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Informed Moisturization - Know What's in Those Major Brand Moisturizers

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A pretty significant topic of discussion in the dermatology world is that of moisturizing and moisturizers that are at our collective disposal. Nearly half of all Americans suffer from dry skin, and one-third of us have been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (which is a more severe form of dry skin, otherwise known as eczema). Further, moisturizing becomes more and more prevalent as the seasons change. When the air changes, our skin needs to adjust, and across the board, this can lead dryer, chapped, and irritated skin – which is ultimately, a cause for discomfort.

The question is, how to you combat dry skin? What moisturizer is your “go to”? And further, is the moisturizer you’re lathering into your skin helping or hurting?

JAMA Dermatology recently released a report that out of 174 common moisturizers available on the open market (available at the 3 main online retailers - Amazon, Target, and Walmart), 153 contained at least one common allergen that could in fact be counterproductive to your moisturizing needs. That’s a whopping 88%.

Read the full report here.

According to Dermatology Times, there is no medical criteria that designates an industry claim of “Dermatologist Recommended” which is tagged on many bottles of common moisturizers. They make the claim that this may refer to as little as one dermatologist or 100. There’s no way to tell. The suggestion is that the claim “Dermatologist Recommended” amongst moisturizers is, more often than not, associated with a premium price.

According to the report:

The most common potential allergens found in moisturizing products include:

  • Fragrance mix
  • Paraben mix
  • Tocopherol (DL-a-tocopherol)
  • Phenoxyethanol
  • Formaldehyde releasers
  • Propylene glycol
  • Benzyl alcohol
  • Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
  • Methylisothiazolinone
  • Compositae mix
  • Lanolin
  • Lavandula angustifolia oil
  • Ethyl acrylate
  • Benzophenone-3
  • D-Limonene
  • Melaleuca alternifolia
  • Cocamide diethanolamine

Moisturizers without potential allergens include:

  • Unrefined Shea Butter by Better Shea Butter
  • Sweet Almond Oil by Now Solutions
  • Castor Oil Skin Softener by Now Solutions
  • Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream
  • Molivera Organics Ivory Shea Butter
  • Organic Shea Butter by Sky Organics
  • Jojoba Oil, Organic by Now Foods
  • Home Health Castor Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil by Now Foods
  • Avocado Oil by Now Foods

Most affordable moisturizers without potential allergens are:

  • Ivory Raw Unrefined Shea Butter
  • Vaseline, pure petroleum jell
  • Smellgood African Shea Butter

It’s important to be informed as a consumer. There’s a lot to choose from out there, and a lot of the time we (as consumers) can get distracted by how nice a label looks, which, in the end, means little in regard to the actual quality of the product housed inside (or how the product will react with our unique need). We’re here to discuss any questions or ideas you might have when it comes to caring for your skin as the need arises. Don’t hesitate reach out.

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