How to look after your hair and skin on a ski trip

Jetting off on a ski holiday this winter? When it's time to hit the slopes, as well as packing some stylish skiwear, it's important to ensure you've got the right skin and haircare products in your suitcase.

While swooshing down mountains and enjoying aprés-ski socialising is a lot of fun, the cold conditions and bright sunshine (not to mention the indulgent food and drink) can wreak havoc on your tresses and complexion.

But by tailoring your daily routine you can have glowing skin and glossy hair no matter how low the mercury drops.

Here, our salon experts offer their best beauty advice for ski season…

Hydrate your hair

Hydrate you hair

A flurry of fresh snow may be perfect for skiing, but sub-zero temperatures aren't ideal for maintaining healthy hair.

"One of the big problems is wind, which is really dehydrating," says Paul Edmonds. 

"The other thing that happens is static when it's dry and cold. The dry air tends to take out the moisture and produces static."

That's why you end up with frizzy locks and lots of flyaways, particularly if you have wavy or curly hair.

"Swap to using something like the Shu Uemura Urban Moisture collection while you're skiing," Paul says. "This is a moisturising shampoo, conditioner and treatment. It keeps up the lipid levels in the hair."

Lipids are fatty acids that act as the building blocks of hair. They're easily depleted due to harsh weather conditions, leaving tresses looking dry and dull. 

He also recommends the intensely moisturising Iles Formula Hair Mask, which should be applied before conditioner.

"It's good to use on any hair type," Paul says. "You need to do two shampoos, apply the hair mask, then rinse that out and use conditioner over the top - that actually seals the hair shaft."

Seal and protect

Seal and protect

The next step is to apply a serum that adds another dose of hydration and protects against the drying effects of UV rays.

"You're trying to seal the hair to stop the moisture being leached away by the wind," Paul explains.

"If you've got a dry hair type it's likely going to be affected more by the cold, while coloured hair will probably be affected more by UV."

He recommends the Shu Uemura Essence Absolue Overnight Serum applied as the final step in your evening routine: "This serum is brilliant for penetrating into the hair but also surrounding the hair, keeping the moisture levels up."

For curly or frizzy hair, try the Oway Styling & Finish Nurturing Drops.

"This product in particular is good for hair that's drying out," Paul continues. "If you've got curly hair you might not want to wash it every night, so putting these drops on will help nourish the hair."

The Iles Formula Discovery + Travel Kit with shampoo, conditioner and serum is a brilliant bundle for ski holidays.

"The serum is very good at controlling the hair and it's got UV protection as well," Paul says. "So it's good for people who have slightly grey hair that might be a bit frizzy and tends to go a bit flyaway."


What can you do about the dreaded helmet hair that ensues when you've been working up a sweat swooshing down the slopes?

"A plait would help," Paul says, while for shorter hair, "it's just a matter of using a gel or wax to hold the hair in place so that you don't look completely disastrous when you take off your helmet!"

When it comes to aprés-ski styling, simple is best: "You want to keep it looking a bit 'real' - you don't want to end up looking uber-glamorous when you're wearing a casual jumper."

The other benefit of using a hydrating serum at night is that your locks will be more manageable the next day.

Paul explains: "You can wash your hair, put the overnight serum in, blow dry it and leave it overnight - that will help the hair moisturise."

For an extra smoothing effect, pair your perfect serum with the L'Oréal Professionnel Steampod Steam Straightening Tool, he suggests: "What it does is seal the serum in and makes the hair waterproof. It's a great product for anyone who's going somewhere where it's winter weather."

Nourish your skin

Nourish your skin

Similar to hair health, moisture is the key component of skincare during ski season.

"You want to keep the skin hydrated because of the cold winter weather," says Yung Nguyen, head of beauty at Paul Edmonds London. "The higher you go in altitude, that will make your skin more dry and irritated, and it may be flaky."

After cleansing, a vitamin C serum should be the next step in your skiing skincare routine, such as the cult favourite SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic.

"You need an antioxidant serum underneath the skin to protect and also to brighten the skin," Yung explains.

If you have dry skin, double up with a hyaluronic acid serum such as SkinCeuticals HA Intensifier, she says: "It's a multifunctional serum that is going to keep both the deep and superficial layers of the skin hydrated. You can use it in the morning and the evening."

To prevent water loss due to cold and wind, it's important to maintain the skin barrier with a rich moisturiser.

"I recommend SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid Restore 2:4:2, which is concentrated with lipids and cholesterol," Yung says. "And then use the SkinCeuticals AOX Lip Complex to protect your lips."

Sun protection

Sun protection

As beauty buffs know, sunblock is a daily essential all year round, but it's even more important when you're up in the mountains.

"You're going up higher so it's going to be twice as much UV damage as normal," Yung says. "I would recommend reapplying your SPF every two hours, and don't forget about your ears as well - people often forget that."

What's the best type of sunscreen? "It depends on your skin," Yung says. "If you have oily skin, use the SkinCeuticals Sheer Mineral UV Defense SPF50, which is matte."

For drier skin types, she recommends the SkinCeuticals Oil Shield UV Defense Sunscreen SPF50, which has a brightening and blurring effect: "A lot of people still want to look nice on the slopes - it's good if you don't want to wear heavy make-up."

Finally, she adds a word of warning regarding alcohol: "Try not to use any products containing alcohol, because they're going to make the skin dry. And drink hot water and lemon to stay hydrated."

So now you've got the lowdown on how to counteract the effects of both snowy and sunny conditions.

Wherever you're heading for your ski escape, you can make sure you've packed the hair and skincare products to ensure you look your best from the chalet to the slopes.

Want to get your hair winter holiday-ready? Book an appointment at Paul Edmonds London for a fresh haircut or colour to start the New Year in style.