Skin needs pampering in the winter |

Skin needs pampering in the winter

Rhonda Beckham

For the past few weeks I have been writing about the importance of conditioning your body for the upcoming ski and snowboard season. That conditioning goes beyond muscles.

My goals in offering the Winter Sports Conditioning Camp were to increase cardiovascular and muscle endurance, with an emphasis on increasing flexibility to help prevent injuries. But preventing injuries to your skin is equally as important — for everyone, not just athletes.

With a birthday this month, I decided to treat myself to a rejuvenating facial. I had the pleasure of receiving a treatment from Mary, a wonderful aesthetician at Elements Spa in the Lakeshore Lodge. While she buffed this and applied that she gave me a wonderful lesson in winter skin care.

I listened intently to every tip she had to offer after I complained about the extreme dryness of my skin since moving to the mountains. As with any good teacher, she explained the whys first to focus my interest. The most visual example she gave was to think of my face as a chocolate chip cookie. If you burn the cookie, all the moisture is lost and no amount of butter or oil will re-hydrate the cookie back to its once soft and supple texture because there has been damage at the cellular level.

Our skin is the same — whether it’s our face, arms, legs or other body part.

Sunlight has a profound effect on the skin. It can cause premature skin aging, skin cancer and a host of skin changes. Exposure to ultraviolet light, UVA or UVB, from sunlight accounts for 90 percent of the symptoms of premature skin aging.

Mary reminded me that we get a double dose of these harmful rays when we are on the slopes or because we get it from above and reflected off the snow from below. Add the harshness of the dry mountain air and we better be prepared.

So I went to Kmart to purchase a small stick of 60 SPF sun block. I am applying it every morning before my moisturizer and make up. When I’m skiing this season, I’ll carry my little stick in my jacket pocket along with a damp washcloth that I have sealed in a plastic baggy. Half way through my ski day I’ll wipe off the old sun block, sweat, and dirt and reapply the sun block.

Skin care is important for all ages and sexes. Leather skin isn’t attractive on anyone. And no one has ever celebrated being told they have skin cancer. Invest in sun block, and then put it on daily, year-round. Remember the adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

— Rhonda Beckham is a nationally certified personal trainer, with teaching certificates in Pilates and kickboxing.

Rhonda Beckham is owner of Help Me Rhonda and Perfect Pilates, a Pilates instructor at Lake Tahoe Community College and Sierra Athletic Club, as well as a personal trainer operating out of Sierra Athletic Club and the Tahoe Keys Marina Fitness Studio. She may be reached at (530) 208-6369, and

Signs of skin cancer with the ABCDE rule:

A for Asymmetry: A mole that, when divided in half, doesn’t look the same on both sides;

B for Border: A mole with edges which are blurry or jagged;

C for Color: Changes in the color of a mole, including darkening, spread of color, loss of color, or the appearance of multiple colors such as blue, red, white, pink, purple or gray;

D for Diameter: A mole larger than one-quarter inch in diameter;

E for Elevation: A mole that is raised above the skin and has an uneven surface.

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