Sami Kennedy-Sim is an Australian freestyle skier, ranked number 1 Ski Cross Athlete in the Southern Hemisphere, and 2 x
Australian Olympian. Her sights are set high on the 2022 Olympic Winter Games. We are also incredibly proud to call her a #PremaxAthlete, and as someone who has been so involved with our brand, Randall wanted to sit down with Sami and talk about everything from skin protection, irritation, and her relationship with Premax.
Can we talk about your skin? There are some issues that come with skiing, and being in the mountains all day, everyday. You know it's either going to either be bitterly cold or extremely windy, and you've got to take precautions. What do you do to make sure that you're looking after it?
The hardest thing about being a ski or snowboard athlete is that you're wearing a helmet and goggles all the time. Whatever you put on your skin, you sweat, and all that grime sits on your goggles and inside your helmet. Plus, you've got clothing that's brushing up against your face, and it's not uncommon for me to have almost acne around some of my jawline after a couple of months on the road. On top of that, this year you’ve got the added complication of wearing a mask whilst trying to ski. I can’t really race with a mask on though, I get claustrophobic.
So, when it comes to protecting from the elements, it's really simple for me. I wear sunscreen every day as part of my daily routine. We come from Australia where we’re so educated on suncare. When I’m out on the bike, I’m wearing the Weather Defence Facial Cream, to protect my whole face during training. And I don’t mind going for a facial every now and then, but that’s not easily accessible on the road, unfortunately.
There’s some interesting research which they’ve shown in animal studies, that when it's really windy the wind actually brushes away dead skin cells off your face. This sounds great, but that actually makes you more vulnerable to UV rays exposure, and damages the underlying skin as well. So, protecting yourself, particularly on those really bad days, is a good idea.
They also make really pretty neck warmers now. You used to just be so covered up just to protect from the sun here in Australia, that you’d go up to someone and they'd be like, "Who's that under there?" They didn't know who you were! Now, there's a few different options on the market.
Look good, ski good, is the cliche! After speaking to a lot of friends who ski, they reckon you almost get the worst of both worlds because you're out on the hill all day, and you're getting blasted in your face, and then you go to the warm lodges or hotels and your skin gets totally dehydrated. It's not a great environment for skin. Is there anything else that you do for the rest of your body? Do you get dehydrated skin when you're on the road for a while, and if you do, what do you do about it?
I definitely do, especially just living in tight clothing all the time. Whether I'm in the gym training, or we're in the car or an airplane, or in your actual ski gear, there's some element of fabric always on my skin. I find that I have such a reaction sometimes, that by the time I get home I'll get so embarrassed by the state of my skin that I don't want to go to the beach, despite living 50m from it in Sydney. So, for me, the best thing is when I get home to just wear shorts, and let my skin breathe.
So many people get problems with irritation from their boots. Obviously, they can cause discomfort, which is nagging and irritating, but when it gets bad you can actually really start to damage the layer of your skin in your boots too. As an athlete, it’s obviously not great if you've got blisters in your ski boots, and the advice I'm sure you get is you've got to make a conscious effort to get a great boot fitter, and get some great boots. But, is there any other way that you keep your skin on your feet and also your shins in good condition?
My shins are pretty good now. When I was younger, I had a lot of problems with friction from wearing ski socks, and the pressure of the tongue of the boot and things like that. As long as you're wearing the right gear and you're getting good advice from people who are experts, you can be ok.
Tell me about your relationship with Premax, how it helps you as an athlete, and if you could pick a favourite product, what would it be?
My relationship with Premax has really been quite an exciting journey. I'm getting a lot of education from you guys behind the scenes, which is such a cool concept, that a company are so willing to share information, and really wants to upskill their client base. We get asked all the time for our feedback and our opinions are listened to. I feel like I really add value to the brand, and therefore it's adding value to me and my performance, and my day-to-day life. I saw the opportunity to be aligned with a brand that wants to make people perform better, and also want to make people as safe as possible whilst they're performing.
My favourite product is the Warm Up Cream Formula EP5. I've got arthritis in my knee and I use the Warm Up Cream on my injured areas pre-performance, or pre-training when I have a flare up. I don't rely on it all the time, but when I need it, I actually find that it really makes a difference. I love the fact that it's easy to put on, it's not smelly, it's not sticky, and it lasts a long time as well. It was a game changer for me on the road this year with a niggling little old knee syndrome. It meant I could be really specific with my training and get an extra couple of runs in if I needed to.
We wish Sami the best of luck for her journey to the 2022 Winter Olympics, and will be there supporting her every step of the way. You can watch the interview here .