For any of you lucky enough to be heading off on a snow or ski winter getaway, I've got you sorted this week with some après-ski skincare tips that will get you glowing on the slopes.
Why do we need to adapt our skincare on a snow holiday? Sub-zero temperatures, skin-chaffing wind, stronger UV rays at higher altitudes and quick changes in temperature - from piping hot central heating to blistering cold - all contribute to temporary winter-skin issues like dryness, chapped lips, sun damage and cracked skin.
It may seem counter-intuitive to concern ourselves with sun protection on a snow holiday but snow and ice reflect up to 80pc of UV rays that reach the ground and UV exposure increases at higher altitudes.
But don't worry, you definitely don't need to go out and buy a whole new array of skincare specifically for a winter getaway. Instead, be mindful of skincare products already in your beauty arsenal and reconsider how to use them.
And remember, if you are the outdoorsy type and love hiking or camping, or just love being out and about in nature during the colder months, these tips will also come in handy for you.
Why do our lips become so dry and chapped on snow holidays (and during the winter months in general)? Quick changes in temperature from hot to cold, wind, strong sun and ice can all damage our sensitive lip area. To combat this, just apply lashings of good-quality lip balm throughout the day. Another weird but wonderful use for lip balm on the slopes? Apply a tiny bit with your finger to your nostril area to stop your nose becoming chaffed and red raw from exposure to the elements and all the constant nose-blowing.
Feeling the heat
If your muscles, bones and joints are aching after a day of skiing, why not apply a slick of warming gel to worn-out bodies? This peppermint one blends arnica and comfrey and instantly warms on contact with skin. Just apply a generous amount to soothe sore legs, knees, shoulders and feet. Massage in small circular movements (this activates the ingredients) and give tired bodies a bit of TLC. Voya Feel the Heat Warming Gel, €30.50 from Avoca stores, skin salons nationwide and voya.ie
Adding an oil into your skincare routine on a snow holiday, applying both morning and night, helps not only to moisturise and soothe dry, itchy skin, but the essential fatty acids within the oil act as a buffer against wind and sub-zero temperatures. This cold-pressed oil (no heat was applied in the creation process which ensures all the vitamins are maintained) absorbs in a jiffy and leaves no greasiness. Can be used over your usual moisturiser or on its own. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil, €9.80 from Brown Thomas, Arnotts, Boots and pharmacies nationwide
Feet squashed into hard-as-nails ski boots are guaranteed to ache at the end of a long day on the slopes - especially if you're a beginner. To combat this, just apply a refreshing, cooling foot lotion or spray and give tired feet a massage to make sure they're fighting fit for the next day's activities. The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray, €7.80 from The Body Shop stores nationwide, McCauley Pharmacies nationwide and ninthavenue.ie
Lumps and bumps
This traditional homeopathic remedy is a very handy little helper to have tucked into your luggage for snowy sporty holidays. Why? Most of us will inevitably end up taking a tumble or two on the slopes at some stage, so this little gem will help soothe bruised bodies and maybe even bruised egos, too! Just apply onto bruised and bumped area as quickly as possible after a tumble. Can be used on facial area. Nelsons Arnicare Arnica Cream, €4.95 from pharmacies and health stores nationwide
Our hands get dry, chapped and sometimes even cracked in sub-zero temperatures. The solution to this on snow holidays? Try this super-easy manicurist's trick - just apply a hard-working hand cream immediately before popping on your gloves. The heat generated helps the cream to inject really far into your skin and really nourish and protect your mitts. NUXE Nuxuriance Ultra Anti-Age Spot and Anti-Ageing Hand Cream, €24 from pharmacies nationwide
It may seem counter-intuitive to be so vigilant about sun protection on a snow getaway - why bother? Ski slopes are located high up mountains, where the climate is exceptionally dry, oxygen is low, and the sun is very powerful, even on a cloudy day - so sun protection is a must. This option is high protection, fragrance-free and especially made for sensitive skin so should be a good fit for all the family. Uriage Bariésun Frag
This zingy, citrus-flavoured lip balm is petroleum-free and made from deeply hydrating shea butter and sunflower-seed oil. This leaves a slight sheen to the lips, but no colour.
DETAILS: Éminence Organic Citrus Lip Balm, €28 from skin salons nationwide and eminence.ie
If your lips are extremely dry and prone to cracking anyway, best to amp up your lip protection on your snow holiday. This acute lip balm is made for sensitive skin and is fragrance-free and non-coloured, so a great unisex option.
DETAILS: Eucerin Acute Lip Balm, €5.90 from pharmacies nationwide
If you prefer a slick of subtle colour on your lips on the slopes, but don't want to compromise on pout protection, try this gem. A deeply moisturising and protective lip balm that changes colour once it hits the warmth of your lips to leave a slight wash of colour to your mouth.
DETAILS: L'Occitane Fruity Perfecting Lip Balm, €22 from pharmacies and L'Occitane stores nationwide