With the cold dry crisp air of winter comes dry, irritated and impaired skin. As soon as the heating goes on in your environment, the moistures in your skin comes straight out! This is even more true in high altitudes such as alpine areas. That is why skiers often struggle with irritable (and sun damaged skin). If you are heading to the slopes this winter, it is worth considering a review of your skin care.
1. Drop the A - Retinol as we know is the words best anti-ager, but in dry snow conditions it may in fact be too drying and irritating. Its best to stop all prescription grade retinol and substitute it for a very mild retinol that you only use once or twice a week. If you still experience irritation – stop it completely.
2. Up the Hydration - As the air dries so does the skin and body. A few pre-ski vinos will also contribute to dehydration. It’s important to drink LOADS of water when on the slopes, but also to drown your skin with moisture. A heavy moisture retaining product that prevents water loss from your skin is best. Think occlusive ingredients such as oils (jojoba for example) which will also assist in letting the skin repair its own barrier.
3. Screen the Sun (and glare) - Even though there may be minimal sun at altitude, UV is still damaging the skin and the glare/reflection off the snow contributes to this. Select a broad-spectrum UVA and UVB blocker like La Roche Posay 50+ Sunscreen.
4. Toss the Toner (and the scrubs and peels) - Try to avoid any astringent things on the skin like toners and harsh exfoliators which will only further impair the damaged skin barrier from the elements. Select a gentle cream cleanser that will replenish and nourish at the same time as cleansing. It may also be a time to reduce the frequency of chemical peels and stick to more healing treatments such as LED Healite.
It best to start these BEFORE you hit the slopes so you are not playing catch up …. If it’s too late then it’s time to head to your nearest Dermatologist or Dermal Clinician and get back on track!