What to take on your ski vacation

Jan 10, 2012 at 9:00 a.m. ET

When it's time to hit the slopes this winter, you need to be prepared but not just with ski gear like a warm coat and underlayers. You need to prepare your skin essentials as well. The higher altitude, cold, wind and sun all take their toll on your skin. Face the elements with these essentials!

Woman on ski trip

Lip balm

Schussing down the mountains means a lot of wind in your face -- wind that's going to dry your lips. You need a balm that's thick and will leave a layer on your lips to help block the wind. One with SPF is also a must. There are quite a few good ones out there including Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25 by Jack Black ($8). Yes, this is technically a men's line, but women love it too. These lip balms have SPF 25, shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E for wind protection and moisture, along with fun flavors like grapefruit and ginger or lemon and chamomile.

Heavy duty face cream

Stepping on the slopes means stepping up your level of moisturizer. You'll need a more emollient one than usual and one that will hold up to the elements. Two that will get the job done all day are the aptly named Mario Badescu Protective Cream for Skiing SPF 15 ($20) using rice and vegetable oils for extra protection from wind and dryness and Kiehl's Ultra Facial Cream ($25). Meant for extreme climates, it provides all day moisture and manages to help skin draw moisture in from the air.?


The high sun on the trails and the glare off the snow means you need SPF on your ski weekend just as much as you would at the beach. La Roche - Posay Anthelios with Mexoryl SX is one of the best around. Mexoryl SX is the most effective FDA-approved sunfilter and is more photostable. Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen fluid is a lightweight matte lotion with high protection that can be used on its own or under your moisturizer.

Body, hand and foot creams

You may be covered up all day, but it's still cold and dry out there. Après ski, lavish your skin with something thick and creamy to get it ready for the next day. A body butter for all over use, a thick hand cream and an exfoliating foot cream like Eucerin Plus Intensive Foot Repair Cream with AHA ($5) to smooth and soothe feet that have worked hard all day will do the trick.

Bath salts

After an all-day workout on the mountains, you'll be ready for a good soak. Bonus if your room has a nice soaking tub. Take advantage and soak with therapeutic bath salts to help soothe overworked muscles. Regular Epsom salts will work, but try a LUSH bath bomb in Fizzy O' Therapy ($5) or FRESH Sugar Bath Lemon Sugar bath cubes ($38) for more luxurious bathing. The cubes come in a jar, so grabbing a handful for quick trips is easy.

More in winter skin care

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Ultimate skin hydrators
Top cold weather skin care tips