Much of the land area of the Inuits is an ARCTIC DESERT.(Typical yearly precipitation when I went there in 92 was about 5 inches/yr total.) I lived with coastal area Inuits for 10 years. You are talking about climate that is pretty much inarguably the harshest in the world and it is VERY DRY and VERY COLD and also VERY WINDY, much of the time. Inuits were also originally, and not many generations ago, nomadic, moving with the movement of the animals they hunted for clothing, for skin for umiaqs (kayaks,)for food, of course, as well as parts of sod houses and oil for seal oil lamps, etc. It has only been relatively recently that they formed villages and even then, still moved around for caribou hunting and fishing in the spring/ summer. As another writer mentioned, it was a very outside life and this included women. And all of this movement was largely on foot. Over time, yes, there were dog sleds. But even then, this would often involve multiplemembers of a family group with some (obviously babies and small children and Elders as able) riding and others walking veeeeeery long distances.
Remember that in the high arctic you have 3 months of 24 hour sun, which for the majority of that time is high noon sunlight. And it is still cold by anyone's standards who is not an arctic dweller. Also, on and off, HIGH winds are ever present. So, imagine hours of outside work and travel in 30 or more below, with a windchill that might =120 below. (I have experieced this many, many times.) AND, add in the severe dryness.
The other thing I would wonder about is the fact that the mainstay of food among coastal inuit, unaliq (cooked bowhead whale skin and fat) and maktak (raw skin and fat) are very, very heating to the body. I can attest to this on experiece. Eat a pile of either at a sitting (which is hard not to do if you like it alot!) and if you live a modern life, even in the arctic, and are inside, you'll literlly begin to feel like you are burning up. It is no myth that it HEATS YOU up, lol! Also, dwellings tend to be overheated now, and sod houses are likely to have been somewhat overheated then, when able. The point of all this is that hydration may have been quite suboptimal at times and again, if you haven't experieced, you really can't imagine the effects of this climate on your skin, even when you are appropriaely covered outside. And at times, some degree of facial frostbite would have just been part of the territory, as it is today sometimes, especially during protracted periods of hunting caribout or bowhead. When the people get a whale, processing and "sharing out" that whale is a non-stop process untill it is DONE. No one sleep, no one stops, untill it is done.
There is also the fact that when you are continually living life with the need to hunt all of your own food, it is inevitable that there will be times when food is scarce or absent. Anthro/archaeo bone studies have shown that indeed, extended periods of lack of food are observable in bones of the inuit. Starvation and periods of very suboptimal nutrition due to food scarcity don't do much for your skin or any other part of your body, lol! And remember that the energy expenditure in this environment was far greater, due to the described conditons, than in other "kinder" environs in which people faced food scarcity at times.
An example might be the southern regions of AK as compared to the high arctic regions. Totally different environs.
And nevermind that a vegan could never survive in the arctic because they could not have fed themselves! AND, the sheer amount of what they would have had to have tried to feed themselves to try to survive hours and hours of walking in blowing winds @ 30 below is just unthinkable. There's only one answer: they would have been dead. Survival, in my opinion, even with a pile of vegetales as the singular food would have equaled one thing: DEATH. (And I can get some pretty humorous mental pictures as well, of this...like a sled being pulled , sans dogs, which was not uncommon either, with, ah, piles of "thirty bananas" on it, lol!)
Here's the blog of a friend who had been an anthropologist for many years in Barrow. Some may find it interesting.
Here is also the blog of an Inupiaq wowman who is an artist and lives a total subsistence lifestye on the Brooks Range in the village of Anaktuvuk Pass (translated means: Place where caribou poop;) The work "anak" = "feces" or poop in inupiat.