The Cold Hag’s Corrosive Caress

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Are you enjoying Sprinter so far, this hybrid season of timid Spring and will-not-retreat-will-not-surrender Winter?  Yeah, those memes proclaiming it’s actually day 127 of January 2018 sure feel true.  Probably nowhere does that feel more true than in and on your skin.  Has the lingering cold and dry weather’s touch done a number on your skin?  Are you experiencing itching, scaling, flaking, or even cracking?  If so, let’s see what can be done about it.

First of all, if your condition is extreme, like you’ve started walking with your belly to the floor, and you’re growing a tail and developing an obsessive taste for fish and turtle, go see a doctor or dermatologist, today–right now.

Skin 2
Photo by Bas van Brandwijk on Unsplash

Since we all know that skin is a barrier, a shield, protecting us from all kinds of potential invaders, we also know we need to take care of it.  Maintaining the integrity of your skin-shield may in fact help you stay healthy*.  Putting it another way, imagine you lived in a castle or fortress during the Middle Ages; if your fortress wall is full of breaches and cracks, the enemy will get through and wreak havoc on what lies inside.  So, whether winter, or spring, or somewhere in between, it is important that we protect our shield so that it can its job and protect us.

While there are many lotion and moisturizer options when it comes to keeping your skin hydrated, healthy, and resilient, we need to be on the look out for suspect chemicals that could do us more harm than good.  As you’ll recall from science class, our skin absorbs to some degree or another almost everything that comes in contact with it.  That means both the good and the bad chemicals can and do pass through your protective barrier, even when the barrier is sound.  Unfortunately, some of the chemicals in our skin care products may be linked to cancer and other diseases, could be neurotoxic, and may be hormone and endocrine disruptors so, in general, minimize use of, or stay away from products containing any of the following.

Top chemicals to avoid:

  • Aluminum
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Synthetic Fragrance
  • Parabens (Ex: methylparaben, sodium butylparaben, etc)
  • Petrochemicals (Ex: paraffin wax, benzene, PEG, mineral oil, petrolatum, etc)
  • Phthalates (Ex: di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), etc)
  • Sulfates (Ex: sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium laureth sulfate, etc)

Dude, I get it, I’m with you, it’s all bad, but what in the #@%* am I supposed to use then?

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Don’t stress out like this guy.  Thankfully, there are many really good, chemically conscious companies out there producing great products.  While I am not at all suggesting that you make the hard switch and throw away all of the skin care products currently in your house, you might want to consider phasing out products containing harsh, suspect chemicals in favor of those formulated with a friendlier chemical profile.  So, let’s take a look at just a few healthier skin care options.  I’ve done most of the research for you, screening out products that contain the worst chemical offenders, and presenting only the best of the best.  This screening process was most challenging, not to mention time-consuming, but in the end, creating a good list of better-for-you products as seen in Aisle 4 makes it well worth it.

Lip Balm:

Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm, (Naked, Peppermint, Lemon Lime, Orange Ginger):


Sky Organics USDA Organic Lip Balm, 6 Pack Assorted Flavors:


The Crafted Coconut Organic Coconut Oil Lip Balm Trio, (Eucalyptus + Mint, Vanilla, Citrus):



Cleure Natural Body Lotion, for Sensitive Skin, All Skin Types, Gluten-Free, Paraben-Free, Formaldehyde-Free, Fragrance-Free, No Animal Testing, (6 oz):

Shea Moisture 100% Marula Oil & Organic Shea Butter Fragrance-Free Sensitive Skin Body Lotion, Unisex, No Parabens, No Phthalates, No Paraffin, No Mineral Oil, No DEA, No Petroleum, No Formaldehyde, No Propylene, Cruelty-Free, (16 oz):

Molivera Organics Raw African Organic Grade A Ivory Shea Butter for Natural Skin Care, Hair Care, (16 oz):

For more  skin (and hair and oral) care information and healthier products, be sure to visit Aisle 4‘s “Personal Products” section.

There you go, healthier options for easing winter’s sting, and for restoring, and keeping your skin smooth and strong.  Until real Spring finally, actually, truly arrives, stay warm, and moisturized!


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