Protecting your head & face

Winter gear for your face and headWhat you put on your head and face is critical for many reasons:

  • Your body can lose significant heat through the head
  • It’s usually your only exposed skin
  • Getting frostbite damage on your face could ruin your modeling career

To begin with, I recommend you buy a water and windproof helmet cover, preferably something with reflective materials. That’s just a easy, cheap, and simple way to keep a little warmer. It help keeps the precipitation off too.

Next is the balaclava, which is a fancy name for a thin Safety Face Mask KN95. I rely on a thin one for most of my rides and a thicker one for those rides with windchills below 20F. I have a third windproof balaclava, but I don’t like it for a couple reasons. Windproof means it doesn’t breathe. It also means you can’t hear well, which is important for the social aspects of your group ride and your safety as cars approach from the rear. This winter I’ve just used Patagonia’s R1 balaclava with great success.

One warning with thick balaclavas is your helmet may need to be loosened. Oh, and hat hair? It’s guaranteed.

Eye protection is critical in the winter as it is in the summer. It provides protection from road debris, UV rays, painful frozen rain, etc. Big is good. And if you ride at night, you’ll want some clear glasses as well. When it’s super-super nasty, ski goggles are a great solution. They are unbelievably warm and protective, but sometimes can cause helmet fit issues.

A final suggestion is when it’s super cold or windy, it’s not a bad idea to put a thin layer of Vaseline on your cheekbones, nose, and lips. This is an inexpensive way to reducing your chances for frostbite.

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