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The primary concerns are humidity and sun exposure, but we must also consider how temperature, altitude, and wind play into skin care. On cold winter days, water vapor condenses out of the air making the absolute humidity very low. This dry air just yanks available moisture out of the skin leaving it chapped and possibly even cracked. Wind and altitude can multiply this dehydrating effect, especially on exposed skin, which can cause severe chapping and wind burn.
Sun exposure is intensified in the winter by two mechanisms. Snow reflects the sun back onto your face for a double dose of exposure. When we play at higher altitude in the mountains, there is a lot less atmosphere to filter out the suns energy. This means you can experience more than 3X the intensity of sun exposure on a sunny day in the back country than you would on the beach.
When heading out to play in the snow, athletes should use multi-functional skincare products that include an SPF of at least 15 and contain moisturizing and protecting ingredients. Look for emollient plant based oils in the product as they are excellent natural moisturizers! Finally… consider products that also contain some heavier weight plant based waxes and butters to help create a barrier to protect your skin from the bitter winter air.
The first must-have for protecting your face on those cold windy days is the Winter Face Stick w/ SPF 15, which can work as a heavy-duty lip balm as well. It is freeze proof, creates a waxy barrier to the elements, and actually helps heal any damage with a potent blend of herbs and essential oils.
Our Sun Stick SPF50 is the go-to for those brilliant blue-bird days. This is also in a glove friendly design that fits perfect in a ski coat pocket. Don't be shy about reapplying on the lift!
Joshua Tree Lip Balms are a winter staple since the lips are constantly exposed to the elements. Lips have a higher baseline moisture content than regular skin so they tend to really feel the drying effects of cold air. Our lip balm uses a specific blend of soft plant based oils to hydrate and harder waxes to protect. Getting this ratio just right so that the product has great feel, longevity, and emollient properties is the real trick!
A lot of people also run into problems with torn cuticles in the winter. This may be a result of transitioning from moist gloves to dry air repeatedly. JTree’s Healing Salve is about the only thing out there than can effectively help your chapped and cracking cuticles.
After playing outside and hitting the hot tub or shower, using a nice rich lotion like our Ultra Moisturizing Lotion is perfect for rehydrating the skin. This recipe takes advantage of the great healing properties of aloe vera, tea tree and lavender essential oils in a rich and luxurious recipe that is loaded with coconut oil, shea butter, and other highly emollient (or moisturizing) ingredients.