For a long while, I have been concerned about Cetaphil/CeraVe/Eucerin use by my clients and patients. Never, ever do I want to offend anyone - that's not my intent. I kept quiet, but my concern is growing. I am seeing a lot more congested/built-up, clogged pores, amongst other things happening with their skin and it has me wondering...
Many dermatologists recommend these washes and lotions for "their gentleness". As an Holistic Practitioner, I beg to differ.
Here are the Cetaphil ingredients: water, cetyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben. THREE OF THEM!Cetyl alcohol:Usually be derived from animals.From PETA's Caring Consumer: Wax found in spermaceti from sperm whales or dolphins. Alternatives: Vegetable cetyl alcohol (e.g., coconut), synthetic spermaceti. Are you a vegetarian?
Propylene glycol (in the anti-freeze family!)What it’s used for: Thickener, filler,
Avoid it because: It has just about every side effect: the risk of caner, reproductive toxicity, useage restrictions, allergies and immune system toxicity, skin and eye irritations, organ system toxicity, endocrine disruption, and neurotoxicity. It also is a penetration enhancer, meaning it penetrates skin cells, getting right into the bloodstream, carrying other chemicals with it that are on your skin - the GOOD and the BAD.Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben: These are on my HATE LIST! Read on...
What are parabens?
Parabens are a group of chemicals used as preservatives in lotions, conditioners, shampoos, deodorants. They are listed on the label as methylparaben, butylparaben, ethylparaben, benzylparaben, isobutylparaben, and propylparaben. They are sold under different cosmetic names, including Germaben II and LiquiPar Oil. And, IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THEY ARE MADE FROM. (Naturally 'sourced' from blueberries or honeysuckle.)
What’s the big deal?
Since 2000, thirteen studies have shown that parabens display estrogenic activity.
Other studies have also shown that parabens have accumulated in breast cancer tissue. Although paraben supporters claim that the body breaks the chemical down quickly, these studies show that complete parabens accumulated in the tumors, not being broken down at all. It has been proven that excess estrogen does lead to reproductive cancers (like breast and uterine cancer), and it has been proven that parabens act like estrogen and accumulate in the body. The dots haven’t been officially connected by the FDA, but the case for parabens looks pretty grim. The European Journal of Cancer Prevention reported that “Frequency and earlier onset of antiperspirant/deodorant usage with underarm shaving were associated with an earlier age of breast cancer diagnosis.” It is possible that the parabens (and other chemicals) in the antiperspirant are to blame for this.
Studies indicate that methylparaben applied on the skin may react with UVB leading to increased skin aging and DNA damage
Sodium lauryl sulfate: See my blog post on Sulfites/Sulfates (aka SLES/SLS)
CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser
Ingredients: Water (Purified), Glycerin, Behentrimonium Methylsulfate/Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceramide 3, Ceramide 6 11, Ceramide 1, Hyaluronic Acid, Cholesterol, Polyoxyl 40 (Hydrogenated Castor oil)* Stearate, Glyceryl Monostearate, Stearyl Alcohol, Polysorbate 20, Potassium Phosphate, Dipotassium Phosphate, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Phytosphingosine, Methylparaben, Propylparaben**, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum
*Hydrogenated oils are VERY unhealthy - also known as Trans-fats. I cannot vouch for how deep they penetrate into the skin, but in your body they wreak havoc creating prostaglandins and cause inflammation. Inflammation is the root cause of most disease in the body (diabetes, coronary-artery disease, arthritis and joint disease, IBS, and on it goes. Trans-fats do not exist in nature, and therefore are unnatural to the human body. When eaten, the fats are absorbed into the cell membranes. They interfere with normal functions, by inhibiting enzymes necessary for the body's NORMAL metabolism of fats, and they keep doing it for a long time. When you consume trans-fats, it takes the body 51 days to metabolize HALF of them. This means half the trans-fats you eat today will still be in your body 51 days later.How are Fats and Oils Hydrogenated? (Yukky!)
1. They are "washed" using water, salts, and acids.
2. They are neutralized by treating with strong alkalies (soaps), and heated to 180 F and mixed with oil. A separator removes the soap from the oil.
3. The oil is refined further by vacuum steam distillation to neutralize odor compounds.
4. The oil is cooled and some fats crystallize, and have to be filtered out.
5. The oil is then bleached. This stabilizes the oil. Clay is added and it is heated to 130F; then the hot oil is cooled and the clay filtered from the oil.
6.The hydrogenation process is completed by pumping pressurized hydrogen under agitation to the oil in a tank. This must be done in the presence of a catlayst metal such as nickel. Hydrogenation is done at 204C and pressure of 60spig.
Think about that when you eat your chips, french fries, bakery goods, artificial spreads, margarine and shortening... And yet, we are told junk food has no impact on our skin... Yeah, right. If they're not good for the inside, they can't be good on the outside (your skin).
**The paraben preservatives...Avoid them like the plague! See more info about them in the beginning of the article.
Both CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion PM have two parabens. CeraVe Foaming Cleanser has two parabens AND propylene glycol.
Eucerin Daily Protection Moisturizing Face Cream with Sunscreen(s):Active Ingredients: Ensulizole 2.0% (Sunscreen), Octinoxate 7.5% (Sunscreen), Octisalate 4.5% (Sunscreen), Titanium Dioxide 2.38% (Sunscreen), Zinc Oxide 4.85% (Sunscreen)
Inactive Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Hydrogenated Coco Glycerides, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, PEG 40 Castor Oil, Sodium Cetearyl Sulfate, Xanthan Gum, Trisodium EDTA, Sodium Hydroxide, Alumina, Simethicone, Phenoxyethanol, DMDM Hydantoin
The first three sunscreens in the Active Ingredients listing are of most concern to me. Chemical sunscreens can cause free-radical damage in the skin. They can act like false estrogens (xenoestrogens), and disrupt the body's' hormonal systems. There are studies showing they may cause cancer, and may be mutagenic; (Ensulizole) may interfere with cellular signaling, leading to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease. Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide are mechanical (mineral) sunscreens and do not have these risks.