After a day on the trails, your skin can be dry, sensitive and irritated. Chapped or dry skin is typical in cross-country skiers. Cold, dry temperatures can take a toll on your skin, and cracking and dehydration are common. Here are some tips to soothe and protect your skin after a day in the snow.
Skin preparation is key
First of all, prevention is essential! Before setting off and hitting the trails, be sure to protect any exposed skin. Apply a thick layer of sunscreen (at least SPF 30) to your face, neck and any other exposed skin. Are you planning to take off your gloves? Also be sure to coat the backs of your hands. Choose a sunscreen labeled “broad spectrum” to make sure it will protect you from both UVA and UVB rays. Being in the snow can be especially tough even on a cloudy day. Higher elevations and reflection from snow can both increase your exposure to UV rays.
Once you’re on the track, take frequent breaks to reapply sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied every two hours. Remember to apply to your lips, ears and scalp (if exposed).
Hydrate. It can be hard to remember to hydrate in cold weather, especially if you’re going down hills, but being dehydrated will not only affect your performance, but cause your skin to look even more chapped at the end of the day.
When your ski day is over, take a few minutes to give your skin some love. Start by removing any sunscreen and dried sweat with a mild cleanser. Use a clean cloth if you need a little extra help removing sunscreen. Avoid anything that further irritates your skin. This includes harsh soaps, alcohol, and abrasive scrubs.
take a hot bath
A long hot bath can do wonders for tired muscles – and a hot bath can help your skin. Make sure the temperature is not too high as this will dry you out even more. Instead, fill the bath with lukewarm water and add soothing ingredients to your tub to help heal and nourish your skin. Try adding oatmeal or Epsom salts to your water; these ingredients have properties that can help soothe and nourish dry skin.
After your bath, apply a thick, creamy moisturizer to your skin. Choose a product that contains ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, or avocado oil. These ingredients will help seal in moisture and protect your skin from the elements. Body Butter will provide deeply nourishing hydration for dry or chapped skin.
Apply 100% aloe if you have areas that are particularly exposed to the sun. Aloe is a natural anti-inflammatory and will help soothe any sunburned skin.
While you’re in your cabin, give your skin a break from wool or any other rough material. While wool is perfect for keeping warm and dry, loose fibers can scratch and irritate your skin, especially if it’s already dry or chapped. Give yourself a break when you don’t need these materials. Putting on warm but soft socks, a cotton t-shirt, and cozy hoodies may be just what your skin needs to recover from a long day in the elements.
If you have patterning discoloration or other signs of frostbite, see a doctor. Do not apply any home remedy to frozen skin.