The mountains of Breckenridge, Colorado are majestic and snowcapped most of the year, with sunshine, fresh mountain air and low humidity providing a remarkable experience in the summer and incredible conditions for ski season.

Enjoying life in the beauty of the high country above 9,600 feet has its challenges, especially for your own beauty and skin care, but there are solutions.  Many are aware of the potential for altitude sickness, but may be less informed about the impact of high altitude and dry climate on the skin.

The climate is exceptionally dry, oxygen is lower and the sun is more powerful, even on a cloudy day. These conditions can cause a noticeable difference in skin after just a few hours, and markedly so within a couple days of exposure to any high elevation destination. Thankfully, there are easy steps to combat the environment while moving on with all the activities and wonders the mountains have to offer.

Protect against Sunburn

Use sunscreen anytime you are in the high country, even on a cloudy day. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation increases 10–12 percent for every 3,000 feet of elevation. That means you are receiving 30-40 percent more UV radiation in Breckenridge than at the beach. Applying sunscreen is an easy task and will prevent the harmful lasting effect of sun damage as well as the discomfort of a sunburn.  Remember: Re-apply often.    

The reflection of the sun off the snow makes it more intense as well, so don’t forget sunglasses. You’ll find natural mineral sunscreen and non-aerosol spray sunscreen (easy to re-apply) at North Face, Columbia and Vertical Runner, all on Main Street in Breckenridge.

When moisturizer isn’t enough

Many people find a moisturizer that works in a more humid climate doesn’t get the job done at high altitudes. A couple of simple solutions will easily get you through the week and solve this problem. Apply a hydrating serum that contains hyaluronic acid (HYDRO1000) under your moisturizer will do wonders to help prevent moisture loss.  Serums with lipids (LIPID DEFENSE) work nicely to soothe the dryness, as well.  Another solution is to layer a beauty oil on top of your moisturizer to help seal in the hydration. 

Layering

Layering your products is essential in a dry climate. The Soothe Spa at The Grand Lodge on Peak 7, has a nice selection of oils perfect for use on your face.  Ask about the pure squalane oil called XTREME! Squalane has been used in beauty treatments for years. It’s a wonderful moisturizer that penetrates the skin nicely, and is a great age management component.

Dehydrated eyes and eye area

It’s common to experience dry eyes and dry skin around the eyes. Reduced moisture in the air contributes to these conditions. Moistening eye drops will feel good and lessen redness.

You may notice more fine lines around the eyes within a day. Use a hydrating eye cream twice a day to provide relief from the excessive dryness of the fragile skin around your eyes. You may layer the serums (mentioned above) under the eye cream. 

Harmony Health & Wellness Spa on Main Street can offer suggestions about what works best in this climate to provide immediate relief.  You’ll continue to enjoy the benefits of serums and eye cream when you return home to any climate.

What happened to the skin on my body, hands, feet?

No matter the season you visit, your skin…all of it, will experience massive loss of moisture. Use a body lotion with quality ingredients proven to provide hydration and will help to rehydrate your skin. Coconut oil is one easy solution. While you’re at the local grocery picking up coffee and cream, buy a jar of coconut oil for your entire body. While exploring the charm of downtown Breckenridge, you’ll find some fantastic local brands of foot cream, hand cream, oil and body lotion at shops and spas focused on providing solutions to the unique challenges of life in the mountains.

The newest local brands to the Breckenridge area are PEAK 10 SKIN® (my skin care company) and Skinnovationz, both developed with the high country in mind. You may find them locally or at www.PEAK10SKIN.com and www.SKINNOVATIONZ.com .

BOTTOM LINE:  Wear sunscreen, hydrate inside and out and have fun.

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