Many people who are attracted to the outdoor activities or riding motorcycles are surprised when they realize they have become a victim of windburn. Thinking that they are safe from the sun as it is cloudy, cold and no longer in the middle of summer, they do not take the same steps needed as when they go into the sun.
The cause of windburn is primarily due to the removal of essential oils called lipids, which normally help to protect your skin from UV rays. When the wind is strong it removes these oils, and exposes your skin to harsh conditions. Skin irritation and redness can occur very quickly, especially in conditions where the UV is magnified. Locations such as in the snow fields, or in the water at the beach, can all cause the UV rays to quickly affect the sensitive areas of your skin such as on the cheeks or lips. Remember that even with cloud cover, UV rays can readily penetrate through and affect your skin in cold weather.
To prevent this from occurring, the use of sunscreen is still preferred since it is readily available and consumer are more likely to have some lying around. Some experts recommend replacing the natural oils that is produced by the body with other products. However, research has shown that if the incorrect oil is used, it may even accelerate the rate at which the skin burns. Before going out, try not to shave as shaving will also remove that layer of vital oils around the neck and face.
So what can you do once you have windburn? It is generally recommended to apply some ointment to sooth the skin, such as Aloe Vera or moisturizing jelly. Stay away from oils that can further cause burning to the skin. As it is probably red or easily irritated, also minimize the use to harsh soaps that are normally good at cleansing. These can remove any oils that are essential to the recovery of that particular area of your body. Also it is a good idea to not use any products that are scented, as the ingredients used for the scent can be an irritant. Bio oils can sometimes be used but bear in mind that oils can also cause further damage since they may heat up the local area of the skin. Oils are also known to trap dirt under the pores, so they should not be left in for extended periods of time.
We always recommend prevention rather than cure. If you are going outdoors, even in winter, always apply some creams to prevent windburn in vital areas such as around the face. Wear protective items such as sunglasses or goggles in the snow, and stay in the shade, or keep yourself away from strong winds. Windbreaks can be a great item to bring along if you are staying in one location for a long time. Not only will they protect your from elements that can cause windburn but they will also provide some privacy.