Memorable winter Grayson storm has just hit the East Coast and it’s made for some enjoyable snow days. One of my favorite things is the sparkle of the snow covered land as the morning sun starts to shine. Along with all the fun that comes from snow days, frigid and dry winter air can take a toll on our skin. When skin get’s dry, its shrivels and wrinkles start revealing themselves. The KEY to keeping your skin sparkling through the winter weather is hydration. Lotion!? But, what if your lotion is actually causing you to shrivel more than it’s causing you to sparkle?

Finding a safe, hydrating moisturizer can be difficult. Many products contain petrolatum or Vaseline and mineral oil (derived from petrolatum) can actually damage the skin barrier and create water LOSS. That’s right.  You can actually be drying out your skin more if use a product with those ingredients.

Companies use petrolatum and mineral oil because they create a smooth to the touch barrier on your skin. However, that barrier is doing nothing to hydrate your dermis. The barrier is clogging pores not giving your skin the extra hydration it needs to restore what the dry air has taken. Not to mention, petrolatum is a byproduct of petroleum oil. Although safe when properly refined in the US, when petrolatum is sourced outside the US the refining process may be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a carcinogen, that is linked to cancer. Although the European Union requires a full detailed report of the refining process if petrolatum is used in personal care products or FOOD, the United States does not require any report or testing.

Although there are 100’s of DIY uses for petrolatum or Vaseline on Pinterest, the ingredient used in personal products could actually be doing more harm than good.

Let’s celebrate National Winter Skin Relief Day on Monday, January 8th by treating our skin to hydration1 First, scan your current house hold soaps, shampoos, lotions, and moisturizers for mineral oil, petrolatum, petroleum jelly, and paraffin oil and switch to products without these ingredients. I promise the switch will be worth the cost of a new product!

My hands were drying out to the point of cracking and I had an “AH HA!” moment. A week earlier, I had run out of my Citrus Mimosa Bar and had been using a pump hand soap which contained mineral oil. Before I switched to a new bar, I snapped a photo of my hand and was going to do a fun before and after photo, but my husband accidentally deleted it from my IPhone for space (but trust me it looked a lot like this elephant’s trunk) and today, about two weeks later, I snapped the one on the right. Not completely healed but at least it’s not looking like an elephant trunk anymore.

Second, if you don’t have one already I recommend using an essential oil diffuser or humidifier at night or throughout the day for a few hours if your at home. The humidifier will help put moisture into the air in your home. More moisture in the air means less that will be released from your dermis. LESS dry skin!!

Exfoliation, exfoliation, exfoliation! It is key to removing dead cells and reviving skin luster. You can use a cleanser with jojoba beads for a less abrasive exfoliator. Stay away from micro-beads as micro-beads are made of polyethylene which is not able to be filtered from water treatment plants. Because they are not biodegradable, they end up in seafood.

Lastly, find hydrating moisturizers that will give your skin what it needs. I always recommend people to scan product ingredients with the Healthy Living App or look them up at www.ewg.org. This app is a lifesaver on time when shopping for safer products and food and will tell you on a scale of 1-10 (#1 is best, below a #3 is not recommended) if there are allergy, cancer, and/or developmental concerns.

Personally for my face I use a bio-mimic moisturizer and a plant based face oil. A plant based face oil gives me the added hydration my skin needs. If putting “oil” on your face scares you and it will lead to breakouts, I was once there too! Not once have I broken out from a plant based face oil, because these oils are penetrating my skin with moisture, not clogging my pores. There are some face oils that help your natural skin balance and not overproduce oils, which actually helps to prevent breakouts. I use an antioxidant vitamin C oil that brightens my skin along with evening out my skin tone. It’s perfect for the winter weather!

Starting Monday, I am going to be hosting a Beautycounter 30 Day SPA Challenge on my Facebook group Cleaner Living with the White Coat Wife.  This challenge incorporates a daily cleanser, pampering, moisturizer, and a twice-a-week mask for exfoliation. Three women have already taken on the challenge to post pictures of their skin’s progress each week. We have tailored the products to their skin types. If you would like to join us in the 30 Day Spa Challenge, join my Facebook group and comment “I’m IN!” Looking forward to helping you keep your skin glowing this winter!