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Six winter skincare tips


The climate in the mountains can play havoc with your skin. Katy Young explains how to emerge from your winter break looking – and feeling – better than ever

Katy Young portrait
Katy Young ,

Beauty on the slopes has its own set of rules – up there it’s cold, it’s bright, it’s taxing, and that means a whole new way of thinking and a new cosmetics kit.

Prepare and protect
Your ski-proofing checklist should invariably start with a good UVA and UVB shield, one that’s powerful enough to withstand the extra strong rays in the mountains, but still light enough for your face to breathe as your thermostat rises. Depending on your budget, La Roche-Posay’s Anthelios XL Ultra-Light Fluid SPF50+, Kiehl’s Ultra Light Daily Defence SPF50 and Crème de la Mer’s The SPF 50 UV Protecting Fluid are all excellent, first and foremost thanks to their trustworthy UV filtering systems, but also for their super-light feel on the skin. Protecting your lips against sun and drying wind is also essential; opt for Garnier Ambre Solaire UV Ski Lip Care (SPF 20) or Clarins Sun Control Stick for Sun-Sensitive Areas (UVA/UVB 30), both of which are also long lasting.

Après-ski aftercare
Post skiing, it pays to repair skin with an anti-oxidant serum. You can’t do better than Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II or Skinceuticals Resveratrol B E overnight treatment. A rich overnight cream to help weatherproof your skin is worth investing in, too, so head back to the Estée Lauder counter for a pot of Re-Nutriv, or try Dr Sebagh’s Supreme Night Secret.

Miracle massage
Skin aside, a day on the slopes usually merits an evening of mind and muscle repair as well, for which there are some great DIY and professional treatments. If you have room in your luggage, pack some muscle-soothing essentials oils – and possibly some Epsom salts, which will do wonders for easing tight, sore legs, not to mention relieving any post-flight puffiness.

Otherwise, In Transit Muscle Therapy by This Works comes infused with stimulating black pepper and pain-relieving clove, and in rollerball form can be applied directly to the areas that need it the most, while Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath & Shower Oil can be massaged into limbs or dropped in your bath. For something stronger, try the essential oil-based Friction de Foucaud, used by all manner of active types to tackle post-exercise aches since it was created in 1946.

Invest in oils
For something fabulous and local, source some bath oil from Susanne Kaufmann, in particular the Winter one. Blended with cinnamon, clove and orange oils, the infusion relaxes stiff joints, while her camphor, menthol, rosemary, eucalyptus and thyme oil blend is wonderfully warming for cold feet. Kaufmann is something of a wellbeing pioneer in Austria, a founder not just of her eponymous label but also of a spa at Hotel Post Bezau.

Kaufmann grew up in Bregenzerwald, a valley in the Alps where the healing power of nature is taking very seriously indeed, so her foray into wellbeing is as organic as her products. ‘With our treatments, plant ingredients, traditional applications and massage techniques complement each other to produce intensive, lasting experiences,’ says Kaufmann on her website, explaining the holistic leanings of her spa menu. We suggest a Breuss massage, which uses special gripping techniques to stretch out the spine.

Time to spa
Mixing up a skiing holiday with a touch of spa might not at first make sense – but when you consider what each does for your body, then the combination seems eminently sensible. The Sonnhof, nestled in the Tyrolean mountains, comes with an Ayurvedic leaning, so expect true balance from the body menu here.  Run by Dr Alaettin Sinop (who can detect stress in a hand hold) and Gaurav Sharma, this spa extols the virtues of deep massage, yoga, breathing exercises, and clean eating and living in order to restore good health wonderfully.

Dive into detox
If a deep clean to the core is what’s needed, you could also pay a visit to Viva Mayr on the shores of the Wörthersee. But check in with caution, and possibly after your ski break – Viva Mayr uses the word ‘detox’ in its strictest, ‘fasting’ sense. A treat for the senses this is not, but a wellbeing fix this most definitely is, proving that Austria’s traditional spa culture is shifting over into modern medical tourism. Alternatively head to Parkhotel Igls, also based on Mayr practices, but considered to be the best affordable medi-spa in Austria right now. All this focus on the body beautiful will ensure that the modern Alpine skier can leave the slopes as a veritable snow queen.

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