We’ve all experienced it: cracked lips, raccoon eyes and dry, flaky cheeks after a day on the slopes. While being up on the hill and carving gracefully down groomers isn’t something you should be in a hurry to give up, there’s no denying that a day of Alpine skiing can really take a toll on the skin. Being an avid skier I have learned what works best out there on the mountain.
Luckily, it’s possible to combat the effects of sun, wind and cold temperatures without being forced to click out of your bindings.
What Makes Alpine Skiing So Hard on the Skin?
Let’s start with WHY Alpine skiing is so hard on your precious skin.
The main culprits are the elements. Alpine skiing exposes skin to harsh sun, bitter winds, snow and wind — often all at once! Together, these things deplete skin’s natural defenses and can lead to things such as sunburns, chapping, rashes and even dark spots.
In some cases, excess exposure to sun and other elements while skiing can even increase the risk of skin cancer. While this is a risk for all outdoor enthusiasts, it’s especially true for skiers, since snow reflects and intensifies ultraviolet (UV) rays and makes them more difficult for the skin to resist.
Upwards of 90 percent of skin cancers are the result of excessive sun exposure, and it’s critical for Alpine skiers to be aware of the risk and take proactive steps to mitigate it.
6 Winter Skin Care Tips for Skiers
Don’t worry, you can still enjoy a sunny day on the slopes and still look and feel beautiful. It’s actually possible, and very simple By protecting your skin with the following measures, it’s easy to enjoy great runs and have soft, touchable skin all winter long.
1. Wear SPF Every Single Time You Head Out to Ski
Easily the most common mistakes Alpine skiers make is forgetting the sunscreen. In addition to raising your risk of skin cancer, excess sun exposure also contributes to premature aging and skin discolorations. With this in mind, don’t leave the house without slathering on the SPF.
As a general rule, anyone who recreates at high altitudes should wear a sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30. For best results, find a sunscreen that is formulated specifically for the face (these tend to be less oily and can reduce breakouts and clogged pores), and don’t forget to apply it to the face, neck, ears and any other exposed skin.
2. Protect Your Lips
Lips are an often-overlooked part of most skin care routines. To prevent painful cracking and chapping and save the delicate skin of the lips from burning, apply a lip protectant with an SPF of 15 or greater.
In addition to blocking SPF rays, a good lip protectant will also help protect your lips from the harsh effects of cold winds.
3. Moisturize as Soon as You Get Off the Slopes
Wind, sun and cold weather take a lot out of your skin, and one of the best ways to keep skin healthy is to replenish its moisture as soon as you’re done skiing.
With this in mind, make an effort to apply a facial moisturizer as soon as the day is over. This will help your skin bounce back and will help avoid problems (such as chapping and cracking) before they start.
4. Always Wash With Lukewarm Water
After a chilly day riding chairlifts, it’s understandable that you want to go home and take a long, hot shower. While this may be comforting, it can actually have adverse effects on your skin.
Hot water dries skin and strips it of its natural oils, so it’s better to wash your face and body in lukewarm water whenever possible.
Having trouble deciding if the water is too warm? If it’s making your skin pink or red, the answer is yes.
5. Stay Hydrated All Winter Long
One of the simplest skin care tips starts from within. Skin needs moisture to stay healthy and replenish itself at the end of the day. Staying hydrated is one of the easiest ways to ensure your winter shenanigans don’t have devastating effects on your skin.
To make staying hydrated easier, carry a water bottle with you when you head out for the day. Warm drinks such as hot tea are great for hydration, but coffee has the opposite effect, so keep this in mind during your stops at the lodge.
6. Use a Nighttime Moisturizer
Nighttime is when your skin rejuvenates and replenishes itself, and you can help it by purchasing a quality nighttime moisturizer.
Designed to deliver critical moisture, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to the skin, a good nighttime moisturizer can work wonders on winter skin.
Winter Skin Care Made Simple!
Expert beauty tips for extreme weather conditions while keeping your skin beautiful on the slopes can be a challenge, these six tips will help make it easier.
By remembering to hydrate, moisturize and protect your skin, you can enjoy a fun-filled winter of shredding down the mountain, without suffering through the not-so-fun chapped, cracked, dry skin afterward!
So, go ahead, get out there and enjoy Alpine skiing this winter. These smart skin care tips will ensure your skin is ready for actio