4 alternatives to cold creams you can use this winter

Wardha Hussain Rizvi Nov 01 2015
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With winter’s arrival, everyone is seen trying to adapt to the cold and enjoy it simultaneously. We change our dressing, routine, food and last but not the least our cosmetic products. Replace that oil control face wash with a hydrating one; blemish control foundation with a moisturizing one because you do not want flaky skin – and the likes.

However, it is not quite convenient to change products so quickly because neither your skin nor your pocket is ready for that. There is one most commonly used product in winters which is not heavy on your pocket; cleanser, moisturizer and make up remover all in one, cold cream.

But should you be really using it?

Cold creams are so called because of their cooling effect after application. This is believed to happen because of the water content in the cream that evaporates and cools. In olden days, when people used to be more self dependent, cold creams for winter were made by an emulsion of water, olive oil and beeswax. With technology and advancement, more ingredients to increase the shelf life of cold creams were added. Olive oil was replaced by mineral oils, scent was infused for soothing effect and other moisturizers were added. Though, this increased the shelf life of cold cream, it also adulterated the cream and made its original non-comodogenic and non-carcinogenic state questionable.

The ingredients of cold cream in question are mineral oils and added moisturizer. While some mineral oils are considered to be safe for topical use, other low quality ones tend to clog your skin and can even be cancerous. Mineral oils are basically by-products of petrol used to make gasoline. There are different grades of mineral oils ranging from ‘technical use’ to further refined ‘pharmaceutical grade.’

Pharmaceutical grade is the highest grade and considered safest for cosmetic use. However, there is no way to tell which grade mineral oils are being used by the company. This is especially the case in our country where various unregistered skin products are being sold without telling their ingredients. Moreover, even the safest mineral oil can clog your pores and cause acne. It forms a layer on your skin which does help keeping moisture but along with that it traps any bacteria present on your skin.

The second doubtful ingredient is the scent. While it does soothe your senses through olfactory cues, it does nothing for your skin. According to doctors anything that is not doing you benefit is contaminating your system.

Rather than settling down with cold creams made from petroleum by-products, you can use many natural and economic alternatives.

OLIVE OIL AND HONEY SCRUB

Olive oil, honey and fine brown sugar combined make a great scrub for dry weather. It removes impurities without stripping your skin of natural oils. This can be done before bed time or an hour before you start getting ready for a hang out as it makes your skin ready for makeup.

MILK CREAM

Milk cream is another natural moisturizer. A little bit of lemon and milk in milk cream can make a great moisturizing body mask. Apply it for 5-10 minutes before taking a shower.

COCONUT OIL

Post-shower, a minor amount of coconut oil dabbed on your skin is easily absorbed and keeps your skin moisturized for the day. Olive oil can also be used.

YOGURT

Yogurt is also considered an excellent skin moisturizer. Applying yogurt for 5-10 minutes on your face and body not only hydrates your skin but also prevents acne and itching.

Other than that, you should also take preventive measures to avoid dry flaky patches over your face and body. Make sure you have a hydrating, non-soap face-and-body wash that doesn’t leave your skin dry for winters. Avoid hot showers as they make your skin dry. Take short warm showers during winters. This also helps keep dandruff at bay.

Wardha Hussain Rizvi

Wardha Hussain Rizvi:

Wardha is currently a student of M.B.B.S second year in Ziauddin University and aspires to be the best dermatologist in Pakistan. Due to her dissatisfaction with the current health industry she is doing her bit in creating health awareness by freelance writing for HTV, Pakistan's most effective health platform.