Winter taking its toll on your skin?Here's some hard, cold advice

As you step outside your Stratton Mountain condo, you're hit with arctic winds. Retreating to the fireside offers respite-- but then your skin begins to itch, reacting to the shift between temperature extremes. Hearken unto Milton's words, "Accuse not Nature, she hath done her part; do thou but thine." In cold weather, good looks and health require a little more sense and craft.


Scenario The alarm rings, but it still looks like night, and your comforter conspires with the darkness to keep you in bed.
Solution Reach for the potion on your nightstand-- Weleda's analgesic arnica oil or Tiger Balm, the wasabi of ointments, whose clove oil not only revives you but makes you hungry for pumpkin pie. Massage either one onto your shoulders.

Scenario You can't keep your eyes open in the shower.
Solution Fumble for Carefree Resorts' peppy eucalyptus shampoo. For still more pep, try Origins Jump Start spearmint-scented shower gel.

Scenario Stepping onto the bath mat, you already feel your skin drying.
Solution All this livening of the skin and senses must be tempered with a gentle touch. Heed the advice of Pittsburgh dermatologist Joseph Bikowski: "Moisturize within 120 seconds of toweling off to retain hydration." Treat your face to a non-alkaline cleanser-- Galderma's softening Cetaphil or Philosophy's chamo-mile Wiped Out-- and then to Clarins's Masque Hydratant.

Scenario You're doing fine on the ski trails, but on the chairlift you nod off.
Solution Dig into your pocket for Judith Jackson's Lavender Lift Serum or the clove- and cinnamon-infused Vital Thymes Uplifting Hands cream (and crave a second piece of pie).


Scenario On the slopes of Lapland, your hands are badly chapped. You spy a little girl with the same problem, who's burying her mitts in her father's parka. Since he's busy, you must fend for yourself.
Solution You've wisely tucked away a tin of wax-based moisturizer: Aquamirabilis Hand Balm, with mango oil; Origins Rough Skin Soother, with Saint-John's-wort; or Phytomains, with neem-seed oil, tested by a Himalayan Sherpa on a rigorous climb.

Scenario Turning gracefully, you catch a ski edge and slide downhill face first on what feels like sandpaper. You touch your cheek and realize that, though unharmed, it too feels like sandpaper.
Solution As you once heard New York WABC-TV meteorologist Bill Evans explain, snow's "evaporative cooling draws moisture out of your skin." Resolve to apply Chanel's vitamin-packed Hydra- Sérum or Naturo-pathica's Carrot Seed Protective Serum, followed by a rich face cream, such as Orlane's Hydro-Climat Moisture Shell or Sisley's Hydra-Flash, both made with shea butter, or Estée Lauder's oil-free DayWear.

Scenario As you restore your goggles after the wipeout, you notice that even your hair feels dry.
Solution Since you have an aversion to "hat head," tomorrow you'll wear a protective hair oil by Phytoplage, with rosemary and juniper, or by Erbe, with sandalwood and ylang-ylang.


Scenario You're tired from traveling to Patagonia, and tomorrow you face the ski slopes of Cerro Catedral.
Solution The optimum time to repair winter's torturous effects is while you sleep. Relax with an Aveda Aroma Candle. Then smooth on one of Decleor's luxuriously scented natural facial balms or Lancôme's lavender-infused Primordiale Nuit. Rest knowing that, as our sage friend Milton said, "Well hast thou fought the better fight."

Erin Warren, member of the 1994 Olympic luge team, can hurtle down a track of solid ice at 82 mph. Whether at home in Ipswich, Massachusetts, or on the road in Latvia, Warren treats herself right. "I don't care what the boys say. Before racing, I apply makeup. It puts me in a better frame of mind." Now preparing for the 1998 Winter Olympics, she follows this daily regimen:
Face: Sunscreen, Chap Stick, and Clarins Multi-Active Day Cream.
Hands: Neutrogena lotion under the gloves.
Winning smile: Clinique Almost Lipstick.
Wipeout: No makeup that's flashier than her performance.

ALEXANDRA MARSHALL is a writer based in New York.

Weleda Arnica Massage Oil, $2.35 for 1/2 oz., and Everon Lip Balm, $3.35, at health-food stores nationwide; or call 800/241-1030. Tiger Balm, $4.89, at drugstores nationwide. Carefree Resorts Eucalyptus Shampoo, $11, at Carefree Resorts; or call 800/979-2999. Origins Natural Resources Jump Start Stimulating Body Wash, $15, and Rough Skin Soother, $12.50, at Origins stores and select department stores; or call 800/674-4467. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser, by Galderma, $5.95 for 8 oz., at drugstores nationwide. Philosophy Wiped Out, $15, at select Barneys New York, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Marshall Field's; or call 800/ 568-3151. Clarins Masque Hydratant (Revitalizing Moisture Mask), $28, and Multi-Active Jour (Multi-Active Day Cream), $30, at department stores nationwide. Judith Jackson Aromatherapy Lavender Lift Serum, $25, at select Nordstrom and spas nationwide; or call 800/548-9928. Vital Thymes Uplifting Hands, by Thymes Limited, $9; call 800/366-4071 for store locations. Aquamirabilis Hand Balm, $13, at select specialty shops, including Pure, in Jackson, Wyoming, 888/734-5055; or call 800/789-1991. Phytomains, about $7, at pharmacies throughout France. Chanel Hydra-Sérum, $50, at department stores nationwide. Naturopathica Carrot Seed Protective Serum for Dry Skin, $15, at Naturopathica, East Hampton, N.Y., and Henri Bendel; or call 800/ 669-7618. Orlane Hydro-Climat Moisture Shell, $60, at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale's, and Lord & Taylor. Sisley Hydra-Flash, $160, at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. Estée Lauder DayWear SPF 15, $37.50, at department stores nationwide. Phytoplage Oil Spray, at Barneys New York, Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, and select pharmacies; call 800/557-4986 for store locations. Erbe Herbal Hair Oil, $22 for 3 1/2 oz., at Erbe stores and select specialty shops; or call 800/432-3723. Aveda Plant Pure-Fume Aroma Candle; call 800/328-0849 for price and store information. Decleor Baume Essentiel, $51, at Nordstrom and exclusive spas and salons nationwide; call 800/722-2219 for store locations. Lancôme Primordiale Nuit, $55, at department and specialty stores nationwide. Banana Boat Vitamin E Sunblock Lip Balm, $1.99; Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer, $3.05, and Norwegian Formula Hand Cream, $4.60; and Cherry Chap Stick, $1.39, all at drugstores nationwide. Clinique Lip Block, $7.50, and Almost Lipstick, $13.50, at department stores nationwide.