Emollient balms and nourishing barrier creams are winter skin's BFFs. Photo / Shutterstock

The Skincare Tips You Need To Know Before Hitting The Slopes

A trip to the snow can be good for the soul, but keep your skin in check with these helpful products

With months of cold weather stretching ahead, there’s only one thing for it: it’s time to hit the slopes. But whilst a ski trip can do wonders for the soul (and for toning your thighs), it’s also capable of wreaking havoc on your skin.

“One of the biggest challenges for your skin in extremely cold weather is dehydration, which can disrupt healthy barrier function,” says Gerwyn Powell, Head of Education at Kiehl’s.

“Over time, that can inhibit the skin’s ability to protect itself naturally, leaving your skin feeling dry, tight, rough, irritated, lacking radiance, and potentially leaving it more exposed to environmental damage.”

There isn’t much you can do about the icy temperatures themselves, but you can create a barrier between your skin and the elements.

Formulated with dry, dehydrated skin in mind, Aesop's Elemental Facial Barrier Cream aims to soothe and protect skin. Photo / Supplied

Aesop Elemental Facial Barrier Cream, $75, is a rich, nourishing cream formulated to offer barrier protection to dry skin that has been exposed to harsh winter climes. The classic Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $54, is another great choice for the slopes, with an indulgent yet easily-absorbed texture that hydrates for up to 24 hours.

“Look for moisturisers using a combination of lipids and glycerin to nourish, hydrate and protect by locking in and boosting the skin’s natural oils and water,” says Powell. “Ultra Facial Cream’s blend of ingredients reinforces the skin’s natural barrier while repelling environmental aggressors.”

Allies of Skin's Molecular Silk Hydrating Cleanser gently cleanses while maintaining the skin's lipid barrier. Photo / Supplied

A good barrier cream should help protect you against windburn, but if you do end up red-faced, this is where a great multi-purpose balm comes in. You’ll want to pack one anyway - for chapped lips, dry hands and any flaky patches on the face or body - but a dense balm, like Weleda Skin Food Light, $14, which offers instant relief from dryness while protecting skin's optimal moisture barrier.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream contains squalane, a powerful humectant that helps the skin to retain moisture. Photo / Supplied

Consider a hydrating cleanser, too, to avoid stripping the skin and losing moisture. Allies Of Skin’s new Molecular Silk Amino Hydrating Cleanser, $64, combines amino acids, safflower oil, moringa oil and hyaluronic acid, creating a balmy texture capable of removing dirt, oil and make-up to leave skin fresh and renewed.

A lighter take on the original, Weleda's Skin Food Light is now available in a 30ml size. Photo / Supplied

And whilst you might associate it more with summer holidays than ski trips, SPF will be the most important product in your arsenal.

“Light or thin cloud cover can actually increase the intensity of UV exposure, so it is absolutely critical that you wear your SPF every single day,” says Pam Marshall, clinical aesthetician and co-founder of Mortar & Milk clinic.

“This, as well as high altitude and reflection from bright snow, means that we are increasing our UV exposure 10 times for every 1000 feet in elevation. UVA breaks down our collagen and elastin, so in terms of premature ageing it's critical.”

Seek out broad spectrum formulas that combine both UVA and UVB protection and consider your skin fully prepared for the slopes.

- The Daily Telegraph

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