Skin Moisturizers and Cancer:
A Tale of Mice and Men
Many folks use cosmetic creams to moisturize and protect their skin from the elements—not to mention to ward off signs of aging.
But results of one study might make you think twice before applying the next dollop to your body…
Results of an animal study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology1 found that four commonly used skin creams INCREASED the formation of skin tumors.
Researchers at the Rutgers University Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research tested four creams in this study:
3. Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream
The investigators rubbed these moisturizers into the skin of hairless mice for 17 weeks (hairless mice are a special breed often used in lab studies). Prior to receiving the skin moisturizers, the mice had been exposed to ultraviolet light twice a week for 20 weeks.
This overexposure caused the mice to develop skin cancer. But when the scientists added the skin moisturizers—they noticed that the ointments sped up the rate at which the animals developed cancerous tumors. For a much better way to keep your skin looking youthful, take a look at this offer from one of our valued sponsors, Al Sears.
Granted, the study was performed on mice… and humans aren’t rodents…
But these results certainly make you wonder what happens to human skin that’s overexposed to sunlight, then bathed in skin moisturizers.
The investigators say this is exactly the question that future research should address. Even better would be to isolate the exact compound that triggers the accelerated tumor growth.
The trouble is… moisturizers are classified as cosmetics by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means they are not required to undergo the same safety and efficacy tests required for drugs.
Perhaps this is why moisturizers aren’t the only thing in your bathroom vanity that could spell T-R-O-U-B-L-E for your skin and health. Keep reading and I’ll explain what I mean. . .
Why Not Look as Young as You Feel?
There’s so much conflicting information out there about skin care. It’s almost impossible to figure out the right thing to do.
The answer lies in Nature. Now you can gently, naturally…
1. Diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles
2. Moisturize and smooth dry skin
3. Promote a healthier and younger look
Why struggle with ordinary beauty products that add to the effects of time? Start looking the age you feel… or maybe even younger.
So you think sunscreen should protect
your skin from sun damage, right?
Most people assume sunscreens are perfectly safe. They think products like these, used by millions, have been carefully tested. But an independent science advisory panel for the National Institutes of Health recently ruled that many of these products also could increase your risk of developing skin lesions and tumors.
According to a statement from the Environmental Working Group (EWG)2, about two-fifths of sunscreens sold in the U.S. contain a form of vitamin A called retinyl palmitate.
Several manufacturers add this compound for its supposed anti-aging benefits. This includes such popular brands as:
1. Banana Boat
3. Hawaiian Tropic
5. Panama Jack
EWG based its statements on a December 2010 draft assessment from the National Toxicology Program (NTP). The group studied the effects of ultraviolet light exposure on test animals whose skin had been treated with vitamin A-laced skin cream.
NTP concluded that rather than protecting the animals’ skin, the cream with the vitamin A compound actually stimulated skin tumor growth.
EWG analyzed the NTP study data pertaining to beach and sport sunscreens with SPF ratings of 15 or higher. They discovered that more than 200 sunscreens from 44 companies contained retinyl palmitate in their list of ingredients.
EWG has recommended that manufacturers remove retinyl palmitate from all products designed for use on sun-exposed skin. They also advise you to steer clear of all cosmetics, sunscreens and other personal care products that contain this chemical.
But you can be sure that this vitamin-A compound is not the only suspicious substance lurking at the cosmetics counter…
How to protect the skin you’re in
When it comes to the chemicals in cosmetics—unfortunately there’s no shortage of ‘heavy hitters’ that can wreak havoc with your health. Here are just a few:
1. Dioxane—according to a study from the Organic Consumer’s Association3, this solvent is a known carcinogen widely available in shampoos, body washes, lotions and other personal care products—even those using the words “organic” or “natural” on the product label!
2. Parabens—preservatives used in hair products to stop bacterial and fungal growth; although no direct causal link has been established, parabens have been found in extremely low concentrations in breast cancer tumors!
3. Petroleum products (e.g. mineral oil, paraffin, petrolatum) —these products can coat your skin, slow cell development, and cause earlier signs of aging; because many petroleum-based products contain dioxane, they’re on the list of cancer-causing suspects!
4. Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS)—found in about 90 percent of cosmetics, SLS can combine with other chemicals to become a nitrosamine; this carcinogen is toxic to your reproductive system, your brain, and your immune system too!
So does that mean you should stop moisturizing your skin and washing your hair? Not at all!
Aging causes your skin to dry and lose the suppleness common to youth. So you absolutely SHOULD continue to moisturize your skin to prevent rashes and other skin problems.
And not washing your hair wouldn’t help anything other than the creatures that might choose to make a home there!
Products with harmful chemicals are NOT your only options…
Some companies specialize in providing all-natural, chemical free personal care products. And some folks don’t mind experimenting at home to make their own personal care products.
You can find plenty of tried and true remedies in books and online databases.
This is one surefire way to control the ingredients you put on your skin… eliminate preservatives… save money… and protect yourself from deadly skin cancer!