Skincare for the Higher Altitudes

Skincare for the Higher Altitudes

I recently went on a trip to Aspen to attend the wedding of a good friend. Compared to Miami, where I currently live, Colorado is inherently drier. It also is significantly higher in elevation so you also have intense sun exposure. As someone with sensitive skin and a history of acne and rosacea, any change in temperature and humidity drastically affects my skin. I’m going to discuss how to take care of your skin in drier climates and in higher altitudes. 


The skin under your eyes are thinner than the rest of your face so it will be affected by the change in humidity more readily. Don’t forget to use a really hydrating eye cream such as Neocutis Lumiere or PCA Ideal Eye Complex Revitalizing Gel. These both have synergistic ingredients such as caffeine and retinol alternatives that brighten your undereye area while reducing puffiness. I also like Jan Marini Luminate Eye Gel because you can wear it under makeup without caking or piling.

Sun exposure 

Higher altitudes mean more intense and direct sun exposure. Even when cloudy, the UV rays can still penetrate through the clouds. I love using PCA Sheer Tint because it has a flawless tint that looks good on everyone. This is a product that I have gotten a lot of my patients hooked on—even the men! It is also water resistant for up to 88 minutes so if you sweat while hiking the Rockies, you’re still protected. Finally, it is a physical blocker which means that it is devoid of any chemicals that might irritate sensitive skin. You would think I’m paid by the company because of how much I recommend it but just really really love this product!!! A close runner-up is Skinmedica Essential Defense Mineral Shield.  It is untinted and becomes clear when you apply it to your skin.  Other faves are Skinceuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense, and Elta MD Physical. Don’t forget to take your Heliocare capsules an hour before you go outside for extra sun protection from the inside out.

Cleanse gently 

Avoid foaming cleansers that strip your skin. If you have dry, sensitive skin, your skin needs extra TLC at elevation. I love Alastin’s Gentle Cleanser. It is scientifically proven to remove the junk from the cells in your skin, making your skin more supple, smooth, and hydrated. For cleansing balms, I like the Elemis Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm because it cleans without drying your skin using 9 essential oils. For oily skin types, I love the VMV Hypoallergenics Spring Cleaning Purifying Facial Wash because it gets rid of the oils/makeup/SPF/yuckiness without drying or irritating your skin. It also helps controls your oil production, is rich in antioxidants, as well as soothing.

Don’t forget to hydrate 

Dry skin is more prone to irritation and wrinkling, so make sure your skin is well hydrated while you’re in the mountains. Especially for sensitive skin types, we need to restore and maintain the skin barrier in order to prevent loss of moisture as well as prevent harmful irritants or allergens to enter. My current fave is the VMV Hypoallergenics Hydra Balance Smart Moisturizer for Combination Skin. It has a creamy, hydrating texture without leaving your skin greasy. Your skin just literally eats it up! Additionally, VMV takes out the 109 most common skin allergens in all of their skincare products! A close second is the PCA Silkcoat Balm. This luxurious cream has silk proteins that help lock the moisture into your skin and it has antioxidants as well. At altitude, the use of moisturizers are important, but drinking tons of water is key. It keeps your skin supple and soft as well as detoxifying your whole body!


Our lips are especially prone to chapping in dry weather because they lack sebaceous glands. I recommend applying a hydrating balm at bedtime so your pout is perfect when you wake up in the morning. I am a fan of the tried and tested Vaseline or Aquaphor. I also like Lipsmart because it not only boosts hydration in your lips but it also gives the illusion of plumper lips. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your lips because your lips need sun protection too! I especially like the Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30 with Zinc and Titanium oxide. It comes in 6 luscious colors, is water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and 70% of the ingredients are organic.


I really don’t wear a lot of makeup and I don’t recommend applying a ton at altitude because it can dry your skin more. I am very partial to the BB/CC creams instead. My current favorite is the VMV Hypoallergenics Skin Savvy Daily Complexion Perfector SPF 60. It has coconut monolaurins (the only part of coconut oil that does not clog your pores) that make your skin flawless without really mattifying and drying you out. Another fave is the wonderfully rose-scented Coola Rosilliance Tinted Organic BB Cream SPF 30. This is especially nice for drier skin types because it leaves you hydrated with a nice glow.

That’s about it! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send them my way. Would love to hear any and all feedback 😊

Lots of love,