Below-zero beauty: cold weather skin and haircare fit for Olympians

Anna Hunter 8 February 2018
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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Below-zero beauty: cold weather skin and haircare fit for Olympians

The Olympics were never intended intended to be a walk in the park, clearly, but facing extreme temperatures and wind chill while pushing your body to the limit certainly adds an edge to exertion. It’s thought that the Games in Pyeongchang will rival the coldest ever, with freezing gusts blowing in from Siberia.

While the Winter Games in Sochi were deemed too warm, the biting cold in South Korea means that spectators at the opening ceremony will receive beanies, blankets and heat pads and be sheltered behind windshields and under heat lamps in a bid to prevent hypothermia (which can set in within 45 minutes- the opening ceremony will last for over two hours). With low humidity, the air will also be very dry, which is possibly partly responsible for the rapid spread of norovirus  amongst Olympic staff ( research indicates  that dry air can both cause the  flu virus  to proliferate and make us more susceptible to catching bugs in the first place), but it also leads to very dry skin, chapping, cracking and the kind of  static  that resembles electrocution. Athletes will be well prepared and insulated against the bitter conditions, but if they’re yet to pack their wash bags, this lot could provide SOS protection and repair…

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Sisley Super Soin Solaire Facial Sun Care SPF 50, £121 for 40ml

Sisley recently teamed up with skiwear brand Perfect Moment , emphasising that UV protection is as key on the slopes as it is during the summer months:

“SPF can often be overlooked, but with higher altitude levels and the sun’s rays reflecting against the white snow, extra protection from harmful UV rays is essential.”

Clearly this sun lotion is the uber-luxe option where sun protection is concerned. For your cash, you get a very high SPF combined with Sisley’s hero antioxidant edelweiss extract to help skin defend itself against harmful free radicals, anti-inflammatory camellia oil to bolster your skin barrier and shea butter for a much needed whack of nourishment. It’s lovely stuff, but if that price point has you quaking in your ski boots, keep scrolling…

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Ultrasun Face Very High SPF 50+ , £24 for 50ml

One of the best sunscreen ranges around for reactive skin, Ultrasun combines gentle fragrance and preservative-free formulas with long-lasting UVA and UVB protection. This particular option goes all in on a liposome delivery system to give the lotion’s antioxidants a fighting chance to do their business, plus it’s moisturising yet matte. If you’re very delicate of skin, our sensitive skin columnist Judy recommends opting for the SPF 30 over the SPF 50 to ensure better tolerance- read her edit of the best sunscreens for sensitive skin .

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Niod Hydration Vaccine, £35 for 50ml

Formulated to “seal” moisture into skin to prevent hydration loss, this hyaluronic acid  rich goop (seriously funky texture) is designed to help skin keep itself moisturised rather than temporarily patching over dehydration. It’s very ‘silicone’y’ but according to Niod founder Brandon Truaxe said silicones aren’t bad for skin- they form a breathable mesh to keep water in and damaging environmental elements out. As told to skincare blogger and facialist Caroline Hirons , Brandon recommends only using this if you’re skin is compromised on the hydration front, which we expect to be the case for athletes and spectators hanging about on a mountain in double figure minus temperatures.

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Sarah Chapman Icon Night Cream, £98 for 30ml

Expert facialist to  Meghan Markle  and Victoria Beckham , Sarah Chapman  is particularly famed for her nocturnal skincare offering (see the cult Overnight Facial ), and her newest after-dark launch throws the kitchen sink at repair and rejuvenation. Rich in  vitamin A  (one of the best ingredients you can put on your skin) and featuring a six-peptide complex to strengthen skin’s building blocks and help to reduce the appearance of fine lines, it certainly ain’t cheap, but the encapsulated formula delivers beneficial actives deep into the epidermis to ensure that brightening, smoothing and well hydrated skin isn’t simply a surface illusion. It’s fresh onto the market, so time will tell whether it attracts Overnight Facial levels of acclaim.

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Darphin Vetiver Aromatic Care Stress Relief Detox Oil Mask, £45 for 50ml

Another skincare newbie, chances are athletes could do with all of the down-time de-stressing windows they can get, so smoothing on this R&R promoting mask could go far. Designed to act as aromatherapy as well as supple-making skincare, it’s lush textured (not quite an oil, not quite a gel, slimy but satisfying), rich in non-comedogenic  natural plant oils and works in ten minutes to leave skin insanely soft and smooth.

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ESPA Muscle Rescue Balm, £30 for 70g

Our Art Editor Sarah has been rubbing this into her limbs after a particularly taxing week of HIIT classes , and reckons it smells of peppermint creams. It’s certainly peppy- one sniff will clear your airways, but not in an aggressive fashion, and the thick balm also makes massaging sore bits a joy. It’s cooling without being too tingly, so won’t add to Olympians’ chills, and hydrating winged kelp and coconut oil help skin to retain moisture. A little goes a long way.

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IGK Hair Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm, £14 for 145ml

From one balm to another, this melty butter-like leave-in product takes care of rough ends and dryness with a coconut oil, argan oil and shea butter loaded formula, and it also helps to tease apart tangles resulting from beanies, helmets and general cold weather headgear. Anyone who’s ever experienced wooly hat matting will know what I’m talking about.

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Bumble and Bumble Save the Day Daytime Protective Repair Fluid, £35 for 95ml

A UV shielding daytime serum, this new camellia oil based concentrate protects against environmental damage while sealing in lustre and shine. We’ve yet to dabble in it in the office but we’ve been told it smells awesome and is 100 per cent non-sticky, which is always desirable in a daytime hair product. It’s also a handy prep product pre-heat styling. Basically you can blow hot and cold and your hair should hold up nicely.

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Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Lip Protectant Stick Sheer Tint SPF 15, £20

Lip colour that you can swipe on on piste sans mirror, this Eight Hour spin-off delivers shiny see-through brightness, plus vitamin E and protection against the elements thanks to emollients and SPF, although you’ll need to reapply fairly frequently. It’s a ‘stash in the pocket of your salopettes’ type product.

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REN Atlantic Kelp Energising Hand Lotion, £18

Mineral rich thanks to good old  muscle soothing magnesium , I see no reason why you can daub this on dry elbows and knees as well as your mitts. Seriously rich, it helps to soften flaky, chapped skin and the essential oil blend is intended to beat fatigue. Perfect for cold weather athletes with freezing extremities...

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Solving winter skin issues with Anne Semonin

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