Every winter, I turn into a psuedo-reptile. My skin, sensitive under the best of circumstances, changes in chameleon-like fashion from pink to bright red immediately after it’s exposed to cold air on ski trips and long runs. It stays that way until it peels off mid-week, revealing shiny, new skin just in time for the weekend, when I start the whole process again.
On the upside, my friend Jessica points out that “some women pay a lot of money for that,” referring to expensive chemical peels to slough old, dead skin cells. The downside: It hurts, and looks like crap throughout the week.
Though I won’t have to deal with this much again this winter, thanks to a season-ending ACL tear, I wanted to share what I learned about how to prevent wind burn.
Tip No. 1, which I already knew: Cover up. Make sure you have a neck gaiter, bandana or other face-covering before braving the elements.
Tip No. 2, which I knew but hadn’t put into practice: Slather on moisturizer, petroleum jelly, sunscreen—whatever. Just add an extra layer of protection between your skin and the wind. Some favorite products, cribbed from posts on The Ski Diva and a helpful SKI magazine story:
Kiehl’s All-Sport “Non-Freeze” Face Protector
Weleda Face Balm.
Dermatone, allegedly used on Everest?
Or, my personal favorite, which led to the first peel-free ski weekend a few weeks ago: Plain ol’ Neutrogena Sport Face SPF 70 sunscreen. It’s cheap, available almost everywhere, and required only one re-application for a dawn-to-dusk ski day. I’m looking forward to trying it on a long run, too.
What’s your best protection against wind burn?