So the point of rubbing lotion all over our skin is to keep it from drying out and hopefully looking young and healthy. The first thing I do the minute I step out of the shower is grab my lotion. It has always been my thought that if I put it on right after I shower I can rehydrate my skin quickly. After reading a recent article I found out that I may be doing more harm than good. First of all, lotions like all other personal products can contain a large amount of toxins that are harmful to us. Among those toxins many lotions also contain chemicals that can actually dry your skin out rather than hydrating it. Checking ingredients is important in making sure that the lotion you are putting on your skin is not only non-toxic but also doing what it is intended for. Here a few key ingredients you want to avoid:
Fragrance: Most chemicals used to make fragrances are not testing for harmful side effects. Try choosing organic fruit lotions if you want a light scent.
Parabens – (butylparaben, isobutylparaben, propylparaben, isopropylparapen) – This is a preservative that researchers are concerned with its link to breast cancer, as well as an endocrine disruptor affecting children. (Try using products that use GSE, grapefruit seed extract in place of parabens)
Methylene Glycol – A “formaldehyde solution” and since the FDA has formaldehyde listed as a carcinogen this should be taken seriously and avoided!
Mineral Oil – So much controversy on this one! Good luck finding a product without. I just felt the need to list it just because there is debate on its health risk. Because it is derived from crude oil (yeah the stuff we get our gas from!) and crude oil contains benzene (which is a know cancer causing agent) there is potential for health risk. It is said to be refined for cosmetic purposes so the possibility seems remote. Many researchers are claiming that mineral oil is also robbing skin of its natural oils and actually drying it out instead providing moisture.
Acids – Listed many different ways from citric acid to salicylic acid, these acids may not be toxic but they can be damaging to your skin causing dryness if used in large amounts.
The bottom line is limit use of lotions to when necessary. If your skin does not appear to be dry, then go without. (This will be another bad habit for me to kick!) The ending result is limiting our exposure to chemicals. With so many things listed as ingredients these days it feels as if it is only a matter of time before each is deemed toxic! I checked many of the chemicals on my bottles and if you look long enough you will find a link telling you it is all toxic. The three main ingredient s that were most commonly mentioned as toxic are listed above. My biggest suggestion is avoid fragrance and dyes when possible and proceed with caution. I would rather avoid something if possible and not risk what may or may not be true of all these chemicals! I did find that my Aveeno Skin Relief Fragrance Free was on the toxic free list, hooray, finally I product I already used is a keeper!!!!
Another suggested toxic ingredient is sodium lauryl sulfate, read on if you wish: http://www.natural-health-information-centre.com/sodium-lauryl-sulfate.html this ingredient seems unavoidable if you ask me!
Again a little tip (for those who haven’t read the previous blogs!), go onto your favorite store’s website (mine is Walmart since I get my personal products there) and searched through lotions for you and your kids. Most sites will list the ingredients so it gives you the opportunity to look at it at home instead of standing in the store for hours! Also having the EWG to double check things is a handy tool.