Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

4 Non-Toxic Ways to Protect Your Skin During Cold Winter Months

Health + Wellness

It may not feel like winter right now, but we know that won’t last. It will get cold outside—and our skin will sure know it.

Dropping temperatures and outdoor fun mean dry skin, cracked lips and brittle hair for the whole family. Heated homes, schools and office buildings make matters worse.

Lotion is a cold-weather essential for exposed areas like our faces and hands.
Photo credit: Shutterstock

We slather on moisturizing creams and lotions for relief, but most of these products are loaded with chemicals. Some of them are known to be harmful, and many are untested and essentially unregulated.

Before stocking up this winter, check out these tips to protect your skin from the cold while minimizing your exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.

1. Choose Healthy Products

Lotion

Lotion is a cold-weather essential for exposed areas like our faces and hands. When you choose a lotion, look for thick, creamy options—but skip ones with fragrance. The government doesn’t require companies to disclose the ingredients that give a product fragrance, so there’s no way to know what’s in there, which could include hormone disruptors, allergens and asthma triggers.

Apply lotion while your skin is moist and skip bubble bath, which dries skin. For children and people with sensitive or particularly dry skin, the best bet is to use natural oils such as coconut or canola instead of lotion.

Hair Conditioner

When you’re shopping for a conditioner, avoid those that list "propyl paraben" or "DMDM hydantoin" on the label. These preservatives pose safety concerns.

When you rinse, leave a little product in your hair to provide added conditioning throughout the day.

Lip Balm

We can’t avoid ingesting a bit of lip products when we talk, eat or drink, so it’s extra important to apply a healthy one. Try non-petroleum balms made from natural oils and avoid products that list retinyl palmitate or retinyl acetate on the label.

During the winter months, choose products that offer sun protection if you’re out in the snow or near water, but avoid any that list oxybenzone on the label. Search more than 64,000 products in EWG’s Skin Deep database to find the right lotion, hair conditioner or lip balm.

2. Wear Sunscreen

Even when it’s cold outside, the sun still shines brightly. Although your risk of sunburn is lower in winter, the sun’s skin-damaging ultraviolet rays reflect off snow and water, increasing your exposure.

Wear protective clothing and apply sunscreens that list zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredients. Products with 3 percent avobenzone are the next best.

3. Do It Yourself

You can use common household oils to moisturize your skin, lips, hair and scalp. Popular natural ingredients include shea butter and coconut, argan, avocado, jojoba or almond oils. If you add essential oils for scent, use them sparingly. These botanical extracts can trigger allergic skin reactions in people with sensitive skin.

To condition your hair, try rinsing it with diluted apple cider vinegar and warm water after shampooing.

Be sure to test homemade products on a small patch of skin to check for allergic reactions. Since they’re made from perishable ingredients, they have a shorter shelf life than store-bought products, so discard them within a few months or earlier if you notice changes to their consistency or scent.

4. Stay Hydrated

Keep your skin healthy and hydrated from the inside by drinking plenty of water and eating nutritious, moisture-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables.

With naturally hydrated skin, you’ll need fewer products and you’ll use them less often, an effective way to save money and limit exposure to the complex mixture of ingredients in commercial body care products.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

12 Most Poisonous Plants for Your Dog and Cat

Find Out if Your Eggs Are Truly Organic and Support Local Farms

Wife Dies of Cancer, Widowed Father Wages War on Chemical Industry

Deepak Chopra: Are You Getting Enough of the Right Kind of Sleep?

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

By Fino Menezes

Everyone adores dolphins. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, these special creatures have captivated humans since the dawn of time. But dolphins didn't get to where they are by accident — they needed to develop some pretty amazing superpowers to cope with their environment.

Read More Show Less
Protesters face off against security during the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. ROBYN BECK / AFP / Getty Images

In just two weeks, three states have passed laws criminalizing protests against fossil fuel infrastructure.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, listen to White House coronavirus response coordinator Deborah Birx speak in the Rose Garden for the daily coronavirus briefing at the White House on March 29, 2020 in Washington, DC. Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images

President Donald Trump has bowed to the advice of public health experts and extended social distancing measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus till at least April 30.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Charli Shield

At unsettling times like the coronavirus outbreak, it might feel like things are very much out of your control. Most routines have been thrown into disarray and the future, as far as the experts tell us, is far from certain.

Read More Show Less
Pie Ranch in San Mateo, California, is a highly diverse farm that has both organic and food justice certification. Katie Greaney

By Elizabeth Henderson

Farmworkers, farmers and their organizations around the country have been singing the same tune for years on the urgent need for immigration reform. That harmony turns to discord as soon as you get down to details on how to get it done, what to include and what compromises you are willing to make. Case in point: the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (H.R. 5038), which passed in the House of Representatives on Dec. 11, 2019, by a vote of 260-165. The Senate received the bill the next day and referred it to the Committee on the Judiciary, where it remains. Two hundred and fifty agriculture and labor groups signed on to the United Farm Workers' (UFW) call for support for H.R. 5038. UFW President Arturo Rodriguez rejoiced:

Read More Show Less