Common Ingredients in Lotions – Buyer Beware!
As winter rolls in, our skin seems to become drier with the drop in temperature. Considering skin is the body’s armor, it is important to protect and enrich the skin to ensure its youth and longevity. With such a variety of products on the market, and in the event that you received more bottles of lotion that you will ever need during this past holiday season, it is important to be aware of the little things: ingredients in moisturizing lotions, the helpful and the harmful.
Petrolatum or Petroleum Jelly
This ingredient is very common in hand and body lotions and is an FDA approved over-the-counter skin protectant, creating a sealing effect on cuts, inhibiting germs from getting through the skin and creating infection. Though it sounds like the perfect answer to painfully chapped skin, beware – petrolatum is often contaminated with impurities linked to cancer and various health concerns.
Similar to petrolatum, also called paraffin oil, mineral oil is another common ingredient in lotions. It is a by-product in the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other products based from crude oil. It is fairly inexpensive to use and acts as an emollient, trapping water in the skin. While typically safe to use, some may experience acne problems and other reactions may occur due to an allergy.
This ingredient is considered an emollient alcohol, highly refined and rich in skin-softening cholesterol. The alcohol is derived from lanolin, a fatty secretion from sheep’s wool. Because it so easily absorbed into the skin, it may cause allergic reactions or clog pores.
Consumers should always be conscious of the ingredients in products that we put in and on our bodies. Being aware of allergies and harmful side effects is essential. A great way to avoid any complications with store bought lotions is to make your own! Try a homemade lotion recipe.