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No matter how intimately you adore your skin care routine, it’s probably not going to keep your lips and skin from cracking under the pressure of dry mountain air. Sorry. Hate to break it to you. What might seem like a small blister or simple sunburn will have you in tears by day three of your ski trip. The trick, as I’ve learned over three seasons of Wyoming winters, is to be proactive about protecting and nourishing your skin. As an avid backcountry skier and climber, here are my most tried-and-true methods of caring for my skin amidst high winds, freezing temperatures, and 0% humidity.
Winter skincare for skiing, adventuring, and living in dry mountain air:
- Sunscreen: Sierra Madre Sun Cream SPF 30 – $14.
- Face Mist: Tula Refreshing and Brightening Face Mist - $34.
- Moisturizing Sunscreen: Advanced Skin Therapy Protection Balm | Classic Balm - $8.99.
- Moisturizer: Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask Intense Hydration with Vitamin C - $24.
- Hydrating Balm: Bag Balm Skin Moisture Mini Tubes - now $19.99.
- Lip Gloss: Fenty Beauty by Rhianna Poutscicle Hydrating Lip Stain - $24.
- Balaclava: Skida Dear Diary Balaclava – $38.
- Balaclava: Verloop Striped Knit Balaclava - $85.
- Balaclava: Blackstrap Hood Balaclava - $37.99.
- CBD Lotion: Rest CBD Body Lotion - 300 MG - $18.99.
(Okay, can you tell we love balaclavas?)
Even on a cloudy day, sunscreen’s got to be in your daily routine. I hated lathering my skin in chemicals and smelly oils until I found this SPF 30 cream that smells phenomenal and has the healthy ingredients to match. The vitamin-E in this cream makes it healing and protective, and it’s another bomber product available in a little package perfect for a ski coat pocket.
If you’re looking for a pick-me-up pre-pregame post mountainside afternoon aprés, this face mist is the one for you. This spray is equal parts protective and brightening, making it an asset on a snow day. Hyaluronic acid protects you from the damaging effects of blue light, while probiotic extracts, strawberry, and kiwi fruit water help to bring your dry skin back to glowing equilibrium. This 3.51 oz bottle will need to go on your checked bag
I literally don’t leave my house without this moisturizing sunscreen. Dermatone’s “Swedish Formula” skin balm is designed to protect lips, face, and skin from sun, wind, cold, and even frostbite. I know from experience: Last season on a particular freezing day, the tip of my nose got frostbite while I was on the slopes . Not an event I’m dying to repeat. Now,I put Dermatome on my nose before I go outside, even to grab something from my car. The balm is designed with a water-free formula, meaning it’ll never freeze. Plus, it’s moisturizing and contains SPF 23.. It comes in all sizes, but the extremely portable, easy to use 0.5-oz tin is by far my favorite because it fits into every single pocket I own. Buy 3-5 and give one to each of your friends. You’ll be the best ski trip “mom” forever.
If you’re looking for another overnight hydration solution, this lip sleeping mask is your answer. This award-winning, leave-on lip mask is full of vitamin-C and free of parabens. It provides shine to dull skin and provides plumping to fine lines and wrinkles. Its 0.7-oz tub is designed for travel, and it comes in four antioxidant packed flavors. This mask isn't as heavy duty as Bag Balm (very little is) balm but is ideal for cracked lips after aprés. Wake up rejuvenated and wipe off what’s left before you apply your lip stain for the day!
Bag Balm Skin Moisture Mini Tubes - now $19.99.
Another balm that’s absolutely saved my butt from the below-zero temperatures of western Wyoming is Bag Balm, which was originally designed for cow udders. Hear me out: Before you scroll past this with a look for disgust on your face, this stuff works even when traditional Vaseline lets you down. When the corners of my lips continuously cracked over and over, I tried everything to heal them with different balms, and when I finally found Bag Balm on the shelves of a local drug store, I was beyond desperate. To my surprise (and delight) it did the trick! I recommend slathering your lips in this right before bed. You can buy these tubes in a pack of 6, 12, or 36. Here’s the catch: you shouldn’t use it in the daytime because it doesn’t have SPF. Maybe tell your friends about the cow udder element after they try it.
When it comes to lip looks on a ski day, long-wear lip stain is certainly the way to go. This one from Fenty Beauty by Rhianna is a low maintenance way to have glossy, colored lips all day long. Choose between several matte reds and pinks, and let go of the need to reapply. This stain won’t rub off on your cocktail and could be layered with Dermatone after it has set to ensure your lips are protected from the sun while you soak it up on the mountain. Best of both worlds.
Skida Dear Diary Balaclava – $38.
Beyond balms, salves, scenes, and creams, the best way to protect your beautiful skin is with a balaclava. This one from Skida, a Vermont-based skiwear brand, would look so cute under a helmet and comes in a bunch of different patterns to perfectly match your kit. If a full balaclava gives you claustrophobia, check out their buffs instead. Look really put together with a matching hat on the way to the bar.
If you’re ready to fully commit to the balaclava life and are looking for something a little warmer, this beautiful knit balaclava by Verloop is a gorgeous place to start. Made out of super soft, hypoallergenic yarn with horizontal stripes and a contrasting trim, the balaclava is ready to complete your look and protect your face from high winds. The natural stretch of the material means you can pull it back off your head if you step inside or happen to start overheating. For a more vibrant look, choose the lilac melon or stone blue green. If you want a palette closer to neutral, the rust caramel color is for you.
Blackstrap Hood Balaclava - $37.99.
If Skida’s patterns are too busy for your outfit, Blackstrap’s got the ski balaclava you’re looking for. My last (but not least) balaclava recommendation is this solid one.The thin but protective material and solid color design make it more versatile than my prior recommendations, but still just as functional and fundamental to your glow-protecting practices. It comes in black, white, brown, and nearly every other color in the rainbow.
Rest CBD Body Lotion - 300 MG - $18.99.
During my first ski season in Jackson Hole I fell in love with Social CBD products and this moisturizing body lotion is equipped with 300 mgs of CBD,making it a luxurious post-piste salve. This fast absorbing lotion has a natural oil fragrance and the power to make your skin heal quickly and muscles relax at the same time.