How one camper took a seriously high end French skin care routine to Bishop in December and ahem, “survived.

I visited Bishop California in December of 2014 and at the time was simultaneously obsessed with rock climbing, specifically bouldering, and super high-end skin care. How those two seemingly at odds hobbies took over my life… I’ll have to tell you in person some time, but they did. When I left Las Vegas to drive five hours through Death Valley and over the Sierra Mountains to climb and live out of a campsite in the desert with no running water, I knew before I packed my bags in New York, that I better have a plan for how I was going to wash my face at night and prep it in the mornings.

Yes, I could’ve just not taken care of my skin for the 6 days that we were camping and climbing. “Who wants to wash their face in 20 degree weather!” You say! “What possible difference could 6 days make?” You wonder? Wait, have you been talking to my ex? Well I am an extremist and my skin care routine is not something I compromised on then and it isn’t something that I compromise on now. Here’s what I did:


Morning, in the tent:
First of all, I never use a face cleanser in the morning. Isabelle Bellis told me to never cleanse in the AM and if the Queen says don’t do something, I don’t do it. Instead, I used a travel sized La Roche Posay (or Avene) thermal spray to dampen my face and then used a facial tissue to remove the moisture and dead skin that had sloughed off during the night. Do facial tissues sound wasteful to you? Me too! Now I use Aurelia Monday to Sunday Bamboo Muslins, reusable probiotic bamboo cleansing cloths, in the morning to wipe my face after my thermal spray, and at night I use the dirty cloth to remove excess cleanser. Next, I used Joelle Ciocco Module Protection Hydratant because it smells like heaven and it’s the best moisturizer I’ve ever used. Did you just click that link and think “WHOA! That price is really scary!” I thought so too at one point, so now I alternate with La Roche Posay Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer and La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Light Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizer depending on how my skin is feeling. Finally, and most importantly, I used Elta MD sunblock. Climbing outside is a lot of sun exposure and I am very protective over my skin. I am extremely allergic to chemical sunblocks, and this is a physical one and the only product I trust for my face.


Night, at the campground
I preferred to spray my thermal mist again to help loosen the product and dirt build-up, but it’s not necessary. The La Roche Posay Milk Cleanser is gentle, no rinse, and you can simply wipe off with a tissue or cloth. If you feel like you still have sunblock on your face after your first cleanse, cleanse again! Really! It’s okay, I promise; Isabelle said so. Next, toner time with, Joelle Ciocco’s Lotion Lactee transferred into a little tester bottle with cotton pads. Then I tapped on some SK II Facial Treatment Essence (I carry it in the travel-size tester bottles they have at the SK II counter… be nice and I bet they’ll give you some!). I got into skin care through SK II and I have always loved how this essence instantly brightens and moisturizers your skin. Finally, I ended with my moisturizer.


Future, who knows where but I know what
Now that time has passed and I am more experienced in skin care, and camping, here are some additional products I would add to my routine if I were to go to Bishop again this December.


Thomas Philip Roth Camu Power Brightening Cleanser.

You need water to activate it, but a cap full or less even from a water bottle is all that’s necessary and it’s quick and easy to wash off.

Joanna Vargas Daily Serum

It does a lot of great things but its help with preventing sun damage and retaining moisture is what I feel like my original routine was missing.

Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Dry Oil

In that arid climate, and despite my constant hydration and moisturizing, I was desperate to find a way to lock as much moisture into my skin as possible.


– tried & true by a KYC collaborator.

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