The alternating cold air outdoors and dry heat indoors can be tough on one’s skin, leading to itching, redness, and even premature wrinkling. Margot White, a health educator and founder of online boutique The Choosy Chick, which researches and curates nontoxic health and beauty products for the whole family, offers some tips for how to deal with dry winter skin. Here’s her advice:
What Can You Do?
Stay hydrated and moisturized. While the temptation is to crank up the hot water in the shower on cold days, this is one of the worst things you can do. You should actually turn the dial down. When you get out of the shower, towel dry lightly, leaving the skin damp. Then, apply your body cream or oil while the skin is still moist. While this might not be the most comfortable routine on cold days, it can make a tremendous difference!
Also, choose your products carefully. Most skincare products on the market are simply a cocktail of unnecessary, potentially hazardous ingredients, many of which can cause and aggravate dry, irritated skin.
Ingredients to Avoid
1. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate. The chemical used in car washes and to remove grease is also used in skincare products such as bath washes, to make them foam, offering that “squeaky clean feeling.” It can actually remove protective oils from your skin and is commonly associated with skin reactions and irritations.
2. Fragrance. Most synthetic fragrances are made up of hundreds of other chemical ingredients that do not need to be disclosed on the ingredient label because they are considered proprietary. Fragrance is an irritant and the cause of allergies, headaches, and skin upset. It is typically made of phthalates, which are known hormone disruptors. Opt for fragrance from natural sources like grapefruit that you can identify on the label, or no-scent skincare products and detergents.
3. Petroleum-based products. While we all grew up slathered in petroleum jelly, it can actually provide a barrier, smothering the skin, not allowing it to breathe. There are also contamination concerns leading to toxicity, depending on how well it is refined. Opt for organic oils and butters like shea butter, babassu oil, avocado oil, and grape seed oil.
4. Alcohols. Alcohol can be drying in skincare products. Look for in lotions and use sparingly.
Five Natural/Organic Product Recommendations
For the Face:
1. ORGAID Hydrating Sheet Masks restore, hydrate, and rejuvenate skin with organic ingredients that penetrate the skin to enhance your complexion. Sheet masks allow the serum to be absorbed deeper into skin (and not evaporate) for ultimate hydration that lasts. Orgaid extends their commitment to the natural world with recyclable packaging. All masks are made from an Eco-derma fabric that is biodegradable.
2. SCHAF Daily Moisturizer contains 100 percent organic rose and argan oils to transform the appearance of your skin over time, and prickly pear seed oil to instill radiance and brilliance. It does not leave a greasy feel, but instead plumps lines, preventing premature wrinkles, and has brightening effects such as lightening under-eye circles and helping to even skin tone.
3. Kimberly Sayer’s Daily Moisturizer incredible formulation contains live organic extracts, antioxidants, and organic sunscreen to protect against free radical damage and aging. The antioxidant beech bud extract helps to repair damaged cells deep within the skin. Cold-pressed borage oil fortifies cell growth and provides anti-aging benefits. An excellent choice for dry, sensitive, and normal skin types.
For the Body:
4. Kosmatology Lotion Bar: Developed by a pharmacist to treat her daughter’s eczema without steroids, it has kept her eczema-free since! Made without water, these solid lotion bars are free of potentially hazardous preservatives and chemicals such as phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde, and petroleum that are used in water-containing lotions.
For the Lips:
5. 28 Litsea Petala Lip Balm: This creamy, long-lasting, and incredibly moisturizing lip balm is made from only the finest ingredients, including babassu oil, organic cocoa butter, and sweet almond oil. It’s available in four delicious, natural flavors.