On those winter days, when it’s biting cold and sharp snowflakes fall onto your face, anyone who puts on their running shoes or spends a carefree day on the hill deserves a gold medal (or at least a cup of hot chocolate at the finish). These athletes are familiar with both the medals and the winter cold – they spend their days in the snow, practising and achieving excellent results in both the Olympic Games and World Cup stages. Who could provide better skin care advice in winter than them?

LELDE GASŪNA, DOWNHILL SKIER

Tell us about your winter!

In winter my daily schedule is twice as tight, because I spend the competition season having long journeys between the locations of the races and the practice sites. But I manage to also find time for other activities, for my close ones and for recreation. Currently I am preparing for the World Championship in Sweden, where the weather is forecast to be quite cold and windy.

Has the cold ever been a reason for you to miss an important practice?

Both practices and competitions are cancelled, if the weather conditions are truly extreme, extending to at least -25 degrees. Therefore I have often had to equip myself with all the possible layers of clothing, face protective creams, tape and a large flask.

What is your daily skin care like?

Despite the season I always observe the morning and evening rituals. In summer I use SPF creams more often, which are provided not only for daily use, but also for the mountain sun. Among the daily care products I use are soothing/cleansing face milk, cleansing cream, face tonic, day cream, moisturising cream, as well as some night serum that takes care of the facial skin and rejuvenates it, while I am relaxing and not on the hill.

Which skin care products do you always take along in winter?

In winter I almost always have to use creams intended for cold, windy and wet weather. When going to the hill, I never use a moisturising cream, because it greatly increases the possibility of getting frostbite.

Do you also consider any special hair care during the winter?

Before practice I always try to apply some oil to the ends of the hair and hide them under the jacket, in order for them not to freeze or burn in the sun. But unfortunately the biggest problem is the helmet, which thoroughly damages the hair during the season making it considerably thinner. That is why I often visit my hairdresser, who knows best what to do in each situation and how to take care of my hair. The most important thing, of course, is to drink enough water, which is especially important for the body, and also affects the health of the facial skin and scalp.

Do you use SPF throughout the year?

I also use SPF in winter, but I address this issue more towards the spring, when the sun becomes more intense.

What is your favourite way of warming yourself after a day spent outside?

Definitely a warm shower or a bath, but you cannot get carried away with it during the practices and competitions. Knitted socks and a huge warm sweater combined with a mug of tea.

ELĪNA ZVAIGZNE, SNOWBOARDER

Tell us about your winter!

Every day for me begins with a workout at the gym, and then I do things related to university studies. I regularly spend the evenings on the hill – either snowboarding or riding a run prepared by my coach. Currently I am preparing for a big and very important competition for me – the World Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, which will take place in March this year. Winter is my favourite season, which can be enjoyed being outside and doing sports.

Has the cold ever been a reason for you to miss an important practice?

It has never been so cold in Latvia. Sometimes it has been a problem abroad, when the competition is simply cancelled or postponed due to weather conditions, when the riding is physically impossible. But temperatures below zero most definitely do not harm practice.

What is your daily skin care like?

Definitely face cream, MADARA Soothing Hydration oil, which I add to face cream and masks that I apply after long days on the hill. They nourish, moisturise, relax my facial skin. Sometimes I also use MADARA face scrub.

Which skin care products do you always take along in winter?

As we all know, in winter you have to take care of your skin even more attentively than in summer. Especially, if you spend the majority of the day outside. In winter I use special face creams more often, which protect against the cold. I often take the face cream with me everywhere I go, because after workouts in the gym this process has to be repeated. In the evenings I clean my face with MADARA purifying foam. Before sleep I use a night mask more often, which especially nourishes the facial skin.

Do you also consider any special hair care during the winter?

I always include masks and oils in my hair care ritual, which I use every time I wash my hair to make it silky and soft.

Do you pay attention to SPF in winter?

When in the Alps on especially sunny days I definitely try to use sun screens with at least the minimum SPF.

What is your favourite way of warming yourself after a day spent outside?

Definitely a cup of hot tea and my favourite movie in good company.

BAIBA BENDIKA, BIATHLETE

Tell us about your winter!

I spend the winter doing the biathlon season and participating in competitions in various places around the world almost every week. Currently I am in Canada, preparing for the 7th World Cup stage. Thus every day, like the entire year, consists of morning exercises, breakfast, practice, lunch, rest, second practice, dinner and sleep.

Has the cold ever been a reason for you to miss an important practice?

I can't really remember such cold temperatures that I haven’t been able to go outside. But there are times, when you have to adjust. For example, in Canada it is currently -30 degrees and windy, therefore in such weather the practice will be held indoors – when skiing outside it is not possible to keep yourself warm enough to make the practice effective.

What is your daily skin care like?

I am one of those, who do not have an exact skin care ritual – I rely more on the senses. I consider that, if a person is healthy and does sports, his or her skin is already naturally much healthier and not many additional products are required. In summer I use more moisturising products, but in winter – more nourishing.

Which skin care products do you always take along in winter?

In winter I choose more nourishing products – if you apply a moisturising cream before going outside, your face will freeze even more. I enjoy the choice of natural products, therefore my must-haves are coconut oil and shea butter, which can be used in many ways and all over the body.

Do you also consider any special hair care during the winter?

I am lucky to have naturally healthy and strong hair. Sometimes I moisturise my hair with coconut oil, but in general I do not have any special rituals due to doing sports.

Do you pay attention to SPF in winter?

I pay attention to SPF, when I am high in the mountains, where the sun is more intensive and also reflects off the snow. It is important to protect both the facial skin and lips in this situation.

What is your favourite way of warming yourself after a day spent outside?

First of all – a hot shower! Afterwards a warm woollen sweater and woollen socks, as well as warm tea with berries, honey and if it has been especially freezing outside, with a teaspoon of “Stroh” rum.

Photo: From the private archives of the athletes.