The Best Ski Skincare: How To Stay Beautiful On The Slopes
7 minutes read
Whether you’re a black run pro or a slope newbie, along with those Moonboots and Moncler – you also need to be packing some serious kit to remedy weather-beaten skin, tangled hair, and sore muscles. So, here’s the best ski skincare products you should be packing on your next alpine adventure.
How Fun in the Snow Can Affect Your Skin
Those beautiful mountain-top vistas: from the dazzling sparkle of the fresh fall of snow to the clean, crisp mountain air – there are many wellbeing benefits when booking in for some snow time. However, sadly it’s this very environment that can also wreak havoc on our skin and hair.
According to a UV Index report by the World Health Organisation, “UV radiation is reflected or scattered to varying extents by different surfaces; dry beach sand about 15% and sea foam about 25% – but fresh snow can reflect as much as 80% of UV radiation.”
Matched with high altitudes, WHO says, “At higher altitudes, a thinner atmosphere absorbs less UV radiation. Meaning, with every 1000 metres increase in altitude, UV radiation levels increase by 10% to 12%.”
The wind chill is also a consideration. Surprisingly, anything below 8c – which is not that cold – can be detrimental to the skin. Windburn can be bad enough when out for a walk – but when you’re careening down the mountain at break-neck speeds and riding the gondola on repeat – the damage can be exponentially worse. Very quickly, windburn from skiing can become dry, red, flaky and inflamed skin.
Lastly, your skin must deal with temperature fluctuations. Long hot showers, baths, saunas, and steam rooms feel amazing to those achy limbs – but your epidermis will be compromised.
Some of this can, of course, be prepared for: with some careful planning, you can try to avoid the effects and enjoy all the sport and apres-ski has to offer and look amazing while you’re doing it. Read on to find the best ski skincare, hair and body products.
What is windburn? The effects on your skin
Ski windburn happens when low temperatures, lack of humidity and wind damages the epidermis. It has similar characteristics of sunburn – (and sometimes you can suffer both at the same time) but generally, instead of feeling hot and inflamed, it feels chaffed and tight.
Try: To help prevent windburn when skiing, you should try and cover skin – whether with a hat, face mask, scarf, headband, gloves, and goggles and employ a barrier cream. Look for anything that contains oils, fats, hyaluronic acid and butters – like Hydra-Essentiel [HA2] Rich Cream, £38 with shea butter and leaf of life. It helps skin self-hydrate and brings instant relief to dry skin conditions.
Skincare Products for Skiing: What Skiers Put on Their Face
The best sun protection for skiing
Despite the cloudy weather forecast and the low temperatures – as you know by now, choosing a high SPF when skiing is non-negotiable. When you’re out on the slopes and exposed to wind and sun, it’s essential to reapply sunscreen often. Dermatologists from Skincancer.org suggest using a very rich emollient sunscreen. “When you’re in the wind, it’s vital to reapply sunscreen often, at least every two hours. A rich cream or oil formula may be better than a light lotion or ‘dry spray’, especially in strong wind. By adding more moisture to your skin, you will likely decrease the dryness that makes it more vulnerable to damage from UV rays.”
Try: Dry Touch Facial Sun Care UVA/UVB 50, £22; this provides a decent SPF, along with ingredients like senna that provides anti-dehydration relief and it’s also water and sweat-resistant, so it will remain intact if there’s the sprinkling of piste powder.
Dial down the redness
If you are prone to redness, it’s worth investing in a colour-correcting primer. The SOS Primer, £28.50, is a subtle, green-tinted lotion that can help even the complexion tone, and the sea lily extract will also up your hydration factor. Wear alone or under your base to help make-up stay intact.
Hands & feet
Hands and especially feet take an absolute bashing. From chafing and blisters to dry skin patches, those ski boots are not made for comfortable all-day walking. So, pack your blister kit and maximise products to make them work harder. At the end of a long day, Perrine Monce, Clarins International Training Manager, recommends “adding a couple of drops Blue Orchard Oil, £38 to your hand cream”. Beauty Daily can agree, the smell is fantastic and the oils are therapeutic to help remedy dry skin.
Opt for a balm instead of a cream or lotion for extremely dry skin conditions, as this will further increase the cocooning factor.
If there’s one ingredient I look for when choosing a hand product, it’s shea butter – it heals dry skin quickly and efficiently and feels amazing too.
Try: Hand and Nail Treatment Balm £25.50: it contains 26% shea butter and even though super nourishing – it’s non-greasy too so it can be used day and night.
The skin on your lips is more sensitive than the rest of your face – and can also be the first to show the signs of dryness. So, choose a formula that includes occlusive agents (waxes, butters and various oils) to create a physical barrier to prevent water loss and keep lips protected day and night.
Try: Hydra-Essentiel Moisture Replenishing Lip Balm, £21, with shea butter and blue lotus wax is high in fatty acids and ceramides protect from dehydration and nourish. Plus, packaged in a lightweight tube, you can pack it in your jacket and apply it when catching a ride on the chairlift.
The Hydra-Essentiel [HA2] Rich Cream, £38 is a real multitasker – it can be used day and night or as a mask and the shea butter-loaded formula cocoons and protects skin while also cutting down on the packing space.
Skincare for sensitive types
The beauty experts at Clarins say, “A soon as sensitive skin starts feeling stressed, it reacts, and redness can occur. Pollution, cold or strong winds are all enough to trigger an outbreak. Why? Because these harsh external factors impair the skin’s hydrolipidic film, which is essential to protecting skin tissue. As well as being unsightly, redness renders the skin more fragile, making it particularly uncomfortable.”
Try: Physical blockers, that contain ingredients like titanium dioxide, are proven to be less irritating than a chemical version. Try Mineral Facial Sun Care Liquid UVA & UVB, £22.
Long hair can quickly turn from a great mane into dreadlocks on the slopes. Use a Nourishing Beauty Hair Oil, £23 on the lengths and then plait so you’re not whipped into a complete mess by the end of the downhill session.
Aches and pains
Sore muscles can seek solace from a decent massage. If you don’t have a sparring partner for this or time for a spa visit – then you can pack the brilliant Theragun Mini, £155 – pro-sports and physiotherapists love it. This massage tool employs percussive therapy to help with tackling cramps, knots and muscular spasms.
Also helpful is to add some decent salts to your bath. Pursoma After The Class Post Workout Soak, £21, relieves muscle tension and soreness thanks to the magnesium, sea salt and aromatherapy mix.
Finish off with the Energizing Emulsion for Tired Legs, £29, it’s not just for legs – apply anywhere you need help with aches, pains and tiredness.
What to Avoid?
If your skin is sensitive, then leave the scrubs, peels, and actives like retinol at home. When your skin is dealing with these outside aggressors you don’t want to make it work even harder than it has to. Instead, think nourishing, cocooning and hydrating as your buzzwords for your ski skincare regimen.
Plus, with high altitudes lacking humidity and oxygen, it means you need to up your water intake to counteract the dryness of the mountain environment. So (try) to keep diuretics like energy drinks, caffeine and alcohol to a minimum. Although, of course, we can also blame altitude sickness if we overindulge on the après-ski socialising – but that’s a completely different story. Watch this space…