Godfrey’s Guide: Skincare for Skiers, Snowboarders, Rock Climbers, and Frequent Fliers

Skincare for Skiers, Snowboarders, Rock Climbers, and Frequent Flyers

Ask Jean

Jean Godfrey-June is our beauty editor, but her enthusiasms are many.

There’s dry air, there’s cold air, there’s dry, cold air up in the mountains, and then there’s the ultimate skin-inhospitable environment, the airplane. Even the most luxurious winter trip—Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado, Twin Farms in Vermont, Mi Amo in Arizona—typically involves not just one but a series of these situations, each of which can leave your skin drier than the next.

Growing up, I spent a lot of time up above 10,000 feet in the Rockies. While my teenage self complained about roughing it, she relished the significant decrease in breakouts: Mountain air—any time of year, but especially winter— is so dry that even the oiliest skin often needs moisturizer more than it does acne cream. No matter what your skin type, the sun, wind, and snow are going to weaken it, dry it out, and prematurely age it if you don’t take precautions.

The first order of business is to pack real skincare: My editing-the-suitcase urge is often strongest where it’s needed the least: I pack many more potential outfits than I might possibly wear, and then cut out an oil here, a lip balm there—and seriously regret it. Also, a travel size is fantastic for a weekend but no more.

The second is to re-apply like a crazy person. You’ll only do this if you love whatever it is your applying; the following is a non-minimalist list of beyond-delightful, super-deluxe, wildly effective winter/desert/mountain/airplane essentials:

1.Mineral Sunblock
There’s a lot less atmosphere between you and the sun in the mountains. If you want to prevent aging and dryness, serious, non-chemical sun protection is…the key. What physical, mineral sunblock also has going for it: Skin-soothing properties that are incredibly helpful against windburn and allergies (irritation is the root of all aging, so discouraging it is about as important as it gets).

  • Skincare for Skiers Naturopathica Daily UV Defense Cream SPF 50 goop, $58

    Sleek and softly, subtly matte, this daily moisturizer is super-charged with sun protection—a full, nontoxic (to people and to coral) SPF 50 that sinks in so easily. Amazing on its own, over makeup, on the backs of your hands…we keep one in the makeup bag and one in the glove compartment for emergency sun situations.

2. Super-healing Balm
I often get the feeling that I can’t catch up, moisture-wise, with crazy-dry air—the moisturizer and even the oils I put on work like bandaids, fixing the immediate problem but never sinking in enough to really make a difference. A balm that turns into an irritation-discouraging, turbo-moisturizing oil—and can double as lip balm, cuticle cream, bug-bite salve, and more? Must. Have.

  • Skincare for Skiers May Lindstrom The Blue Cocoongoop, $180

    This deeply luxurious, miracle-working pale-blue balm genuinely (and immediately) transforms irritated, sensitive, or delicate skin, and it feels incredible, no matter what your complexion. Intensely moisturizing, it melts into skin on contact and calms, nourishes, and softens with anti-inflammatory concoction of blue tansy, botanicals, and oils. Created by reactive-skin-sufferer/former model/gorgeous-skin-guru May Lindstrom, the glacial-blue formula is as gorgeous as it is effective.

3. Head-Clearing Inhalation
On and off the plane, after a long day outside (or a long night inside), essential oils help clear the cobwebs.

  • Skincare for Skiers de Mamiel Altitude Oilgoop, $44

    An inhalation essence that utterly transforms the experience of flying—a few deep breaths of it over the course of a flight clears your head and refreshes the mind and spirit. But carry this exquisite mix of luxurious plant oils everywhere in your bag to feel refreshed after long hours at your desk or personal space enhancement on a train or bus. A unique multi-tasking, do-it-all essential.

4. Thick, Super-Intense Moisturizer
This seems obvious, but also seems like a luxury, an indulgence that perhaps you might get by without, and I’m here to say that last bit is an illusion. A rich cream keeps your skin elastic and resilient, not to mention plump and glowy.

  • Skincare for Skiers Tata Harper Créme Richegoop, $185

    This velvety, luxurious cream deeply moisturizes with sixteen natural hydrating compounds and twelve age-fighting botanicals to seriously plump, smooth, and soften skin, for a supple, soothed texture and a dewy glow. Hyaluronic acid and essential fatty acids work as a shield to lock in moisture for ultimate renewal, not to mention instant comfort.

5. Ultra-Hydrating Cleanser
Regular face wash is not for extreme environments: Anything that foams or leaves your face feeling the slightest bit tight at sea level is going to dry out your skin drastically. A balm cleanser mixes with water to form a super-gentle oil-milk.

  • Skincare for Skiers goop by Juice Beauty Luminous Melting Cleansergoop, $90

    Winner of Allure’s prestigious Best of Beauty Award, our Luminous Melting Cleanser sinks luxuriously into skin to remove dirt and makeup, leaving it incredibly moisturized, soft, and glowing. This sumptuous blend of almond, olive and coconut oils, shea and cocoa seed butters, as well as jojoba and sunflower gently purifies and deeply hydrates the skin as it cleanses. Beautifully textured, it evens skin tone and minimizes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles as it cleanses.

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