Cold, wind, sun and perspiration are the four deadly sins when it comes to damaging your skin. The cold chaffs and dries your skin, the wind sucks precious moisture from its upper layers, the sun burns and ages your skin and the salts in perspiration block your pores while the alkalinity challenges the skin’s naturally acidic state. Each one poses a challenge to your skin’s balance but all four at once can be a real problem. Being exposed to these deadly sins can leave you with tight, red and/or bumpy skin and can really accelerate the ageing of your skin.
This is why I always take my skin care products wherever I go, even if that happens to be the remote bush of New Zealand. Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to do The Grand Traverse. Six days of tramping through the Greenstone Valley and then on to the Routeburn Track. The environment ranged from beautiful but windy valleys through to the bitterly cold, exposed alpine regions. Most days I experienced all four of the deadly skin sins so starting and finishing each day with my Janesce skin care routine was a non-negotiable.
But weight is an issue when you are carrying everything in a pack on your back so I make sure I only take the barest of essentials. For me that starts with my soaking cloth. Moisture loss is the biggest problem so being able to replenish that morning and night is key. It is such a relief to be able to hold that damp cloth to your thirsty skin after hours of tramping. I don’t usually have the luxury of a basin or bowl so I simply run the cloth under water (hopefully it’s not freezing cold), wring it out and hold it to my skin. The lack of soaking drops means my soaking isn’t quite as effective as when I’m at home but I notice my skin still greedily soaks up that precious moisture.
Take a snap lock bag so you can transport your damp cloth without wetting the contents of your pack. If you find yourself perspiring during the day, having a damp cloth is very handy to wipe off that salty residue which can block your pores (always mist and reapply your moisturizer though). Next I take a small travel-sized mist, usually Soothing Mist because it’s the most acidic of the Janesce mists and helps counteract the alkalinity of any perspiration. It also doubles as a soother for any bug bites or sun exposure.
I decant some of my favourite serum into a small glass bottle for the next step. Usually that’s Perfecting Gel but this time it was the wonderful new Re-energising Serum. The other option is the Solutions Age-Defying Serum. But honestly any of these three products will work because they all contain hyaluronin which helps your skin hold on to valuable moisture and counteracts the drying effect of the cold and wind.
To top that off, I take a small plastic pot full of my moisturizer of the moment. Because I haven’t the room to take both a day and a night cream, I usually settle for a day cream. You need the extra protection a day cream offers and even at night, the huts can get very cold and a night cream just might not be enough to buffer those low temperatures.
To finish my routine, a few drops of the Janesce Suncare Lotion gives me all the sun protection I need especially since I always wear a hat. Chemical sunblocks are an additional option but I prefer to make absolutely sure I don’t get any sun on my skin. Sunblocks can give you a false sense of security and while they are great at blocking UVB, the burning rays, there is no guarantee they will protect you from UVA, the ageing rays. The best option is a physical block like a good hat.
Another must-have for me is a snood, which has a very odd name for such an essential piece of clothing. A snood for those of you who are unfamiliar, is a small, circular scarf that you wear around your neck. It is great for protecting the back of your neck from the sun but when it gets cold or windy, you can simply lift it up and sit it just below your eyes where it will protect the whole lower half of your face. My favourite is made from fine merino wool which makes it warm and protective but still fine enough to breath through.
Tramping in the New Zealand bush is one of my favourite things but it can be challenging for my fine, fair skin. This means my skin care routine, including my soaking, is a must for every trip. Although I must admit it can draw some curious looks and sometimes even questions from my fellow trampers. But I can say that I always leave the track with my Janesce glow in tact! – Janine Tait