It smells good. It feels good. It must be good. Right? Not so fast. While that is the general criteria we use to choose a body lotion (or hand lotion) that is not the same criteria which determines if the lotion is safe. And by ‘safe’ I mean will the body lotion cause an allergic reaction? Liver problems? Reproductive problems or any number of other health issues? Use these four criteria when choosing a body lotion to help ensure your choice has an appealing fragrance, texture and is safe.
Chose a Natural Fragrance
When the generic term ‘fragrance’ is listed among the ingredients of a body lotion, put the bottle down. That generic term can be covering up for the product containing allergy causing ingredients that give the lotion it’s good smell.
To avoid allergy causing chemicals that make up the lotion’s fragrance, look for body lotions that list the name of the specific, fragrance, such as lavender or sweet pea. Natural extracts are used in those lotion products to create the fragrance, and natural means a reduced risk of allergic reactions. Body lotion with any additives always have the potential to cause an allergic skin reaction.
Pesticides in Body Lotion?
It’s true. Some body lotions, soaps, toothpastes and deodorants contain antimicrobial pesticides. The pesticides are added to body lotion (and other health and beauty products) to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi in the product. While the pesticides do a good job for their intended purpose, they also have been linked to liver problems to consumers who use the products. Antimicrobial pesticides lurk in body lotions under the names of Triclosan and triclocarban.
Pass on Parabens
Parabens are chemicals often used as preservatives in a variety of health and beauty aids, including hand and body lotion. Parabens have long been accused of causing reproductive problems due to their similar chemical makeup to estrogen. Parabens hide in body lotion with the prefixes of propyl, isopropyl, buytl and isobutyl-parabens. Avoid the potentially unsafe preservatives by looking for lotions labeled as ‘paraben-free’.
Body Lotion Containing Sunscreen
It’s safer to use two separate products, a body lotion and a suncreen. Body lotion containing sunscreen can do more harm than good if the sunscreen contains chemicals like oxybenzone and retinyl. Products (lotion or sunscreen) to protect against the sun’s harmful rays should contain the safer products like zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or avobenzone.
Source: Antimicrobial Pesticides in Products