Hitting the slopes? 3 ski-happy skincare experts share the products that keep them protected in cold weather

winter skincare
Photography by Carlo Mendoza
winter skincare
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

We quiz skin experts who ski on tried-and-true tactics for protecting their delicate dermis from the elements.


winter skincare
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Dr. Jessica Wu, Dermatologist

Winter Sports: Skiing at Whistler; she’s a member of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance.

Saving Face: “When you use heavier moisturizers and sunscreens, exfoliation is important, so I scrub twice a week with Dr. Jessica Wu Skincare Active Enzyme Micro-Polish Exfoliator.”

Sun Shield: “MD Solar Sciences Mineral Tinted Crème SPF 30 gives me a little coverage so I don’t feel naked. And it’s water-resistant for 80 minutes—which is important, because Whistler is at a lower altitude and can get really soggy even if the day starts out sunny. Research shows that skiers are at greater risk for skin
cancer, but, according to a recent study, most don’t use sunscreen.”

Bod Squad: “My arms and legs get scaly with dry indoor heat, which aggravates my eczema, so I always pack The Body Shop Body Butters. They’re less likely to leak in my luggage. My favourite is Coconut.”

Mountain Makeup: “I need some definition but don’t want raccoon eyes, so before I hit the slopes, I apply Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl Kajal
liner in Sparkling Black on my upper lids only and L’Oréal Voluminous Waterproof Mascara in Carbon Black. I use my Clinique Chubby Stick in Mega Melon for some lip colour and then apply La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL SPF 50+ Sensitive Areas Stick. I carry both in my jacket pocket to reapply at lunchtime.”

Après Ski: “I make sure I shower as soon as I get out of the hot tub. The chlorine is drying and can really make me itch, so I apply L’Occitane Almond Shower Oil.”

Night Treat: “I have oily skin; the hyaluronic acid in my Dr. Jessica Wu Cosmeceuticals Dew Cream hydrates without being too heavy.”

Lip Fix: “A thick layer of Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. Sticks can be too waxy at night.”

Secret Weapon: “I use Aquaphor Healing Ointment everywhere—cuticles, heels. It creates a barrier on the skin and holds in moisture.”

See Dr. Jessica Wu’s product picks »

winter skincare
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Kate Somerville, Facialist and founder of Kate Somerville Skincare

Winter Sports: Snowshoeing and skiing (she raced as a kid) at Big Bear Mountain and Mammoth Mountain in California.

Saving Face: “I make sure to apply products that act as a barrier from the wind and cold, so morning and night I use Kate Somerville Deep Skin Care Cream. It battles redness and keeps my skin calm with silk amino acids, and the peptides in it increase skin’s emolliency and density. I feel like it gives my skin back what it needs after a long day on the slopes. Over that I apply Kate Somerville Quench Hydrating Face Serum for serious protection—the lipids really seal in moisture.”

Sun Shield: “Kate Somerville Daily Deflector Waterlight Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ is water-resistant and mineral-based but sheer, and has a mattifier in it that makes your skin look gorgeous.”

Bod Squad: “I take a quick warm bath every morning. If my muscles
are sore, I use Epsom salts. I’m also a huge Curel fan. I have eczema and it keeps it in remission. I’ve tried every moisturizer out there, and I can’t live without Curel—it doesn’t feel heavy and it absorbs quickly. I pat my skin dry and apply it immediately.”

Tress Rx: “Enjoy Leave-In Conditioner is moisturizing, and it keeps my ends from splitting.”

Close Shave: “One year I went on a ski trip with my husband and I forgot my razor. I used his Gillette Mach 3 Razor and I never looked back. I tend to get ingrown hairs and irritation when I use women’s razors, and I love the really close shave men’s razors give you.”

Foot Note: “My feet get very dry and my heels crack, so I use this heel balm with emu oil and papaya enzyme that I found at the drugstore. The papaya helps mildly exfoliate while the emu oil hydrates and adds protein to the skin. Three days a week, I apply it and wear socks at night. It’s made such a difference! I use it on my hands too if they get really dry, or before I put on my gloves.”

Secret Weapon: “I love Neosporin. I put it on my lips if they’re hurting or dry. When you’re skiing or in a drier environment, your nose can get cracked and dry too, which can lead to bacteria getting into your system. If you put Neosporin on your finger and dab it inside your nose before bed, it helps prevent colds and flus. Every time I fly I use it too, and it’s helped keep me from getting sick.”

See Kate Somerville’s product picks »

winter skincare
Photography by Carlo Mendoza

Dr. Francesca Fusco, Dermatologist

Winter Sports: Skiing and outdoor Warrior boot camp workouts with her football-coach trainer.

Saving Face: “I work out three times a week, come rain, sleet or snow, and hyaluronic acid is my best friend. We all know it as an injectable wrinkle plumper, but it’s also a fantastic topical because it holds 1,000 times its weight in water. So after cleansing I immediately layer on Skinceuticals B5 Gel, Caudalie Vinosource Quenching Sorbet and Pond’s Dry Skin Cream.”

Sun Shield: “Vichy Capital Soleil SPF 30.”

Tress Rx: “Since I know I’m going to shower after my workout, I ‘pregame’ my hair. I mix a few drops of Clear Ultra Shea Nourishing Scalp and Hair Oil into Clear Deep Nourishing Treatment Mask, wet my hair and apply it before bed. Scalp hydration is important, especially in winter, and this line is formulated to moisturize hair and scalp. I wear a silk cap under my wool hat—wool roughs up your hair’s cuticle, creating frizz—and I’m ready to go.”

Lip Fix: “ChopSaver—it was invented by a trumpet player! It has shea butter, mango butter, avocado oil, grapeseed oil and sunscreen, and I like that it doesn’t clog the pores around my mouth, causing blackheads or bumps.”

Liquid Insurance: “I spike my water with Emergen-C. The vitamins, minerals and electrolytes keep me and my skin healthy and hydrated.”

Bod Squad: “I use Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash with Nutrium Moisture because it has a great blend of oils and vitamins. Immediately after, I apply prescription-strength Lac-Hydrin [available over the counter as AmLactin] when I’m still wet. The ammonium lactate exfoliates skin and helps it hold moisture at the same time. I pat dry and then apply Caudalie Divine Oil, a dry oil that contains polyphenols and argan, sesame, hibiscus and grapeseed oils. Tough areas like elbows, knees and feet get plain old Vaseline with a drop of argan oil—I love using oils to boost moisture—and then I might slip on Earth Therapeutics Moisturizing Socks.”

Nail Tip: “I use CND Solar Oil so my cuticles don’t crack.”

Night Treat: “I have the coolest little humidifier. You turn an eight-ounce bottle of water upside down into it and it humidifies the room easily and cleanly. I add a couple of drops of lavender or sage essential oil.”

Secret Weapon: “MyBody Calm After The Storm treatment—great name! I just tried it before a workout and it seemed to calm the redness from my rosacea.

See Dr. Francesca Fusco’s product picks »

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