When temperatures drop, skin can get dry, cracked and uncomfortably itchy. Whether you’re feeling the itch yourself or helping to ease the kids’ discomfort, there are planet-friendly ways to keep your skin nourished and moisturized. When winter skin issues get hard to handle, try these sustainable skin care tips to get relief.
If you like scented body wash and highly fragranced soaps, consider packing them away for the winter. The chemicals used in cosmetic fragrances can irritate dry skin and make the problem worse. Fragrance-free soaps and washes usually contain fewer additives, making them friendlier to your skin and the planet. Look for the U.S. Department of Agriculture organic seal to make sure ingredients are organically sourced.
Synthetic fabrics like polyester and poly blends can irritate skin, especially when it’s already dry. Make a change to all-natural fibers like cotton, preferably organic, to help the planet while helping your skin. There are many organic clothing companies providing earth-friendly clothing made with natural materials.
Hot water might feel great on cold winter mornings, but it can strip your skin of essential oils. And hot showers do more than irritate dry winter skin. Your hot water heater also consumes a lot of electricity. Save your skin and help your energy bill by lowering the temperature when you shower, and shower for a shorter amount of time. Bonus tip: Reducing your shower time by just a couple of minutes a day saves 150 gallons per month.
You’re probably washing your hands more than usual in winter to prevent exposure to cold and flu viruses, including COVID-19. That’s a good thing, but it can turn your hands and cuticles into a Sahara. Look for moisturizers that come in a tube – they’re more likely to contain all-natural oils like coconut, which are thicker and create a protective barrier on your skin. Just watch out for ingredients like petrolatum. While it is effective as a moisturizer, it’s not as earth-friendly as naturally sourced oils.
It might go without saying, but make sure you’re fully covered up when you go out in the cold. This includes wearing gloves (and yes, get the kids to keep those coats on). But don’t forget your face when you’re bundling up. Consider wearing neck gaiters made of all-natural fabrics that can double as a mask. Cold, dry winter air will sap the moisture from your face and leave you with dry patches and chapped lips. Be sure to moisturize with sustainably sourced lip balm, face cream (or oil) and top it off with a face covering.
Crisp, cool weather can be fun to enjoy, as long as you’re not suffering from dry, cracked skin. Stock up on earth-friendly creams and fabrics to help avoid that itchy skin discomfort. If you want to learn how to make energy improvements to your home in winter, check out our Four Key Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips.