During the winter, even cautious outdoor enthusiasts may unknowingly puttheir skin at risk by leaving it unprotected or under-protected," said SierraSummits' founder and CEO Jennifer Rice, PA. "Cool weather may lull people intothinking they don't need sunscreen when, in fact, UV rays are intensified bysnow and high altitudes."

Snow reflects 80 percent of UV rays and UV intensity increases by 10percent for every 1,000-foot increase in elevation. In the mountains or snow,skin can burn more severely in less time. The AAD recommends applyingsunscreen whenever you intend to be in the sun for more than 20 minutes, nomatter what time of year it is. Yet a recent study by the EnvironmentalWorking Group found that many sunscreen products on the market simply do notoffer the level of sunscreen protection recommended to effectively guardagainst sun damage, including skin cancer.

Rice, who worked directly with patients for years in the dermatologycommunity, created Sierra Summits High Altitude Adventure Sunblock afterhearing patients complain that there was no affordable product on the marketthat protected skin under intense, high-altitude conditions. She designed theSierra Summits formulation to offer multiple-hour, broad spectrum,high-altitude and photostable protection against UVB and UVA rays even on thehighest peaks, while offering supreme comfort through its lightweight,hypoallergenic formula. Sierra Summits' formulation has been verified byindependent laboratory test results and ranks as providing "high protection"under a stringent new FDA-proposed labeling program.

"People who live and play in the Sierras are serious about sunprotection," says Rice. "I am committed to helping everyone from enduranceathletes to vacationers make high performance skincare an affordablepriority."

Sierra Summits Sunblock ($7.95 for 1.5 oz tube, $25 for 8 oz) is availableonline at and in select retail outlets throughoutthe country, including: Raley's Fine Foods and Orvis.

About Sierra Summits

Sierra Summits is a small, independent, woman-owned skincare company basedin the Lake Tahoe area in the Sierra Mountains. Sierra Summits specialtyproducts include High Altitude Adventure Sunblock, 4Paws (soothing and healingbalm for dogs' paws), Adios (natural bug repellent), TrailHealer (naturalhealing balm for scrapes, contusions and abrasions) and therapeutic lipointment. The company produces eco- and budget-friendly bulk packaging foreasy refill options all year long. Sierra Summits products are availableonline at and at select retail stores throughoutthe country.

"Only Rookies Get Burned: Keeping your Skin Safe in the Winter"

-- Don't go naked! Wear broad spectrum sunscreen (filters both UVA and UVBrays) year-round if you plan to be outside for 20 minutes or more.

-- Know your burn: Don't assume it's windburn -- many people mistakesunburn for windburn due to similar symptoms, especially in cold winterconditions.

-- Save the mask for Mardi Gras: Take adequate time to make sure your faceis evenly protected throughout the day.

-- Aim high: When in higher altitudes (or around snow or water), choose anSPF of 30 or above.

-- Protect your peepers: Don't forget to protect your eyes; they can getburned too! Wear sunglasses or goggles with UV protection in the snow --you'll look cool and your eyes will thank you.

-- Avoid pink. By the time you notice a sunburn, it's already too late.Apply sunscreen to all exposed skin early and often.

-- Sport a hat. Your scalp is especially susceptible to burn in higheraltitudes.

-- Suit up. If you are in a profession that demands routine sun exposure,such as a pilot, flight attendant, resort employee, helicopter surveillance,etc. don't discount the damage your job may invite. Consider sunblock part ofyour daily uniform.

SOURCE Sierra Summits

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