I lead a busy life, so I tend to neglect my skin, which of course is half my battle. I have my routine in the morning. My daughter eagerly harasses me in the morning, eagerly ready to begin the day. We go into the living room where I turn on the national news, make a cup of green tea, and feed the cat. Who also likes to harass me in the morning in her eagerness, not to start the day, but to eat her breakfast. My daughter and I then lay on the couch and watch the news (Canada Am, so its pretty tame) and I drink my tea and we plan our day. After breakfast and a shower, I slather some cream on my legs, and arms. Pumping the cream out without even looking at it because, I am also trying to brush out my daughters hair. I layer on the cream where ever my hand might meet skin and half rub it in. Much to the chagrin of half the female population, perhaps more, I slather the same cream on my face. I figure skin is skin, and it saves me a whole lot of steps. By that time, my girl is done and ready to move on.
Toddlers have a very limited understanding of time. They know 'now' and whatever time schedule they have in their mighty little brains. So I throw on some clothes over top of the cream still sitting on my skin in streaks of white. Not sure what absorbs more of the moisturizer, my clothes or my skin. By the looks of my skin I would say my clothes. Even though I try to use double the amount just for that purpose. That is my routine most mornings. More or less. Add in some hair braiding and make-up fixing when she (not me) decides that she needs to look fancy for going to the library and gets into my lipstick. If the Joker were to have a 'fairy-princess-make-over', he would look somewhat like my daughter after playing in mommy's make-up. Jokes aside though it's a necessary part of my routine these days so I don't end up being skinned for a snake skin purse.
And that leads me to a popular cream that most people probably know, Vaseline. This particular cream is either fairly new or re-marketed, I am not too sure. It works fairly well I suppose. Though it doesn't really make the skin radiant like it implies, or my pants for that matter. It does leave the skin feeling a little more hydrated though. However, 10 out of 23 ingredients are considered to be toxic. It should be noted that out of the remaining 13 ingredients 4 were lacking relevant information regarding levels of toxicity. Not so good. Again, as is customary for me to do, here are a few suggestions for more natural solutions to skin care and moisturizers that consumers can feel better about using.
Vaseline Intensive Care Cocoa Radiant
Theobroma Cacao (cocoa) Seed Butter
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate
Aqua: Also known as water and H2O, the stuff we drink.
Petrolatum: this ingredient is a mineral oil made from petroleum. It is in a jelly form and is used as a skin and hair conditioner and to lock in moisture. it is a known carcinogen, allergen and irritant. There is also contamination concerns with PAH's. It is also on David Suzuki's Dirty Dozen List.
Glycerin: is pretty benign and of low toxicity. It is used in products mainly because it is affective at improving the smoothness of the product and is a good lubricant. Glycerin is a byproduct of bio-diesel. However, all you vegans take note. This form is very expensive, therefore it is more often derived from animal fats such as beef and vegetable oils such as coconut or soy beans. Therefore some products that list glycerin in their ingredients may not be vegan.
|Stearic Acid: Another really nasty ingredient. It is a saturated fatty acid found in both animals and vegetables. It is considered safe when used in amounts below certain levels. If slight to higher doses are used it has been shown to cause cancer, neurotoxicity, organ toxicity, and effects to the nervous system, respiratory system, as well as skin irratation.|
Isopropyl Palmitate: this is an ester of isopropyl alcohol and palmitic acid. It is used as a skin conditioner, perfuming agent, and antistatic agent. It does not appear to be toxic to humans or to the environment. Although it is a comedogenic (pore clogging) and can cause flare up's in acne.
Glycol Stearate: this ingredient is a naturally occurring fatty acid and is comprised of ethylene glycol and stearic acid. It appears to be relatively safe but according to the EWG, there are gaps in information and it could in fact be an environmental toxin.
Dimethicone: also known as polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) which is a silicone oil. It is used in shampoos to lubricate hair and make it easier to comb and adds shine. In creams it acts as a skin protectant and an emulsifier. The FDA has deemed it safe to use. However most people have heard of the horror stories with silicone breast implants leading companies to switch to saline filled implants. Other side effects linked to PDMS include allergic reactions from mild to severe as well as a worsening in dryness. Although the data is limited, it appears to also cause non-reproductive toxicity as well as links to environmental toxicity due to the toxins being bioaccummulative. This means it builds up and builds up in our soils and sediments.
Theobroma Cacao (cocoa) Seed Butter: This ingredient is a main ingredient in many creams and lotions. It is extracted from the roasted seeds of the cocoa tree. This tree is actually native to the Americas. It is used as a skin conditioning agent and skin protectant. It is not considered to be toxic to humans or to the envioronment.
Cetyl Alcohol: Here is an interesting fact the name cetyl is derived from whale oil which was the original source of cetyl. Now it is derived from petroleum or vegetable oils such as coconut. It is used in personal care products as a thickening agent or in shampoos as an emulsifier. In my research, there seemed to be very little information on the toxicity of cetyl alcohol, on either the environment, animals or humans. The only information I found was the evidence of skin irritations and minor allergies causing rashes. Most information seemed to deem cetyl alcohol safe to use and practically non toxic.
Magnesium Aluminum Silicate: Is a silicate derived from naturally occurring minerals. It is used as a viscosity controlling agent and an anti caking agent. There seems to be some evidence of this ingredient being a non reproductive organ system toxin but it has been given a low hazard score from the EWG. Otherwise it appears to be of low toxicity to humans and the environment.
|Cabomer: is not actually one molecule but refers to polymers made from acrylic acid. It is used in creams and beauty products as a thickening agent and controls the flow of the product. This ingredient has been labelled as safe and has a low potential for skin irritations, allergic reactions, photo toxicity and sensitization.|
Parfum (Fragrance): Used to make the product smell nice. Though it is not considered to be harmful or a toxin, it does cause some individuals to develop headaches if it is labelled that it is derived from natural sources. However, the fragrance industry uses up to 3000 ingredients, most of which are synthetic, some 900 of which were identified as toxic. However, the industry is not required to disclose ingredients of fragrances and perfumes on their labels due to trade secrecy considerations. So you don't know what mix of chemicals you are receiving. Some of them are headaches causing, immunosystem toxic, carcinogenic, and mutagenic.
Stearamide Amp: this ingredient is an amide derived from stearic acid, palitic acid and stearic acid. It is used as a foam booster and viscosity controlling agent. I was able to find very little information on this ingredient, the EWG and CPID even had little to no information. This is the most information I was able to gleen.
|Triethanolamine: Is used in personal care products as mainly a surfacant and emulsifier and acts as a neutraliser of fatty acids or in other words a PH balancer. This ingredient is again pretty toxic. It is a known skin irritant and has been linked to minor to severe allergic reactions. In research it has been linked to tumour growths in the liver of female rodents, surprisingly not in male rodents. It is also a known toxin to aquatic species.|
Methylparaben: is found in such foods as blueberries. It acts as an antimicrobial agent. In cosmetics it is used as an anti-fungal agent. Parabens have had much controversy surrounding them in recent years, and for good reason. There is strong evidence of methylparaben being a human skin toxicant, human endocrine disruptor, mutagenic, and a broad systemic toxin. A good reason to stay away from parabens.
DMDM Hydantoin:is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative, basically what this means is it releases formaldehyde making the environment less favourable to the microorganisms. It has been prohibited in Japan for certain cosmetic products. It is a known human irritant, it is considered to be a broad systemic toxin. However it has been deemed safe by industry panel because the amount of formaldehyde is so small. Formaldehyde is also a cancer causing agent.
Disodium EDTA: is a poly amino carboxylic acid. It is synthesized from ethylenediamine, formaldehyde, and sodium, and is used to dissolve limescale. Yum, because we all have limescale build up on our faces. It is used in cosmetics to improve its stability in air. As the reputation implies Disodium EDTA is not a nice ingredient and should be banned. It is considered a persistent organic pollutant. It is known to cause negative reproductive and developmental effects. It has been shown to be mutagenic as well.
Caramel: is a concentrated sugary mass created when you cook sucrose or glucose, and is very yummy. It is used as a colorant and fragrance ingredient. Now this ingredient could be tricky. The caramel we all love to eat (in moderation) is pretty safe. However, it may also be called caramel colour, which is now classed as a carcinogen. There are talks and grouops pushing to have this particular ingredient banned from all our food.