Attention winter-sports enthusiasts: Time to begin your conditioning. You might have started your cardio and thigh-strengthening exercises...

Share story

Attention winter-sports enthusiasts: Time to begin your conditioning.

You might have started your cardio and thigh-strengthening exercises already, but what about your outdoor skin-saving routine? Have you given your hair a preventive dose of moisture and nourishment?

Remember, your hair and skin are the front line against the elements when you’re out skiing, sledding or skating.

That’s why sunscreen is still a must every day, says Dr. Kathy Fields, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at University of California, San Francisco.

“The sun is up and shining even on a snowy day. If you see light there are UVA rays, they can cause cancer and will cause wrinkles,” she says. “Sunscreen should be a habit like brushing your teeth.”

No sunscreen, however, works to its fullest capacity if it’s not reapplied throughout the day. “Sunscreen is a two-hour event,” she says.

Cold weather outside and dry heat inside is a recipe for dry, cracked skin as it looses moisture and, with it, its barrier layer, Fields says. It’s why people become susceptible to eczema and rough, itchy skin in the winter.

Preventive measures include using only gentle cleaners, exfoliating less (but not stopping completely) and using moisturizers, with either hyaluronic acid, ceramides, oatmeal or chamomile as ingredients, according to Fields. Those tend to be rich moisturizers without being greasy. It also helps to have a humidifier running in the house.

FACE

On the lips, go for heavier petroleum-jelly-based moisturizers, which are most effective after the lips have been polished gently with a pumice.

Aside from keeping your lips healthy, a layer of gloss does wonders for your otherwise limited makeup routine, says Troy Surratt, global consulting makeup artist for Maybelline New York. He says skiers should use a long-lasting lip stain to give a hint of color with the balm on top to keep the lips hydrated.

Otherwise, Surratt says, color cosmetics should be kept to a minimum — a little frosted eye shadow, perhaps in a pastel color, and waterproof mascara. There’s no need for blush since you’ll likely already have a rosy glow.

On the skin, choose a moisturizing foundation, but don’t put it all over your face. Instead, treat it like concealer, dabbing a bit under the eyes, around the nostrils and tip of the nose, and the tip of the chin.

“You don’t want to look overly made up,” Surratt says. “You want to look naturally sort of like an ice princess or an angel in a snow globe.”

HAIR

Hair presents other challenges. It gets dry in cold and wind, and dry hair breaks. However, if you tuck your hair into a hat, you’re stuck with hat hair. Either way, there’s static at the end.

“Don’t let your hair hang out when you’re skiing,” says Andrew Bartfield, vice president of education at L’Oréal Professionnel. “People love the look of it hanging out the bottom of the hat, but wind and cold are ripping through it and that’s worse than sun and salt every day in the summer.”

Preventive steps should be taken before going out — perhaps a professional strengthening treatment at a salon before the ski season starts — and then trimming off any damaged edges after it’s over, he recommends.

For maintenance in between, Bartfield suggests using ceramide-based styling products that will help revive the hair’s weakened barrier layer.

It’s actually easier to work with winter hair than summer hair, notes Brian Magallones, stylist for Garnier Fructis, because no one has the frizzies caused by humidity. While hat hair can’t be “cured,” it certainly can be minimized by wearing a low-slung ponytail, which, he adds, is one of the hottest Hollywood looks right now.

There’s not much a woman with short hair can do when she’s going in and out of the lodge and, more importantly, taking her hat on and off, but as soon as she gets home, if she works a little water-based wax through her hair, she’ll have a modern, textured look instantly, Magallones says.

Magallones shares his strategy for static: “Static comes from a lack of moisture. Anything that adds moisture helps with static. Put it in before you blow dry. Pick creamy products, not sticky products. Think of things that nourish your hair.”

His preference is Garnier’s Smoothing Milk, but he says other glossing products will do.