Skin Savers

Whether you’re skiing in Aspen, Vermont or the Alps, bracing wind chill and winter sun can do a number on your skin. Here, some of the best natural cures.
Melt Moisturizer by Alpyn Beauty taps the power of hardy local plants.

By Amely Greeven

Winter adventures in high-elevation terrain exhilarate the body and mind, but challenge the complexion. Loading up on a safe SPF is a no-brainer (sun exposure increases significantly with elevation), but protecting and replenishing the skin barrier—the layer that keeps the good substances in and the bad out—before and after snowy shenanigans is easily overlooked. The unfortunate result? Dry, irritated, chapped skin, and looking 10 years older than usual. We sent a cold-weather SOS to two clean-beauty gurus for help.

Protect skin with an exfoliant, moisturizer and plant oil by clean-beauty fave Drunk Elephant.

Tiffany Masterson, founder of cult-favorite clean-beauty brand Drunk Elephant, cautions that “cold weather, particularly below freezing, weakens the skin barrier and erodes its ability to hang on to the substances that keep it healthy, pliant and soft.” The remedy? “Ensure your entire regimen is balanced toward helping to protect the skin barrier and replenish what’s lost to cold weather.”

First, nix cleansers with harsh, high-pH surfactants, which strip the skin barrier, or products containing fragrances—and if you’re sensitive, essential oils too—as these exacerbate inflammation. (Long baths, by the way, also weaken skin’s ability to hold on to restorative ingredients.) Then, show skin TLC with three products: a well-formulated AHA/BHA leave-on exfoliant to help facilitate healthy cell-turnover; a super-rich moisturizer “loaded with antioxidants, replenishing oils and soothing anti-irritants;” and a pure plant oil, mixed into the moisturizer, “to boost benefits considerably.” Run a humidifier in living and sleeping areas to combat extreme aridity (ensure it has UV light chambers to protect against mold).•T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, $90
•Lala Retro Whipped Cream, $60
•Virgin Marula Luxury Face Oil, $40

Kendra Kolb Butler, founder of Jackson Hole-based Alpyn Beauty, shares Masterson’s approach to diligently feeding winter skin. Her unique twist? Employing the hard-working plants that fight for survival in the Teton mountains’ high altitude ecosystem. “I opened a beauty boutique here stocked with the best products I’d found during 15 years in the industry—but customers returned them,” she says. “I realized that in extreme mountain conditions, ‘normal’ antiaging and moisturizing ingredients won’t do.”

Butler wild-harvested local arnica, chamomile, borage, calendula, and sage, five plant athletes that are more resilient than species grown in more forgiving circumstances. Then she infused the complex into a high-octane hydrating and fortifying formula of nontoxic ingredients for protecting and repairing the skin barrier to make Alpyn Beauty’s seductive and velvety pale pink Melt Moisturizer. Putting it to the test in harsh, high-and-dry mountain conditions, Purist editors found sweet relief: skin stayed soft, pliable, and bright all day long. Melt Moisturizer, $60,


Frigid Temps? Try these 5 clean-beauty must haves

Face: Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion, $49,

Hair: Innersense Hydrating Hair Mask, $30,

Body: Oy-l Body Butter, $30,

Hands and feet: Snow in Summer Tallow Balm, $36,

Home Facial: The Blue Cocoon Beauty Balm Concentrate, $180,