Winter is the time for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating and snowshoeing. While these activities are super fun and are all a really great workout, they can do a number on your skin. Why? Because that harsh winter air is drying and hard on your exposed skin. Don’t worry! You don’t have to give up your favorite winter sports because there are some easy things you can do to protect your skin so that you can have your fun without paying the price.
1. Wear Synthetic Fabrics
You might gravitate toward cotton because it’s warm, but if you start sweating, it will soak up the moisture and you’ll be freezing cold before you know it. Wear moisture wicking fabrics to prevent this from happening. Not only will you be warm and dry, but you’ll prevent rashes and other issues that arise when you wear damp clothing close to your skin all day.
2. Drink Lots of Water
You might be outside when it’s cold, but just because it’s not hot outside doesn’t mean you won’t get dehydrated, which can give you dry skin. Drink lots of water to keep your skin pumped with moisture so that you don’t get cracked, dry skin that itches and hurts. Take a bottle of water with you when you play outside so you have fluids close at hand.
3. Wear a Good Quality Lip Balm
Your lips are skin too so you don’t want to forget to protect them while you’re on the slopes or cruising around the ice rink. Slather your lips with a good lip balm, which will keep them moisturized and create a barrier that protects them from the wind, cold and sun all at the same time.
4. Don’t Forget Your Sunscreen
The sun can still cause damage to your skin even when it’s cold and snowy outside. In fact, it might be even more damaging. That’s because the UV rays bounce off the snow, enhancing the number they can do to your skin. UV rays can also penetrate cloud cover so just because the sun isn’t shining brightly doesn’t mean you are protected. Bottom line - wear SPF anytime you play winter sports outdoors.
5. Keep Your Extremities Covered at All Times
Your fingers, toes and ears are more susceptible to frostbite than other areas of your body so it’s important to keep them covered and well insulated during winter sports. Wear thick wool socks and the appropriate footwear for your sport. You also want to wear mittens or gloves and a hat or ear warmer. Frostbite can cause permanent damage or the loss of body parts so it’s certainly nothing to mess around with.
6. Resist the Urge for a Hot Bath
Nothing sounds better than a good long soak in the hot tub or a scalding hot bathtub after spending some time outdoors in the cold. It might feel nice, but the heat sucks the moisture right out of your skin, leaving it dry, cracked and tight. Go ahead and take a soak, but be sure the water isn’t way hot. Go with warm enough to heat you back up, but not so hot that it turns your skin red.
7. Put on Lots of Extra Moisturizer
When you’re playing winter sports, it’s vital to wear lots of moisturizer to protect against dryness and to create a barrier to keep the wind and cold from messing with your skin. Slather on moisturizer before you go out into the cold and again when you come back inside. Easy enough, right?
What winter sport do you look forward to the most? How do you protect your skin while you’re playing?