Skin Savers at 17,600 ft

In the Summer of 2017, I made a trip to Everest Base camp. As stunning as the sights were, the sounds of this trek – the glaciers cracking beneath the blue ice, the synchronic music of the Yaks and mules moving in unison as they carried heavy loads, and prayer flags blowing in the bone-chilling wind – left me mesmerized just as much as what my eyes could see in the horizon.

This was my very first trek and required at least 6hrs of walking every day for 12 days. I anticipated the physical challenge it entailed and packed very light. I only carried the bare minimum for this trip. For a reference, I packed so light, I did not even carry my DSLR with me and took all the photos on the iPhone. I also carried three skin care products that I deemed most essential and left behind all the makeup for this trip. I used these products every day and was extremely impressed by how all three performed. I now trust in these brands for many of my skincare needs.

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1. Kiehl’s Super Fluid Sunscreen ($38)  2. First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream ($30) 3. Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1 ($9.50)

The first product I carried with me was Kiehl’s Super Fluid Sunscreen. I believe this sunscreen played a vital role in keeping my skin from getting severe burns. As the altitude increased, the air became thinner and colder. It was a challenge for me to keep my skin from getting sunburns at that high altitude. To avoid sunburns at 17,600 ft (or 5,380 m; the altitude at EBC) is perhaps impossible, and inevitably, on the 7th day of the trek, a markedly red patch appeared on my nose. In comparison, it was not half as severe as the patches I had seen on others while on the trek.

I have extremely dry skin. So, to counter the discomfort caused by dryness I carried Ultra Repair Cream. Having never used this cream before, I was blown away by how thick and hydrating it is. Although the Ultra repair cream is very heavy, it does not feel greasy at all. I applied it on my face every night and wore it underneath the sunscreen every day. I also applied it to my extremities. To my dry skin, this cream was heaven sent.

The last skincare product I carried was a lip balm. I had never tried Keihls lip balm before. I picked up my tube right before we left for Nepal. I was pleasantly surprised at the formula of this product. It does not feel like petroleum jelly (like many lip balms do). It is formulated with Squalene, Lanolin, aloe, and vitamin E that keeps the lip hydrated without tacky texture. On Keihls website, they have mentioned this lip balm helps protect lips from the drying effects of wind and cold weather. I could testify this claim! This product surely kept my lips from drying and cracking at the Everest Base Camp.

I did reapply the sunscreen and the lip balm multiple times a day throughout the trek. Here are a couple of photos of me at the Base Camp.

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I usually like indulging in a proper skin care routine. So, I incorporate more products like cleansers, toners, and serum. This trip definitely taught me that I could make do with a minimum number of products. You might have noticed I did not carry any face wash with me. The Johnson’s Baby wipes that I had on me that worked perfectly to wipe away all the dust and dirt. And I used just water to rinse my face after. Although I don’t think it’s essential, it would have definitely been nicer had I carried a face wash.

It has been a while since the trek, but I still and will always continue to cherish this beautiful experience I had. Here are some photos from the journey.

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