There may only be another month left in the northern ski season and most people are now looking forward to spring but if you’ve booked a late skiing holiday (or are already thinking about your skiing holiday in the southern hemisphere!) it pays to prep your face before hitting the slopes.
Don’t think that because you’re not on a sunny summer beach holiday you don’t need to look after your skin – the sun’s rays are stronger at higher altitude and they can reflect onto your skin off the blinding white snow with incredible power.
Combine that with biting winds, cold, dry conditions and constantly moving from the cold to heated rooms and back again and you have a potential skincare disaster on your hands. However, if you prepare your skin before heading out and nourish it afterwards, you’ll stay your beautiful best.
Don’t skimp on the SPF
Protect your skin from the sun’s powerful rays with a moisturiser containing an SPF of at least 30 and carry around a pocket-sized SPF sun screen to top up your protection throughout the day. Don’t forget your lips – the thin skin on your lips needs its own protection with an SPF lip balm. Skin cancer experts warn that it is easier to damage your skin on the slopes than it is on the beach, both because the protection provided by the atmosphere weakens the higher you climb and because the snow acts as one giant mirror, reflecting as much as 85% of the rays back up to our skin.
Protect your eyes
Both your eyes and the skin around them need protection from the glare of the sun so make sure you pop on a pair or wraparound shades with wide arms or specialised ski goggles.
The natural look
A face full of make-up is not the fresh-faced look snow bunnies should be aiming for. Keep things natural with a light layer of tinted moisturiser, a sweep of pinky blush over the apples of your cheeks where they naturally flush in the cold, a couple of coats of brown-black mascara and a slick of lightly coloured lip balm.
Gently does it
Use a gentle face wash or foaming cleanser to remove your make-up – your skin will be more sensitive than usual after being out in the elements and needs a lot of TLC. Don’t use anything too harsh or abrasive.
Give thirsty skin a drink
Opt for a rich, intensive night cream and apply it all over your face and neck, paying particular attention to your nose, chin and cheeks, which catch the sun and wind the most.
Brush your lips with a wet toothbrush to remove dead, flaky skin and then slick on a generous amount of moisture-rich lip balm to keep them soft and smooth.
Don’t forget about your hands – although they will be covered by your gloves, your hands will still suffer and dry, chapped and cracked skin is common in the cold. Lavish some rich hand cream on them nightly and they’ll thank you for it.
Emily Buckley is a beauty journalist who regularly writes for Laser Sight, a leader in Lasik laser eye surgery in Australia.