Earlier than normal spells of cold weather in the UK have no doubt left anyone planning a ski holiday, pining for a dose of the real stuff. Whether you are planning a Christmas getaway or a late-season break, whilst you are packing to protect against the impending exposure to the cold, spare a thought for your skin.
It is not necessary to completely reinvent the skin products you use, but a few tweaks here and there could make a huge difference to your complexion when you return home.
Most people wrongly believe that their skin is only properly clean if they have used a cleanser or soap that foams and bubbles. Anything that has these properties will contain some form of detergent which can also strip the skin of its natural oils – something that is essential in the battle against the cold weather. However, Cleansing balms are a great way of cleaning without using detergents as they are oil-based. Most make up is oil-soluble to make it compatible your skin, so cleansing balms can actually be more effective at removing dirt and debris than water-based products. Avoid mineral oil based ones though as they can aggravate acne-prone skin types.
Make sure you use an SPF with a minimum factor of 30. It is simple – the higher your altitude the closer you are to the sun and so you need to increase protection. Not only that but the sun reflects off the white snow, vastly increasing the chance of skin damage. Try to find a cream that offers both UVA and UVB protection (called Broad Spectrum protection) and ideally with zinc or titanium dioxides, as these provide the best sort of barrier. Do not forget a separate SPF treatment for lips too – this area ages really quickly, especially if you are a smoker. Whilst you might only need to reapply your facial SPF at lunchtime, you may need a handy pocket size lip treatment to use as regularly as you can remember.
Choose a really thick hand and foot cream for your holiday. Hands can be exposed for long periods and feet obviously get a bit of bashing in ski and snow boots. If you are usually prone to dry hands and feet anyway, try an overnight treatment by slathering your hands and feet with a thick moisturiser or balm before you go to bed and wear cotton gloves and socks while you sleep to stop it rubbing off on your duvet. A bit of a passion-killer, but definitely worth it!!
If you are the type of person who throws themselves down the slopes with gay abandon but does relatively little exercise for the rest of the year, you are going to get more than your fair share of aches and pains. Take a muscle rub or deep heat treatment with you, as massaging the affected area with a soothing aromatherapy cream can get stimulate blood flow and aid recovery.
On the aromatherapy front, it is surprising how changing your perfume can affect your mood for the better. In Winter, heavier, more oriental scents can feel more appropriate, improve our spirits and in general make us feel ready to take on the day.
As well as working from the outside, it is important to keep your body healthy from the inside too. Tucking in to alpine delicacies, vin chaud and hot chocolate are all par for the course but also try to drink a good amount of water to stay well hydrated. Eating oily fish and nuts (for their omegas and essential fatty acids) are also great for fortifying the skin. If you want to take it a stage further than consider buying booster supplements with anti-oxidant properties. They can be great shots of healthy goodness to perk up even the most sluggish of metabolisms.
If you have ever wondered how so many celebrities look so great on the slopes, we hate to be the ones to break it to you, but it is certainly not down to burning the candle at both ends, eating their body weight in cheese and knocking back endless shots of schnapps. We are not advocating being a complete party-pooper, but if you want to feel rejuvenated and revitalised and not in need of another holiday, then take a few of our tips on board to look after your skin and body to return looking the picture of perfect health.
Submitted by Alexia Inge, Brand Director at Cult Beauty. Cult Beauty is an online beauty boutique and blog that casts its net globally to cherry-pick the best beauty, cosmetics make up and skin products. Backed by advice from an esteemed panel of beauty experts, Cult Beauty is the savviest, most authoritative beauty guide online