Welcome to our new semi-regular column called "Beauty and the Piste" or... what products to use and what tips you can employ to help maintain your skin and hair whilst skiing. Plus occasionally a few make-up tricks too.
Today we are sitting down and spending time with Rachel Williams, founder and CEO of ALBUS & FLORA.
For those of you who don't know ALBUS & FLORA we'd love to introduce you to their fab lip balms. Packed with great natural ingredients anti-oxidants and omegas, they also include Broad Spectrum SPF30 protection - suitable for use at altitude. The lip balms are a real asset to the skier. Winternational is proud to be one of the few retailers to stock these wonderful lip balms and all the team are real fans.
A physiologist with a background in pharmacology and an expert in acclimatisation gives Rachel Williams, Founder of ALBUS & FLORA a unique understanding of how the skin responds and adapts to environmental change over time.
Rachel explains how we are affected by our environment. "Your face, lips and eyes are extremely vulnerable and at altitude, are easily damaged.
"The mountain environment with fewer pollutants, higher altitude and the reflection of rays from snow, mean skin is exposed to higher levels of UV.
"UV levels increase by about 10% every 1000m climbed. Unprotected skin can burn within 6 minutes at 3000m, as skin is exposed to 30% more UV than at sea level. UV rays are the main creators of free radicals in skin - unstable oxygen molecules which steal energy from healthy cells, causing oxidative stress.
"This in turn activates enzymes that break down collagen and damage the DNA of a cell, causing premature ageing. Oxidative stress is cumulative and once energy from one cell has been snatched, a sort of Mexican wave effect is triggered leaving damage in its wake that builds up over time. Just like when a cut apple goes brown, shrivels and wrinkles."
What can we do to help prevent skin damage and premature ageing?
Reducing the formation of free radicals helps to keep skin healthy, resilient and youthful. Supplying the body with anti-oxidants, topically through skincare and through your diet buy eating lots of fruit and veg, can help to 'mop up' free radicals that are formed. Topical anti-oxidants like stabilised Vitamin C are a great addition to your skincare regime prior to the application of sunscreen.
ALBUS & FLORA balms provide lips with much needed anti-oxidants and omega oils and contain sunscreen ingredients that are photo-stable and give board-spectrum protection agains UVB, UVA1 and UVA2 - it's essential you protect the lips and face against all UV wavelengths.
Rachel advises "Remember a product containing SPF will only protect you against UVB (BURNING), so make sure all skincare has full UVA (AGEING) protection too - UVA rays penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are responsible for most of the age related changes in the skin."
Protect your pout!
Full, smooth lips shout youth. Our lips are one of the first places to show signs of ageing - yet we are quick to neglect them it seems. Loss of lip volume and lines are common and we can't stop the process but we can slow it down! Good news!
Dehydration - it's all about the oil
Dry, chapped lips are not only uncomfortable, they also appear thinner and older. Lips don't produce natural oils and so easily dehydrate. Using an oil-based balm helps lips stay hydrated and soft. Full, smooth lips shout youth.
ALBUS & FLORA's lip balms contain Alpine rose extract and Arctic cranberry and raspberry seed oil to protect against sun damage, fine lines and loss of lip fullness. Seaberry, avocado and blackcurrant seed oils nourish, stimulate cell renewal and support skin barrier function whilst Beeswax, jojoba, grape and sunflower oil hydrate, condition and reduce moisture loss.
Rachel has these top tips to help fight damage to lips...
1. Wear UVA/UVB protection every day, all year round.
2. Don't smoke or quit smoking.
3. Gently exfoliate and use an emollient balm with oils and anti-oxidants.
4. Stop drinking from a straw!
Rachel's suggestion is whether at work or play, having adventures large or small - make the most of every day. And we couldn't agree more.
For now, Rachel is off to the Alps for winter to continue developing her brand and her product range whilst being inspired by the mountains she loves so much. We can't wait to see what she develops next.
At Winternational, using these lip balms has become an essential. An everyday everyway product with a hint of luxury and a necessity for days in the mountains.