If you’re packing for a ski trip, you may be struggling with what to bring along in your skincare pouch. It’s relatively easy to pack for a beach holiday over the summer, but keeping your skin happy in the slopes doesn’t come quite as naturally. Today, we’re going to help you select some winter skincare essentials for your next ski trip. From lip balms to shower oils, we’ve got everything you need to keep your skin looking–and feeling–its best on the slopes.
Here are our best tips:
1. Start with a good moisturizer
Cold winter hair can wreak havoc on your skin. Dryness, flaking, dehydration lines and wrinkles, and the occasional crack or blister are all common effects of the cold, especially if you’re exposed to heavy winds (and you will be, during your skiing and snowboarding adventures). To minimize these effects, we recommend bringing along a heavy duty moisturizer with a rich texture. Forget your hyper-fluid water-like moisturizers; a richer cream will not only keep your skin hydrated, but also act as a barrier to protect your skin from the harsh outdoors.
Use your moisturizer in the morning, under your sunscreen, and at night, after a gentle cleansing. Your skin will thank you. As for the rest of your skincare routine, we recommend keeping it simple: consider leaving your exfoliating actives and retinoids at home, and making a temporary switch to rich, unctuous textures that will give your skin all the comfort it needs in the cold.
2. Wear a thick layer of sunscreen
A few years ago, sunscreen was the kind of thing you only wore to the beach. Nowadays, we recognize the importance of wearing sunscreen every day, but there’s still this pervasive idea that we can take it easy in the winter. If it’s snowing, it can’t possibly be that sunny, right? Well, wrong.
The exact opposite is true. If you’re on a ski trip, up high on the mountains, you’re actually a lot more exposed than you think. This is due to two factors: one, the intensity of the UV rays increases with altitude; two, the bright surface of the snow reflects the radiation, so you’re actually exposed from two directions.
All things considered, we think sunscreen is definitely a skincare essential for a ski trip. Choose a sunscreen with high SPF, and make sure to apply it every two hours for optimal protection. We’re going to add in an extra tip, too: choose a rich texture that will not only help you protect your skin from radiation, but also provide moisture and keep your skin hydrated in the dry, cold air. A sunscreen designed for dry skin may be a great option.
3. Protect your lips
Here’s a fun fact: the skin of your lips is extremely sensitive. You may have noticed your lips are always first to react to weather changes, especially when the weather cools down. Dry, chapped, and cracked lips are a winter staple for people around the world, but there’s no need to subject yourself to that sort of discomfort on the slopes.
To keep your lips healthy, hydrated, and comfortable during your winter holiday, we recommend choosing a lip balm that not only moisturizes but also protects your lips from the sun. A lip balm with high SPF is a great option to achieve this double duty. If you’re wearing a face mask most of the time, feel free to skip the SPF, and opt instead for a rich lip balm without sunscreen.
Most importantly, keep your lip balm with you at all times–we promise you’ll be applying and reapplying it quite often throughout the day.
4. Keep your cleansing routine simple
In the cold and dry weather, your skin can use all the help it can get. One way to make sure your skin retains as much hydration as possible is to replace your regular cleanser with an alternative that suits the harsh cold weather a little bit better. The easiest way to do this is to ditch cleansing with water; you can try a micellar water or a cleansing milk, applied on a soft cotton pad.
If you can’t stand the thought of cleansing your skin without water, then use a rich cleanser, like a balm cleanser, or a cleansing lotion for dry skin.
5. Use a gentle shower gel
What’s true for the face is true for the body: your skin will probably resent the cold all over, so consider swapping your regular shower gel for a shower cream or shower oil. These options will provide optimal cleansing without stripping your skin of its natural oils. They also help nourish and maintain the moisture balance of your skin even while bathing. Last, but not least, they are also more suitable for sensitive or irritated skin.
And here’s another little tip to put into practice after your skiing adventures: avoid the temptation to shower in really hot water, and opt for a lukewarm soak instead. Your skin will appreciate it.
6. Bring along a full-body moisturizer
If you’re not at all used to the cool, your skin won’t be either. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a body lotion or body moisturizer at hand to combat dryness and dehydration caused by the change in climate. You can choose between oils, creams or lotions, depending on your texture preferences. Generally, the thicker the cream, the better it will help your skin retain moisture. If you can’t tolerate the stickiness of a rich moisturizer, however, opt for a lighter texture. The best skincare product is the one you actually use!
If you’re not quite sure what to pick, we recommend looking for products targeted to sensitive skin, as they will not only hydrate and repair your skin barrier, but also help soothe itchiness and irritation.
7. Pamper your hands and feet
You’ll be spending most of your ski trip in gloves and boots, but that doesn’t mean your hands and feet won’t need a little extra TLC. It’s never a bad idea to bring along a rich repairing cream to comfort your skin and repair chapped, cracked, and split areas. We know hand and foot creams can be a little joyless–and not really something you want to make room for–but trust us on this one. A couple of days into your snowy adventures, you’ll be happy you brought them along.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to build a little ski trip skincare kit. We could have included a few face masks and relaxing bath salts for your feet, to help you wind down after a long day on the slopes, but we thought we’d stick to the essentials. Now it’s your turn to add on a couple of your own skincare essentials–maybe your favorite hydrating serum, or that one face oil you can’t live without.
Beauty Writer & Editor