How To Stay Warm And Protect Your Face While Skiing


Skiing is one of the best winter activities. On top of helping you exercise when other types of exercise activities may be cut off, it helps you practice your determination, patience, and coordination. The snow sport makes it possible for you to get some fresh air while having fun.

One thing you may not like about skiing is how cold it can get – you will be spending hours on the chilly ice and snow. When sliding down the slope, the wind will whip your face. Even though your body will be generating heat, it usually doesn’t take too long before the cold gets to you.

Staying warm when skiing is imperative both for your full enjoyment and health. If you are just getting started with skiing, you probably do not know how to stay warm skiing. If you go through this article, you should know how to avoid getting cold after grabbing your all-mountain skis.

Tips to Help You Avoid Getting Cold When Skiing

If you haven’t figured out how to stay warm skiing, the tips outlined below should help make your next ski session warm and comfortable.

1. Layer Up

The most ideal way of ensuring that you do not get cold after putting on your ski boots and skis is to dress in layers. Unlike what the majority of new skiers think, simply throwing on warm outerwear may not help you keep out the cold. Irrespective of how expensive or insulated the outerwear is, you will still get cold if it is not backed up by the right layers underneath.

When preparing for your ski session, you will need to put on 3 layers of clothing. Below, we will explain the 3 layers:

The Base Layer

This is the layer closest to your body. When choosing the base layer, you will want to consider a variety of factors. The factors include:


In the market, you will come across lightweight, midweight, and heavyweight base layers. The lightweight layers are often combined with midweight layers to aid with both insulation and moisture-wicking. The heavyweight base layers offer the most insulation. When used alone, you should use the base layers as indicated below:

  • Lightweight – Moderate to cool temperatures
  • Midweight – Cold temperatures
  • Heavyweight – Below-freezing temperatures

Currently, the available base layers are made of synthetics, merino wool, silk, or ceramic/wool. Below, we will explain these materials:

  • Synthetics – The synthetic base layers will have the ability to wick and dissipate sweat. They are also durable. You have to note that the synthetic base layers retain odor.
  • Merino wool – This material wicks well and can cool your body. Unlike synthetics, it is odor-free. You should expect the merino wool base layer to be only moderately durable.
  • Silk – Similar to the synthetics, silk base layers do retain odor. Silk base layers are more supple and offer moderate wicking.
  • Ceramic/wool – This technology is new. These base layers are more ideal for hot weather. The ceramic will attract the body heat and then dissipate it quickly – this will cool your body.

For the base layer to have the ability to wick the sweat effectively, it has to be next to the skin. So, the ideal base layer should fit snugly. If the base layer cannot wick sweat efficiently, the water could end up making you cold.

Generally, as part of the base layer, you may want to invest in the following:

  • A pair of high-quality socks
  • A long-sleeved thermal top
  • Thermal leggings


Similar to the base layers, the mid-layers are available in varying weights. The type of middle layer you decide to wear before grabbing your cross-country skis will depend on the personal preference, snow conditions, and the weather. If you will be using your ski gear in low temperatures, you should invest in heavyweight mid-layers.

Examples of the skiing mid-layers you may want to use after donning your ski goggles include:

  • Lightweight polyester sweatshirts
  • Turtle necks
  • Merino wool sweaters
  • Fleeces
  • Technical tees
  • Vests

To ensure that your mid-layers can keep you warm, ensure that they fit snugly – they should fit perfectly under the outerwear while leaving enough room for the base layers. If necessary, consider trying on a mid-layer before you pay for it.

Outer Layer

The best outer layer should be waterproof. You should invest in a breathable and lightweight ski jacket featuring the ability to keep you warm.

2. Avoid Ignoring Your Extremities 

Most skiers will pay a lot of attention to the bigger-ticket outerwear, including ski pants and coats, and forget about the extremities. On a normal ski day, the extremities are the places where you may suffer from the cold first.

Therefore, you must pay attention to the extremities. The face, fingers, and toes are classified under the extremities. Below, we will show you how to protect the extremities from the cold:

The Toes and Fingers

Ensure that your fingers and toes stay warm when skiing steeps – this can be achieved by covering up. Wear well-insulated gloves or mittens and good socks. Some of the factors you may want to consider when choosing ski socks and gloves include:

Ski Socks Factors
  • The Weight – The sock weight is a crucial deciding factor in 2 issues – foot warmth and ski boot If the ski boot size is big, you can purchase heavyweight socks (these feature extra padding) to fill up the extra space. If the temperatures are too cold, wearing heavyweight socks may be a good idea.
  • Durability – This has nothing to do with staying warm when skiing. The factor is, however, crucial considering that most skiers won’t want to purchase ski socks now and then. You can reduce the rate at which the ski socks wear out by using them with tight-fitting boots. Ski socks often wear due to extra space in the boot which causes too much movement – the friction will cause the socks to wear out.
  • Genetics – If you suffer from cold feet, you may want to purchase ski socks that can help you deal with the problem. Keep in mind that cold feet could also result from poor circulation in the feet, which is often a result of ill-fitting boots. Before investing in heavyweight socks, you may want to figure out whether the boots are the problem.
Skiing Gloves and Mittens Factors
  • Material – Skiing gloves are made of 2 main materials – leather and synthetics. Compared to synthetic gloves and mittens, leather gloves may last for a longer time. The synthetic gloves and mittens may help you retain more warmth than leather.
  • Breathability – Wet hands often get cold quickly. To ensure that the perspiration does not stay inside the mittens or gloves, you should ensure that they are breathable.
  • Conditions – The mittens and gloves you will use in warmer conditions will be different from the ones you will use when exploring the slopes on a colder day.

How to Keep Face Warm in Winter


Now that we have already discussed the toes and fingers, it is time to discuss the other extremity – your face. If we ignore the face when showing you how to stay warm skiing, we wouldn’t have helped you enjoy your sessions. To keep the face warm in winter, you will need to use the tips below:

  • Invest in a balaclava – This is a piece of headwear that is capable of covering your entire face, besides the eyes. Balaclavas are usually pretty-form fitting. You can couple them with a skiing hat or ideally, a ski helmet for safety.
  • Use neck warmers & gaiters – Compared to the balaclava, the neck gaiters and warmers are generally bulkier and heavier. They, however, allow you to switch from covering just the neck to the entire bottom of the face.
  • Use goggles to keep the face warm in winter – While you may not view the goggles as a way to keep your face warm, they play a crucial role. On top of helping the skin on the face retain heat, they help protect your face from the wind.
  • Use skull caps or helmet liners – These are usually small beanies that help keep your face warm while wicking away the sweat. These are usually designed in a way that allows them to fit under the helmet.
  • Insulated helmet – An insulated helmet should eliminate the need to use a hat. You can wear the helmet after putting on your balaclava.

3. Observe the Temperature

Keep in mind that just looking at your thermometer may not be enough. This is a major mistake that most skiers who are just learning how to stay warm skiing make. You have to know how the same temperature will feel when you have to stay outside for hours. If necessary, be prepared to handle the extra cold days by bringing varying layering options – you can add these if it gets colder than you had anticipated.

Another important factor you need to consider is the wind chill. The wind chill often makes the weather appear colder than it is. Before donning your backcountry ski gear and getting on the slopes, check both the wind chill and the temperature to ensure that you are well prepared.

4. Wear Fitting Boots

If your blood flow to the toes and feet is restricted, you could end up suffering from frostbite. If you wear boots meant for someone with smaller feet, you will be limiting the blood flow.

Wearing fitting boots will give the toes room to wiggle around. This will help improve the blood flow and hence boosting warmth distribution. If your boots do not fit you well, you can consider working with a professional boot fitter. He/she can modify the boots for you.

5. Carry Additional Warmers

When you mount your ski bindings and get on the slopes, you will want to have access to all the warmth that you can get. If the jacket you are wearing features some pockets, consider sliding one or two hand warmers in the pockets. When you are in between the runs, you can always slip your hands in the pockets and soak some of the warmth. Depending on what you wear skiing, you can always tuck these in the gloves or boots.

6. Close the Gaps

One of the best ways to stay warm is to ensure that only minimal skin is showing. The most neglected areas include the thin gaps existing between items of clothing or the layers.

To give you an example, if there is a little skin showing at the neck between the helmet and the coat, consider adding a neck up or a different layer to cover the space. If you figure out the women ski gloves you purchased do not have the ability to reach up to the coat, come up with a way to cover the gap – alternatively, you can invest in new gloves featuring longer wrist cuffs.

7. Pack a Hot Drink or Snack

Consider bringing a thermos of hot soup or a different drink. This will help warm you from the inside out, helping the body generate heat that can be trapped and held by the clothing layers you are wearing.

Having a hot drink is not just ideal because it will help you stay warm – it is also an ideal way of ensuring that you stay hydrated while sweating on the slopes. While the hot drink may not hydrate you as water would, it is an ideal way to avoid freezing while taking care of your health.

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If you do not know how to stay warm skiing, exploring the slopes won’t be fun for you. A combination of judging the conditions correctly and wearing the right clothing can help you reduce your chances of getting cold.

In this article, we have talked about layering up. It is worth noting that wearing the right layers will offer better results compared to wearing more layers. Therefore, instead of investing in more layers, consider including the right pieces in your skiing wardrobe.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!