Now that our hands and feet are cozy and comfortable, let’s talk about keeping our skin and eyes protected and safe from the elements. If you didn’t read part one of this article, you can find it here.
There were a couple of great comments by readers about how they keep their faces warm, and they both had to do with eye protection. Wearing a goggle, visor, or sunglasses have the double benefit of blocking the wind not only to your eyes, but also covering up some skin. We all know of someone who has experienced frostbite (or the start of it), but one of our customers actually had a frozen cornea after the Birkie, so it is essential to take care of your eyes as well as your face.
The Bliz Snow Visor is great for blocking the wind and especially helpful for when the snow begins to fall. It’s wider profile guarantees the most coverage and protection.
The Bliz ProFlips are a Nordic Goggle that can cover a wide range of face sizes—there is even an Over-The-Glasses model for those of you who don’t wear contacts. They don’t fog easily, and if they do, just flip up the lens to cool off. Eyeglasses/sunglasses also block the wind and cold but may be more prone to fogging.
If you are having trouble with fogging or icy lenses, try Sven Can See Anti Ice/Fog Gel before you go on your ski. Make sure to follow directions, though, and let the gel sit on your lens for a while before you wipe it off, otherwise it is not as protective.
FrostTape is a great way to specifically protect the areas of your face that get hit the hardest in cold weather. The tape is an adhesive-backed fabric, and there are 3 pieces in a packet. Choose from blue, pink, beige, or black and kiss face frostbite goodbye.
Preparing your skin with a balm or lotion can go a long way to keeping you out on the trail on a colder-than-average day.
WarmSkin® is a lotion that holds in the body’s natural warmth and serves as a barrier to prevent moisture loss. It also moisturizes the skin to keep it comfortable, pliable, and healthy in the harshest conditions.
Dermatone is another product that we sell a lot of here at the Moon. Used for more than 30 years to help prevent frostbite, windburn, and chapping, Dermatone comes in a variety of formulations. They offer lip balms that are densely formulated for better coverage and longer-lasting protection. Their spot protection is in a 1″ chunky pushup that is easy to use. It bonds on contact, won’t run into your eyes, and is sweat-resistant. It’s perfect for especially sensitive areas including the nose, ears, and lips. Finally, Dermatone is also offered in a couple of sizes of tins—a must have for your car or gear bag. All varieties also offer sun protection in various spfs.
BONUS: It ‘s been pretty cold up here this winter, and I’ve seen plenty of dogs refusing to go outside, then lifting their paws when they do get out the door. Booties work great, but ongoing protection and conditioning can keep your dogs even more comfortable in all sorts of temperatures. Don’t forget the pups!!! Musher’s Secret is an all-natural paw wax that protects your furry kids’ pads from cold and icing (as well as hot temps and rough pavement). It is safe for your pet, floors, and furniture. Tip: If no one is looking, you can even try it on your face!
Layers & Stuff
Adding layers around your face is just as important as layering your apparel to keep warm. EarMuffs like the LillSport are warm and low profile so they don’t interfere with your hat or headband (also a good choice for covering your ears). These fold up to easily fit in a pocket – leave them in your jacket, and you can pop ’em on anytime you’re chilled.
Neck gaiters, or “buffs“, have become extremely popular and come in all different brands, weights, and styles. Wear these in a variety of ways: low around the neck or pull up to cover the nose and mouth. You can even make these into hats or headbands. New Moon offers neck gaiters from Buff and Craft.
Chris’ favorite layer, by far, is the Balaclava. That extra thin layer covering the head, neck, ears and most of the face can really make a dramatic difference in your comfort level on a frigid day. Heat stays in, your skin is protected, cold dry air is warmed and humidified when you breathe it. Balaclavas can also be worn with the mouth exposed for less moisture buildup. A balaclava, though not the most attractive piece of headwear (unless you are a bank robber?) is a very important article of clothing. We have several varieties including Craft and Smartwool versions.
So, hopefully with some of these tips, you’ll be able to steer clear of frostbitten noses and chapped cheeks this winter. New Moon’s staff are all cold-weather experts, especially this season. Call us or stop in if you’d like help solving the cold weather puzzle. Stay warm out there!
– Judy Young