While some of us are counting the days till spring, many others are still enjoying the last few weeks of winter by hitting the sunny slopes and inhaling the fresh Alpine air. But, all the outdoor fun, severe climate change, indoor heat, frigid temps and air travel comes with dry, chapped, flaky, tight skin, which can disrupt our normal daily skincare regimen.
Prep skin before and after going to extreme climates and high altitudes by moisturizing properly. “A good moisturizer helps to protect the skin from dryness, chapping and weathering, and keeps it smooth, soft and healthy,” says New York-based Board Certified Dermatologist Amy Wechsler. “A moisturizer applied directly to the skin will keep water from evaporating and gives the skin a healthy, dewy appearance.”
Most experts agree that products with emollients—jojoba oil, lanolin, glycerol and squalene—and humectants— glycerin, mineral oil, hyaluronic acid and AHAs—are key to banishing troubled dehydrated skin and replenishing moisture quickly. “Emollients act as lubricants on the surface to fill in the crevices between cells ready to shed, thus helping the loose edges of dead skin cells adhere together. Humectants draw water to the skin’s surface, thus increasing the water content of the epidermis,” adds Wechsler.
Making small changes to your skincare routine before traveling and heading to the slopes can help skin hold up to the elements. “The key is to switch products that are not going to strip the skin or be too harsh,” says New Jersey-based Board Certified Dermatologist Jeanine Downie. “Don’t leave home without hydrating cleansers and face moisturizers that also have SPF. For the face, look for products that contain natural ingredients like olive leaf extract, which hydrate and provide antioxidant protection,” adds Downie. She also recommends products with glycolic acid as they gently exfoliate, but warns to use only three to four times a week.
Incorporate the following products into your après-ski routine and skin will be plumped and hydrated, ready for the warm spring days ahead.
Apply Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Cream before or after skiing for smooth healthy skin that withstands harsh weather conditions. The new anti-aging cream wakes up skin cells with high concentrations of Haberlea rhodopensis, a rare resurrection flower found in harsh mountain ranges in Bulgaria, which trigger skin cells to retain more moisture, increase cell vitality and stimulate collagen production. It also contains Vitamin E, cocoa and shea butters and essential fatty acids such as oleic acide, glycerin and squalene. $60 www.kiehls.com
A few pumps of Lubriderm’s Intense Skin Repair Calming Relief Lotion soothes and moisturizes chapped, dry, itchy skin with thirst quenching ingredients such as glycerin, mineral oil and petrolatum. Featuring time release technology for 24-hour hydration, this body lotion does not feel greasy one bit and leaves dry rough skin feeling smooth. $7 www.drugstore.com
Most cleansers can be drying in harsh weather, but not skynICELAND’s pure cloud cleanser. This gentle facial cleanser is ultra-soothing on wind-damaged and sunburned skin and removes makeup in a pinch. It contains plenty of moisturizing ingredients such as olive fruit oil, shea and cocoa butters, meadowfoam seed oil, aloe extract, and the brands’ signature Biospheric Complex—a blend of mineral-rich Icelandic glacial water, Arctic berries and oxygenated liposomes. $28 www.skynICELAND.com
KORRES Yoghurt Moisturizing Mask is the perfect antidote for chapped, dry, flaky skin. Made with real yogurt and watercress extract, it provides instant comfort to irritated skin with its cooling velvety texture and vitamin-rich ingredients. $29 www.korresusa.com
Fight aging and replenish skin’s moisture with NeoStrata’s Bionic Lotion. This lightweight face lotion combats extremely dry skin and eczema with gluconolactone, a next generation AHA, and lactobionic acid, a powerful antioxidant that plumps skin and protects against future damage. $32 www.neostrata.com
A good lip balm is essential and Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Lip Moisturizer with SPF 15 is a good option for battling harsh climates, high altitudes and air travel. The moisturizing blend of castor seed oil and corn oil, petrolatum and beeswax is not the slightest bit greasy, making it wearable under lipstick. $3 www.neutrogena.com