Our dry air in the high country around Breckenridge provides benefits like soft, consistent snow, mellow-feeling cold temperatures, and non-humid summers. But skin care at 9,600 feet can be a challenge for many visitors coming from lower altitudes, more humid climates, and warmer winters. We sat down with Cathy Cleary, local skin care expert and owner of b’s Modern Mountain Apothecary, to find out the essentials to consider when visiting our high altitude environment in Breckenridge.
5 Tips on caring for your skin during the dry winter months:
Hydrate your skin from the inside out. A popular bit of advice around here is to drink plenty of water to prevent altitude sickness and dehydration…it’s great advice. Not only will you feel your best on the inside but the hydration will help protect from itchy skin and chapped lips too! Recommended product: Ole Henriksen’s Pure Truth Youth Activating Oil- Unfiltered, unprocessed and cold pressed, this formula absorbs quickly to heal, nourish and hydrate.
- The higher the elevation, the less dense the air and the less protection you have from the sun’s radiation. Be aware that with every 1,000 foot increase in altitude, UV radiation levels increase by 10-20%!
- The snow reflects 80% of the sun’s rays; just because it’s winter does not mean you can skip proper sun care! Use sun protection with both UVA and UVB blockers on any exposed skin and don’t forget to reapply. Recommended product: Sun Bum- makes a great Pro series of sunscreens that are a Mineral type which means they stay on top of your skin providing the best protection against the elements.
Humidity drops with the gain of elevation, and exposure to forced air heat can leave skin dry, cracked and flaky. Prevent irritation with extra layers of protection such as face serums and healing balms or salves. Recommended product: Egyptian Magic- As the air gets drier, skin conditions flare up and this product is an all-natural choice to soothe problem areas. Also used for burns, and to heal blemishes and new tattoos.
- It can get a little windy at the top of the mountain at times. Adjust your skin care routine to include additional layers of protection to prevent windburn and chapped, irritated skin. This one gets me every once in a while, don’t worry…we have Aloe Vera to soothe any unexpected burns. Recommended products: Ole Henriksen’s Black Currant Complexion Oil- Everyone can use an extra shield of protection against the elements. This formula repairs environmental damage with vitamin E. Also try Ole’s Pure Perfection Creme- Undo the damage of playing in the sun and wind with this powerful but gentle treatment cream.
When it comes to dry air during the winter months, we know our skin can suffer. So what about dry lips, cuticles and hair? b’s recommends the following:
Breckenridge Soap Company’s Healing Salves: highly recommended for lips, cuticles and dry patches. These products are excellent for the painful redness kids get around their lips too. We also have their Hair Mask made with natural ingredients. It’s wonderful for dry, brittle hair year round.
Sara Happ’s Lip Scrub: Just what you need for dry lips. Scrub all over dry lips to eliminate chapped, flaky skin and reveal soft, smooth lips. It’s a pretty serious pout saver in our dry climate.
butterLondon: Try Handbag Holiday, a tropical scented cuticle oil. This product is a big help for sad cuticles on hands and toes.
Skin Savior Waterless Beauty Balm: Cleanse your skin with this multitasking, waterless balm made with pure, cold pressed oils and mango butter. You don’t need water to rinse it off so your skin gets to keep every bit of moisture. Use for dry patches, static hair, lips and more.
Lip Balms: From natural and organic, to high shine, b’s has an array of lip balms, sticks and glosses to keep your lips looking and feeling healthy and soft.
A quick reference to sunscreen application:
About a spoonful of the stuff should be used for your face and neck (and a shot glass to cover the rest of your body.) When you hit the slopes this season, make sure you use enough sunscreen or you’ll diminish that number on the front of the bottle potentially in half! Take extra good care of your skin and you’ll avoid the typical Winter woes including the less than glorious goggle tan.
b’s Modern Mountain Apothecary is located at 101 S. Main Street (at the corner of Main Street and Ski Hill Rd., in between Olive Fusion & Slopeside Cigars).