It’s time for everyone to start screaming about the frigid temperatures and singing in chorus, longing for summertime. It’s also time for a reminder that you often only hear in the warm season: We have to protect our skin from the elements.
I’m sure we can all attest to the “I’m not old” mindset, but skin needs protection, no matter your age. Harsh winter temperatures are one thing, but the driving wind is another.
One solution is to stay inside, but who wants to give up range time and hunting? Those of us who venture into the cold do have options.
After You Freeze Your Face Off
My friend Gabby contacted me after a day at the range. She asked what to do about her wind-burned, chapped face. Wind and cold have played their part on my face over the years, as well. Some time ago, my esthetician gave me a simple at-home remedy: 100% organic coconut oil.
Apply a light amount of the oil to your face, and if you have an at-home steamer, steam for 5 to 15 minutes. (You can also take a gentle hot shower.) Use a cool, damp cloth to blot your skin. For extremely chapped skin, apply the remedy overnight. Don’t use your good pillowcases; the oil might stain fabric.
Another solution is to protect your face before you gallivant out to the duck blind. Balaclavas are excellent accessories. WON publisher Barbara Baird suggests the FirstLite Wind River Balaclava. Ultra-soft merino wool is gentle on your face and won’t damage your skin, and moisture gets caught in the fibers.
I’ve mentioned my skin-care specialist above, and I’ll refer to her again. She recommended SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defense, SPF 50. This sheer, lightweight sunscreen protects and heals skin. It also has no added perfumes. On a down note, it’s also quite pricey, so I queried my expert friends about other skin-care solutions.
Renowned hunter and DIVA Women Outdoors Worldwide founder Judy Rhodes hunts around the world in every condition imaginable. Ms. Judy gave affordable options. She says, “After thousands of dollars spent on skin products during millions of miles of hunting, I found what works for me. Seven years ago I was introduced to Boots No. 7 at the Heathrow Airport in London when returning from a 3-week African safari. It contains sunscreen and replenishes skin moisture. Much to my surprise, Target began selling my favorite makeup, worn by royalty and now a Texas Diva.”
Judy continued, “Gold Bond skin lotion is a favorite to use in extreme outdoor temperatures. I use so much, I think I may slide out of the hunting blinds.”
Judy and Universal Huntress Jen O’Hara both boasted their adoration of Burt’s Bees as their go-to lip balm. Jen’s co-host, Norissa Harman, claims her “go-to during cold weather is Nivea Crème’s pink shimmer lip balm.”
If you’re hunting big game or coyotes, scent is an issue. Hunter Robin St. John pursues whitetail in the Eastern United States and uses CeraVe moisturizing lotion. “It has no smell and is great to use in hunting season.”
Another hunter who travels the world, has experienced winter extremes and looks phenomenal is Becky Lou Lacock. She says she has normal to dry skin, so she uses heavier-than-normal moisturizers in the winter. She suggested using shea or cocoa butter and making sure it has the highest-grade SPF protection. “Sometimes people forget about sunscreen in the winter season because there is less overhead sun,” she says. “With reflection off snow, water and atmosphere, it’s just as, if not more, important in the wintertime.”
Becky Lou says she also uses unscented Vaseline dabbed around her eyes and on her lips before going outdoors for the day. “It may look a little greasy, but it’s extremely moisturizing and protective. It’s worth it in the end.”
Regardless the season, it’s always important to drink water. Your body needs hydration. In cold temperatures, you don’t always feel thirsty. Here’s a secret: That’s not always coffee in my cup. It’s often hot water! Sound crazy to you? It’s not. Your body absorbs warm water faster than cold. Add lemon and honey and you’ll have a soothing pre-or post-hunt beverage that your body will love.