Best Health - - WINTER SKIN GUIDE -


Re­bekah Ger­ber, di­rec­tor of spa, Fair­mont Chateau Lake Louise


Bun­dle up! Be­sides be­ing stun­ning to look at, snow-capped moun­tain peaks and glaciers in­form the weather. “A lack of hu­mid­ity def­i­nitely plays a role,” says Ger­ber. “It gets very cold here, but it’s a dry cold. Be­cause we’re at a higher el­e­va­tion, we’re al­ways slightly colder than Banff and es­pe­cially Cal­gary. A tem­per­a­ture of –35ºC is not to­tally for­eign, but usu­ally –15ºC to –20ºC is more con­stant.”


If your mind­set is “have dry skin, will mois­tur­ize,” you’re miss­ing out on an im­por­tant and help­ful winter-care step. “I find a lot of peo­ple who have very dry skin never ex­fo­li­ate, which means a lot of the time they’re just mois­tur­iz­ing dead skin that needs to go,” says Ger­ber. Reg­u­lar use of a gen­tle ex­fo­lia­tor will slough off de­hy­drated skin cells and cre­ate a more re­cep­tive can­vas for hy­drat­ing in­gre­di­ents to get to work. Ger­ber is also a fan of a.m. ex­fo­li­a­tion. “I use one first thing in the morn­ing, be­fore I put on makeup for the day, so it isn’t go­ing on top of life­less skin,” she says. It just helps give your face a fresh palette to work with.


From ski­ing and skat­ing to ice fish­ing and dog-sled tours, winter in the Banff area is all about ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the great out­doors. For max­i­mum en­joy­ment with min­i­mal skin da­m­age (think: wind­burn), Ger­ber con­sid­ers an emol­lient cream as much a part of her musthave gear as a ther­mal face mask. “Skin ex­po­sure is a big fac­tor. I find guests feel the ef­fects very quickly. They’ll say ‘I only ar­rived yes­ter­day and al­ready my skin is so dry.’ On top of that, be­ing at a higher el­e­va­tion leads to an in­creased ex­po­sure to UV lev­els,” she says. Her on-site fave, Ker­stin Flo­rian Cor­rect­ing Res­cue Crème, is blended with fatty acids, vi­ta­mins and an­tiox­i­dants to hy­drate, re­duce red­ness and pro­mote heal­ing. “If your skin is al­ready dry, any­thing like wind or cool tem­per­a­tures, will help con­trib­ute to that tex­ture. How­ever, using some­thing pre­ven­tive that cre­ates a pro­tec­tive bar­rier over the skin will def­i­nitely re­duce the da­m­age that can be done,” she says.


Be­ing a re­ac­tive or­gan, your skin is likely to adopt dif­fer­ent be­hav­iour dur­ing cold weather. Since work­ing at Lake Louise for the last few years, Ger­ber has found that the com­po­si­tion of her oily/com­bi­na­tion skin has changed. “I’m ex­pe­ri­enc­ing dry patches and even some eczema, which is never fun to deal with,” she says. To man­age the sea­sonal shift, Ger­ber com­mits to self-care rit­u­als like the spa’s Na­ture’s True In­dul­gence Fa­cial, or­ches­trated with green beauty prod­ucts from Tata Harper. “It’s amaz­ing be­cause it uses a mul­ti­ple cleanse, mul­ti­ple mask sys­tem with very ac­tive fa­cial mas­sage. It helps to clear out skin, re­bal­ance skin’s com­po­si­tion and add what­ever mois­ture is nec­es­sary. Plus, it helps to res­tim­u­late cir­cu­la­tion.”

For a DIY ap­proach, dou­ble cleans­ing and multi-mask­ing will ease frost-re­lated ir­ri­ta­tion. Start with an oil cleanser to dis­solve SPF and makeup, fol­lowed by a mild cleans­ing for­mula to gen­tly re­move left­over sur­face residue. And whether you need to tame a blem­ish, add hy­dra­tion or re­fine skin’s tex­ture, it’s al­ways a good idea to cus­tom­ize mask time.

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