Now that the colder, drier weather has arrived here in North America, you may find your skin drying out and in need of moisturizing. But before you grab your lotion I wanted to share some important safety information with you.

Personal Care Myths and Facts

Do you think that if products are sold at stores they must be safe? Do you think that the government prohibits dangerous chemicals in personal care products? Do you think that what’s applied to the skin doesn’t enter the body? The answers may surprise you. Read more about it on Enviroblog’s eight personal care myths and facts.

Dangerous Ingredients to Avoid in Lotion and Moisturizer

Here are some of the dangerous or harmful ingredients I avoid in moisturizers.

  • Mineral Oil, Paraffin, and Petrolatum: Used in many moisturizing products these products coat your skin like plastic, which clogs pores, interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, and creates a build-up of toxins. They also slow cellular development, which can cause you to show earlier signs of aging, and are a suspected cause of cancer and disruption to hormonal activity. Mineral oil is a petroleum by-product. Any product that contains mineral oil may be contaminated with cancer causing Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons.
  • Propylene glycol, propylene oxide, polyethylene glycol*: Derived from petroleum, this is the main ingredient in anti freeze and a common ingredient in many moisturizers and lotions. It has been connected with kidney and liver damage in scientific testing.
  • Phenoxyethanol: Phenoxyethanol is becoming more common as companies use it to replace parabens. The FDA has warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting, and contact dermatitis. It can also be listed as 2-phenoxyethanol which, according to a data sheet from Oxford University for this chemical, is “Harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin. May cause reproductive defects. Severe eye and skin irritant.”
  • 1,4-Dioxane*: Petroleum-based cosmetics and skin care products are found to contain cancer-causing chemical 1,4-dioxane. To avoid 1,4-dioxane, read ingredient labels and avoid any of the 56 cosmetic ingredients that can contain the contaminant, including “sodium laureth sulfate*” and ingredients that include the clauses “PEG,” “xynol,” “ceteareth,” and “oleth.”
  • Parabens*
  • Synthetic Fragrance*
  • PEGs*
  • Artificial Colors

*I have described the following chemicals, and the concerns with them, in my articles on toxic ingredients in hand soap and sanitizer and/or safer sunscreen.

What Lotions Are Safer to Use?

Finding a safer lotion  has been hard to do; even the ‘natural’ ones often still contain questionable ingredients. Here are a few of the best options for lotion and moisturizers that I have found, for adults and children too.

Un-Petroleum Multi-Purpose Jelly

I have been using Un-Petroleum jelly for years as a multi-purpose skin moisturizer and protectant (it’s a great alternative to petroleum jelly).

Ingredients: Castor oil, coconut oil, beeswax, castorwax, soybean oil, tocopheryl acetate and tocopherol (vitamin E). Made without petrolatum, parrafin, mineral oil, or artificial fragrances. Hypo-allergenic. No animal testing.

  • Moisturize and soothe dry skin. I put in on my feet, especially on my dry heels, right before bed. I put a pair of socks on to keep it from getting on the sheets. Just overnight there is much improvement. I also use it as a lip balm.
  • Protect baby from diaper rash. I have used this on my sons diaper area when needed. I use it plain and when he’s had rashes, I add some liquid chlorophyll to some and spread that on the rash. It helps heal the skin.

It can also  be used to remove eye makeup and to prevent chafing and windburn. You can buy Un-Petroleum jelly on Amazon.com.

Organic Body Scrub

Several times a week I use a body scrub that contains salt and oils. Not only does this exfoliate skin, the oils also help keep the skin moist; I don’t have to use much lotion, if any at all. You can find many great organic salt scrubs on Amazon.com, like this one from Anthology pictured on the left. Its ingredients are: genuine, premium Dead Sea salt, natural pacific sea salt, organic soybean oil, organic coconut oil, natural gmo-free tocopherols (vitamin E), organic peppermint essential oil, organic lemongrass essential oil.

Badger Balm

Badger Balm is a great family-run company in New Hampshire that makes safe and effective products, including several lotions for babies, kids, and adults. (You may remember me mentioning that they make a great sunscreen.) The ingredients in their products are the best, and it is reflected in their excellent EWG rating. Here are a few of their many products:

  • Baby Balm: Certified organic, this balm can be used for dry skin, diaper rash, cradle cap, or a baby massage. Ingredients: Extra Virgin Olive Oil; Cera Alba (beeswax); Castor Oil; Essential Oil of Chamomile; CO2 Extract of Calendula.
  • Everyday Moisturizers: Available in Creamy Cocoa, Nutmeg and Shea, and Vanilla Coconut.
  • Fresh Citrus Body Butter: Another great option for a skin moisturizer.
  • Badger Healing Balm: Great for extremely dry and cracked skin.

They have many other types of balms including ones for anti-bug, sore muscles, headache soother, sleep, stress soother, foot balm, clear mind, sunburn, and even yoga and meditation. Check out all the Badger Balm products on Amazon.com.

Mambino Organics

Mambino Organics has a great line of skin and body care products featuring simple plant-based, environmentally sustainable, certified organic ingredients sourced from family owned organic and fair trade farms in various parts of the world. The products are free from fragrances, emulsifiers, and petroleum based ingredients and are Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, and GMO Free. Some moisturizing products include:

Their other products include body wash, lip balm, nursing balm, and scar repair. You can buy Mambino Organics products on Amazon.com.

Nature’s Paradise Organics

Nature’s Paradise Organics has a Certified Organic product line that include many body creams and lotions. Their products are 100% chemical free and contain no parabens, phthalates, preservatives, fragrance, propylene glycol, or petroleum. They are also cruelty free and Vegan approved. Their baby products are also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, and Wheat Free.

  • Baby Organic Moisturizing Lotion: Coconut lotion ingredients: Water, Organic Jojoba oil, Organic sunflower oil, Organic Liquid lecithin, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Coconut oil, Organic Shea butter, Organic Coconut extract, Organic Clarified Lemon Juice
  • Baby Organic Diaper Cream: Ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Sunflower oil, Organic Sesame Oil, Organic Soy Bean Oil
  • Baby Organic Massage Oil:
  • Body Organic Lotions: Coconut lotion ingredients: Water, Organic Shea Butter, Organic Arrowroot Powder, Organic Coconut Extract, Organic Liquid Lecithin, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Clarified Lemon Juice, Organic Argan Oil.
  • Body Organic Creams: Vanilla cream ingredients: Water, Organic Shea Butter,  Organic Arrowroot Powder,  Organic Vanilla Extract, Organic Liquid Lecithin, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic  Jojoba Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Organic Clarified Lemon Juice, Organic Argan Oil.

Miessence

Miessence (Moore Organics) also carries some moisturizers with great ingredients:

  • Tropicana Body Milk: I tried a sample of this lotion and it was fabulous! Ingredients: aqua, certified organic aloe vera leaf juice, certified organic cocos coconut oil, certified organic shea butter, sclerotium rolfsii, natural coconut extract, bitter orange fruit extract, non-gmo lecithin, Non-GMO Xanthan Gum, certified organic rosemary leaf extract, Jasminum grandiflorum
  • Intensive Body Cream
  • Nourishing Hand Cream
  • Balancing Moisturizer
  • Baby Barrier Balm
  • Belly and Breast Balm
  • Baby Lotion

Always Read Labels – Even For ‘Natural’ or ‘Organic’ Products

Many toxic ingredients are still in products mislabeled natural or organic. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) released a study of personal care products claiming to be “natural” or “organic” and some of the leading brands were found to contain 1,4-dioxane. Products certified under the USDA National Organic Program did not contain this toxin.

Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) created a huge database of cosmetics chemicals and ranked them, giving them a hazard score. On their site, you can:

  • Enter specific chemical names to find information.
  • Look up a specific product and see its ingredients.

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Wendy – ParentingTips365.com

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