Feeling like a reptile mid winter? Scared to expose your skin to the elements? Follow these tips from our winter beauty editor, Shonagh Walker, to keep your skin safe and smooth while you’re on the slopes this winter.
While some ski bums might see a goggle tan as a badge of honour, it’s actually a sure-fire sign that your skin has suffered a great deal of sun damage, something which, if repeated, could easily lead to scary changes in the skin, or indeed skin cancer.
Just as you would at the beach, it’s imperative that you cover all exposed skin with a top-quality broad spectrum, high SPF sunscreen. Use a chemical-free formula so it won’t A) wreak havoc with your hormones (chemicals found in sunscreens have been linked to hormone imbalance) and B) pollute our waterways when you wash it off at the end of the day.
I’m talking both externally, and internally.Keep skin smooth with a hydrating serum, used twice daily after cleansing.
Try Retreatment Botanics Restore Serum, $95. Quickly absorbed, its deeply hydrating, antioxidant-rich formula will infuse moisture as it fends off damage from external aggressors like UV rays and dry, cold air.
Back it up by drinking approximately 30mls of warm water per kilo of body weight daily. When you’re indoors, if you don’t have a humidifier, place a bowl of water next to the heater. It will help counteract the lack of humidity in the air.
Eat more avocado
I don’t know anyone who needs an excuse to enjoy more smashed avo, but anyway, here’s a good one. Avocado is rich is Essential Fatty Acids [EFA’s], which are critical to the body’s proper function. They are important for assimilating nutrients and vitamins, for a healthy brain and nervous system, and importantly, they are vital for healthy hair, skin and nails.
EFA’s are vital anti-inflammatory agents and the skin especially needs this when in an alpine environment to keep it calm, supple, hydrated and ultimately looking and feeling its best.
Other great sources include flaxseed and hemp oils, Chia, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and of course, leafy green vegetables.
Boost your vitamin B levels
Experts tell us that skin suffers when we are deficient in Vitamin B deficiency. The result? Chapped lips, dry skin and sometimes even eczema and psoriasis. Vitamin B is not synthesised by the body, so you’ll need to eat more of it.
You’ll find it inmeat, fish, poultry, milk, cheese and eggs as well as spinach, nuts, greens, carrots and bananas. For topical support, consider a serum, which will hydrate, strengthen and calm the skin.
Try Dermaenergy Calm the Harm EE Serum, $69.
Banish Winter Blemishes
Your skin could become congested and blemished in winter, as the cooler temperatures slow down its oil flow. This can result in a clogged pore and, if bacteria are present, a blemish or two.
Daily exfoliation is key. Use a gentle product like Retreatment Botanics Refining Face Polish, $55.
Simply massage over skin while you’re in the shower, or for a more thorough exfoliation, apply as a mask, let it dry and give yourself a gentle ‘dry’ exfoliation by massaging your fingertips over your skin to rub the mask off. This will also help purge any sunscreen residue that might get stuck in your pores, too!
Buy a body brush
It’s a great way to exfoliate the skin on your body, as well as boost your metabolism each morning. Start at the left ankle and move in long, firm sweeps up that side of your body and then down the right side, in the direction of blood flow. When you get to your tummy, move the brush in smooth circular motions to aid digestion.
Try Eco Tools Dry Brush, $15.99.
Treat yourself to a spa session
Is there anything better than a spa treatment after a day on the slopes? I don’t think so. Obvious skin benefits aside, a spa treatment will relax you and help to send you off into a deep slumber in time to make first chair the next day.
And if you get a full body massage, it will hydrate the skin on your body as well as relax ski-weary muscles. Win-win-win.
If you don’t have the time or the budget, give yourself an at-home massage using your favourite body lotion.
Avoid super-hot drinks
Yes, this is tricky in the snow, but hot drinks are a killer on the lips, especially if they are already sensitive. Putting that hot cup against them can burn the fine layers of skin and leave a chapped, torn mess. Ditto for alcohol, so go easy at après.
Keep warming, comforting drinks to a luke-warm temperature, and back up lip care with a soothing, calming balm.
Try Kora Organics Noni Lip Treatment, $29.95.
Start the day green
As tempting as a Bloody Mary may be, try having a freshly squeezed green juice or smoothie for breakfast to maximise your nutrients for the day ahead. Load up on green leafy vegetables, which will deliver essentials such as Vitamin A, C, E, K as well as calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and more.