Skiers work harder than your average holidaymaker (unless you opt for a spot of dry-stone walling on your annual two weeks away). Early mornings, late nights, extreme exercise in sub-zero temperatures and the obligatory apres-ski activities can all take their toll on your face and body.
If you aren’t going to manage to get to a ski resort spa this winter, then how about putting together one of your own? What’s needed are some products to relax, soothe, moisturise and generally pep up your skin from the comfort of your chalet.
Here are what I consider to be the best home spa treats for skiers.
Super Facialist has many excellent potions, however their Rose range is best for hydration.
Start your spa session with a thorough cleanse with Calming Creamy Cleanser rich with shea and cocoa butter, which moisturise as they clean, and marshmallow to restore the skin’s PH balance.
Use daily, morning and night. 150ml, £7.99.
Organic British brand iLa excel in heavenly smelling, chemical-free spa products. Just taking the cap off their large pot of Face Mask for Revitalising Skin transports you to an expensive country house hotel spa. Slather on this thick green clay packed with damascena rose, Argan oil and rosehip seed oil, both rich in essential fatty acids, which nourish the skin, which magically appears lifted and less bloaty. 200gm, £60.
Edelweiss Body Cream
French brand Chantecaille has the perfect body cream for ski climes. Their dreamy-smelling Retinol Body Treatment is laced with rose water, rose oil and Retinol to smooth rough skin and that well-known, antioxidant-rich mountain flower, edelweiss.
It’s so rich you can even use it as hand and foot cream. 200ml, £82.
The QMS In-Flight Travel Case contains many goodies to cleanse, tone and nourish alpine-affected skin, but I particularly like the small but potent Activator-Mini Travel Face Mask. It comes in a tiny brown 10ml bottle containing a solution of skin-smoothing marine Collagens and hyaluronic acid, which you drench the soft fleece mask in. Kit £86.
Organic Treatment at High Altitude
Nourish Argan Skin Renew contains Rose of Jericho and frankincense to provide some of the best protective skin care. It takes skin care to another level – where the actual product is responsive to the environment you are in.
For example, if you are taking a long haul flight or are staying in a high-altitude resort where the humidity is low, then your skin can become parched. Rose of Jericho detects the changes in the skin and provides the necessary solution. 50ml, £28.00.
Repair With…Mountain Peanut
Made near the East Anglian coast, SKN-RG is an all-natural brand of products managing to be effective yet gentle on skin. Toxin and cruelty-free, they tick many ethical boxes with smart presentation to boot.
After cleansing skin, slather on Cellular Repair Moisturiser with Indian gingseng to reduce the signs of ageing, and sacha inchi (or mountain peanut) which contains antioxidants that reduce free-radical damage. 15ml, £49.50.
Norway Spruce Bath
Spruce Warming Bath Essence soothes and invigorates with a fresh evergreen scent. This bath essence offers warmth and comfort in cooler climes, especially when you are tired. It contains Norway spruce essential oil that brings warmth and vitality to the skin, and Jojoba oil that leaves skin soft and moisturised. 30ml, £10.
Hands can sometimes be ignored yet they often get more wear and tear than the face, which we tend to treat with more care. How many times do you pull your hands out of your gloves to take a ski selfie? Ritual of Ayurveda Soothing Hand Balm smells sweet from soothing Indian rose and vitamin-rich sweet almond oil. 70ml, £9.50.
A skier’s feet always need attention. Famed for her use of emu oil in products, top podiatrist Margaret Dabbs, a keen skier herself, advises not to wear socks that are too tight, and to wear natural fibres as these will allow your skin to breath and are kinder on your feet. Post piste, add a few drops of her lemon myrtle-infused Hydrating Foot Soak to a bowl of warm water (or bath) and let it ease the aching and, in some cases, swelling. 200ml, £22.
A Relaxing Soak
Elemis Aching Muscle Super Soak must be made for the weary skier. Imagine a certain deep heat but with extracts of birch, juniper, clove, alpine lavender, wild thyme and blue chamomile. Pour it into the bath, inhale the deeply relaxing aroma and let those muscles relax. The travel-sized version is perfect for packing for a ski break. 25ml, £13.70.
French spa brand Thalgo have many deeply nourishing products, however if your eyes are starting to become excess baggage after a few days of the, er, high life, then Thalgo’s Hyluronique Eye-Patch masks are just about the only thing that will help (other than an early night). I’m obsessed with having what we call a ‘baggy eye’ in our family and have tried pretty much every eye mask on the market. These somehow soften the hollow look, brightening the delicate skin around the eyes. A modest-sized box contains eight, so enough for week and one for good measure. £39.50.
Day and Night Moisture
Palmer’s products are reassuringly cheap, efficient and more than do the job. Their range has sprung from the good old cocoa butter, to a new and improved facial range, which includes scrubs, masks, day and night cream and cleanser, also offers Perfecting Facial Oil. Perfect for travel, this small but potent blend of nine oils including argan, macadamia, apricot, sweet almond and coconut deeply nourishes the driest of ‘ski’ skin yet absorbs in a jiffy. 30ml, £9.99.