How to Prepare Your Face for a Ski Trip

Shredding the gnar is all good and fun until your face turns to powder in entirely the wrong way.


Put a beanie on and snap into your skis, because it is the season to shred the gnar and get freaking glacial, dude. But while you’re out there, you need to take care of your face, because the frigid temperatures, reflective snow and blasting winds can result in abominable sunburns and extreme dryness.

If you need help doing that, good news: I asked dermatologist Anthony Rossi for all of the tips he has on taking care of your face while slamming the slopes. Yeeww, doggie!

First, though, I should mention that we already wrote more generally about how to take care of your skin during winter, and the gist is, avoid taking long, scalding showers, which strip your skin of natural oils; place a humidifier in your bedroom; moisturize as much as possible; and apply lip balm on a regular basis. And yeah, you should still do all of that while skiing or snowboarding.

This time around, though, Rossi has a couple more tips to keep in mind, specifically while doing stuff in the snow. The first of his tips is that you should apply sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every two hours, especially on your face. “We always tell skiers that the snow reflects UV radiation much more than water or ambient sunlight,” Rossi reiterates, which means those harmful rays are striking you from above and below.

For the best results, he suggests using both moisturizer and lip balm with SPF — besides protecting your kisser from the sun, the lip balm will also keep your lips from shriveling into raisins because of the dry winds up in the mountains.

The one other important piece of advice Rossi has for skiers and snowboarders is, clean yourself and your equipment — like your face mask or beanie — extra, extra well after a day of screaming while uncontrollably flying down black diamonds. Even though showering too much is a big no-no during winter, Rossi reminds us that, while roaming around the slopes, we often sweat balls under all those thick layers of clothes, “so you might be more prone to acne or breakouts.”

In which case, you really should shower every night of a ski trip, and when you get out, pat your skin dry, leaving a small amount of water on the skin, then moisturize. I know, the last thing you want to do is stand around naked in the cold after taking a warm shower, but this is the best way to get the most out of your moisturizer.

Furthermore, Rossi adds, “You really want to wash your ski equipment thoroughly. It’s like hockey equipment, which is a breeding ground for MRSA, bacteria and Staph.” If washing your gear every night seems like too much effort, at the very least make sure to let it dry out near a fireplace or heater between uses.

Now get out there, and if you lose control and find yourself barreling down the mountain, make sure to pizza.