Your Lotion Is Killing You! Switch To The Best Natural Skin Care Moisturizers.

Written by: Arthur
Memory Loss

How many of us actually take the time to read the labels on the products that we frequently buy? I don’t think that it would be a stretch to say that most people don’t. Not only that, but I think that most people wouldn’t even know or understand what the ingredients actually were. Does the average person know what phenoxyethanol is and why it’s dangerous for their health? I will admit that I had no clue what it was until I did some light research and wrote this article. I am also sure that the millions of people who buy Johnson’s baby lotion, which contains phenoxyethanol, don’t know that they are exposing their child to a chemical that the United States Food and Drug Administration has said is dangerous to infants. “Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants.”[1] Dangerous chemicals like phenoxyethanol and many others are very common in many of the products we love and trust.

Last week, I took a trip to my local Wal-Mart to pick up a few supplies. While I was walking down an aisle to grab something, I overheard a woman and a young girl, who I assume was her daughter, arguing about what brand of lotion was better. The mother insisted on getting Jergens Daily Moisture, explaining to her daughter that the product was great for keeping skin butter smooth all day. The daughter complained that she didn’t like the smell of Jergens and insisted on buying Equate Moisture Care body lotion because it made her skin feel brighter and healthier. After going back and forth for a minute or so, the mother finally gave into her daughter’s preference and picked up the Equate brand of lotion. They walked away and I stood nearby, curious about what was so special about the brand that the daughter preferred. Now I am a very analytical person, I like to understand how things work and what makes things tick. So I picked up both the Equate and Jergens brand of lotion, flipping them around to view their ingredients side by side.

Walmart Isle

I recognized many of the ingredients on both labels, such as methylparaben and sodium hydroxide, which are both dangerous chemicals that should not be used on the human body. Moreover, there were many ingredients that I did not recognize and could barely pronounce, but I was sure were probably dangerous for human use. I stood there and did a quick Google search on my smart phone of a few ingredients and was shocked at some of the dangers behind them. The Equate lotion contained a substance called titanium dioxide, which is a possible human carcinogen! I took a few pictures of the labels and walked away, thinking about doing more research when I got home. While I was walking towards the register, getting ready to check out my items, I caught a glimpse of the mother and daughter I had encountered earlier. They were walking towards the exit and while the mother was on her cell phone, the daughter was applying some of the Equate lotion to her hands. I just closed my eyes and shook my head, thinking about all the millions of people just like them that had no clue about the poisons that they are rubbing all over their skin.

According to, skincare products make up the largest part of the cosmetic market, eating up around 35% [2]. The U.S cosmetic industry is worth billions of dollars and the companies raking in these large sums of cash do not care about their customers, profit is the number one goal. Companies like Johnson & Johnson have been receiving pressure for years from consumers, coalitions of health and environmental groups, to remove dangerous chemicals from their products. I remember just a few years ago there was a big public outcry over the company's popular No More Tears baby shampoo. The shampoo, which can still found in stores today with the same dangerous chemicals, contains a substance called “1,4 dioxane and the preservative formaldehyde, which is slowly released by a chemical called quaternium-15 to kill bacteria. Both 1,4 dioxane and formaldehyde are probable human carcinogens; formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant.”[3] In 2012, Johnson & Johnson said that it would remove many of the carcinogenic chemicals and other harmful ingredients from nearly all its cosmetic products worldwide by 2015. It is now 2016 at the time of writing this article, and a trip to your local Wal-Mart or Target will show you that Johnson & Johnson has not lived up to its word.

So while I was at Wal-Mart, I looked up four brands of lotion. The four brands were Equate Moisture Care, Jergens Daily Moisture, Johnson’s baby lotion and Aveeno. All three brands are pretty cheap, well recognized and designed to look appealing to the consumer. The labels are often tricky and misleading, saying things like “All Natural”, “Dermatologist Approved” (or tested), and they will spotlight one minuscule ingredient like natural oatmeal (avena sativa) in the case of the Aveeno lotion. Natural is not the same thing as organic. Ingredients that are labeled as organic are regulated by the USDA (assuming you live in America). Natural ingredients are not regulated. A product that says dermatologist recommended or tested doesn’t really mean anything. Any dermatologist, licensed or not, qualified or not could have approved and or tested the product. There are no set regulations for dermatologist approval or recommendation. The first brand I analyzed was the Equate Moisture Care body lotion. After doing some basic research, I came across about seven potentially dangerous chemicals in that product:

Equate Lotion

After that I moved on to the Jergens Daily Moisture lotion. In my opinion, the product had a nice smell to it, it was cheap, and if I didn’t know any better I would probably use it. The product contains low doses of fruit like pineapples, lemons and grapefruit, which is a good way to get people to purchase the product. If something smells good and is cheap, most consumers will buy it thinking that they are walking away with a solid product. Unfortunately, the Jergens Daily Moisture lotion has just as many terrible chemicals as the Equate Moisture Care:

Jergens Lotion

Next I looked at the Aveeno Active Naturals daily moisturizing lotion. Aveeno is actually a Johnson and Johnson product, I had no idea. I was surprised at how few ingredients (compared to the others) there was in the lotion. Unfortunately, the Aveeno contains some pretty nasty chemicals as well, but I can’t say that I was surprised. It should be illegal to have the word “natural”, plastered all over a product only to have inorganic and dangerous ingredients inside the merchandise. The Aveeno bottle uses the word natural a lot over its advertisement label, which I am sure, has caught the attention of many unsuspecting consumers. Anyway, here are the questionable chemicals in the product:

Aveeno Lotion

Finally, the last brand I analyzed was Johnson’s baby lotion. Out of all the brands that I looked at, Johnson’s baby lotion is probably the most trusted and consumer recognized. After researching the ingredients, I am angry and also horrified that people actually use this stuff on their children. The label printed on the back of the bottle reads, “To Use: Massage lotion over entire body to nourish baby’s skin.” I literally cringed as I read that sentence. Here are the dangerous chemicals that I found inside the Johnson’s baby lotion:

Johnsons Lotion

I didn’t list all of the ingredients that I found to be dangerous, just the ones that were high on the list of potentially causing serious damage to the human body (cancer, nervous system damage, etc). Some of the ones that I left out were low on the health concerns of the ingredient list or had low evidence of toxicity according to the Environmental Working Group’s website (EWG). Some of the ones that I left out were also potentially dangerous to the environment, but needed more research in some cases. I encourage you to do your own research on the products you use to get a deeper understanding of what chemicals you are exposing yourself and your family to.


Dimethicone (also known as polymethylsiloxane) is a silicon-based polymer used as a lubricant and conditioning agent. The Environmental Working Group’s website lists dimethicone as having moderate concerns under organ system toxicity. (Referencing Environment Canada Domestic Substance List)[4] From what I gather, dimethicone is safe in low doses. According to, “The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives has established an acceptable daily oral intake level for dimethylpolysiloxane (dimethicone) of 0 to 1.5 mg/kg body weight. The maximum level (1.5 mg/kg body weight) is 100-fold lower than the level that caused no harmful effects in laboratory studies.” I was not able to find much information on safe levels for uses in skin products, but according to the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) Expert Panel, dimethicone is safe to use in personal care products because they determined that the large molecular weight of silicone based polymers such as dimethicone, it would be very unlikely for it to penetrate past the surface of the skin. I found contradicting information from a study done by Hazleton Labs. In 1975, Hazleton Labs reported a preliminary skin irritation study using six adult albino rabbits. A Dimethicone fluid (0.5 ml) was applied for 24 hours to a shaved part of the rabbit’s bodies. After the experiment was done, the scientist concluded that Dimethicone was a severe irritant to rabbit skin. (Results were based on edema and erythema observed) More info can be found here (Click Me)(Page 25).

Red 33:

Red 33 is an artificial dye produced from petroleum or coal tar sources. Coal and tar are on California’s Proposition 65 list of chemicals and substances that cause cancer. [5] Artificial colors offer absolutely no benefits to skin care products. Many of them, like yellow 6 for example, cause tumor growth in the human body.[6] Avoid all products with artificial colors because they are dangerous and should be completely banned from use in all products.

Methylparaben & Propylparaben:

Methylparaben and propylparabenare both in the paraben family of preservatives used in everything from food and prescription drugs, to skin care products like lotion. Parabens mimic estrogen and can act as potential hormone (endocrine) system disruptors. “Parabens can bind to the cellular estrogen receptor (Routledge, 1998). They also increase the expression of many genes that are usually regulated by the natural estrogen estradiol and cause human breast tumor cells (MCF-7 cells) to grow and proliferate in vitro (Byford, 2002; Pugazhendhi, 2007).”[7] The fact that parabens can cause breast cancer scares me half to death, because I have sisters and other family members that use products that contain it. Please read your skin care and food labels to know what products to avoid. If you see any ingredient that ends with paraben, drop it. The European Union banned usage of parabens from some products, while the U.S has taken no precautions to protect its citizens from these chemicals.

DMDM Hydantoin:

DMDM Hydantoin is one of the scarier ingredients that I came across. According to the EWG, “DMDM hydantoin is an antimicrobial formaldehyde releaser preservative. People exposed to such formaldehyde-releasing ingredients may develop a formaldehyde allergy or an allergy to the ingredient itself and its decomposition products. In the U.S., approximately 20% of cosmetics and personal care products contain a formaldehyde-releaser and the frequency of contact allergy to these ingredients is much higher among Americans compared to studies in Europe.” Formaldehyde can cause problems such as burning sensations in the nose, eyes and throat; coughing; nausea; vomiting; and skin irritation. In control experiments, formaldehyde has shown to cause nasal cancer in rats. [8] Several agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Agency for Research on Cancer have labeled formaldehyde has a cancer causing chemical in humans. [8] Despite the well-known fact that formaldehyde causes cancer, companies in the U.S are still permitted to use chemicals like DMDM Hydantoin in their products.

Sodium Hydroxide:

Sodium hydroxide is a white solid base that comes in many forms, including powders. It is used as a pH Adjuster in some cosmetic products. The EWG describes sodium hydroxide as having moderate concerns for organ system toxicity and low concerns for irritation of the eyes /lungs. According to the Center for Disease Control, when exposed to sodium hydroxide directly, you can expect the following; “irritation of the eyes, skin, mucous membrane; pneumonitis; eye, skin burns and temporary loss of hair.”[9] Sounds fun, right? The CDC even urges to avoid skin contact with sodium hydroxide.


Phenoxyethanol is used as a preservative in many cosmetic and personal skin care products. According to the EWG, phenoxyethanol has shown limited evidence of skin and immune system toxicity, allergies and nervous system toxicity. [10] Evidence shown through experiments and research prove that phenoxyethanol has the potential to cause neurological damage, loss in strength of limbs, dizziness, headaches, and forgetfulness. [11]


Fragrance, according to Dr. Frank Lipman, “is a euphemism for nearly 4,000 different ingredients. Most “fragrances” are synthetic and are either cancer-causing or otherwise toxic. Exposure to fragrances has been shown to affect the central nervous system. “Fragrances” are found in most shampoos, deodorants, sunscreens, skincare and body care products.”[12] The EWG describes fragrance as having strong evidence as being a human immune toxicant or allergen.

Benzyl Alcohol:

Benzyl alcohol is a naturally occurring (but can and is synthetically made for skin care products) chemical that is found in some fruits and vegetables. In cosmetics, it is used as a fragrance ingredient and a preservative. According to, the potential acute health effects of benzyl alcohol are dangerous in case of skin contact. You can expect eye irritation, lung irritation, trouble breathing, and a lot worse if you consume this stuff. The site also gives a very clear warning that, “benzyl alcohol may be toxic to liver, central nervous system (CNS). Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage.”[13] Avoid this stuff if you can, stick to the natural moisturizers that I will list below.

Distearyldimonium Chloride:

Distearyldimonium chloride is an ammonium salt used as an antistatic agent to reduce or eliminate the buildup of static electricity. The EWG list Distearyldimonium Chloride as having strong evidence as being a human toxicant or allergen. [14] The European Union has limited evidence of eye toxicity.

Titanium Dioxide:

Titanium dioxide is used as a color additive in many things from skin care products and cosmetics, to food and prescription drugs (makes things white). In sun block, titanium dioxide helps to protect the skin from ultraviolet light. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, has labeled titanium dioxide as a possible carcinogen to humans. [15] Laboratory experiments on rats have shown titanium dioxide to cause tumors in the lungs. “Elevated lung cancer was observed in two chronic inhalation studies in rats exposed to fine (Lee et al., 1985) or ultrafine (Heinrich et al., 1995) TiO2.”[15] The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety states that, “Titanium dioxide accounts for 70% of the total production volume of pigments worldwide.”[16] It is really hard to avoid this stuff, but if you can, you might just be saving your skin and lungs from cancer.


Triethanolamine is a clear alkaline liquid that is produced from ammonia and is used to control the pH of levels products. Triethanolamine is used in many products including cosmetics, skin care products and hair dyes. The EWG says that organ system toxicity is a moderate concern behind this product. [17] In a few studies I read about on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) website, triethanolamine caused cancer in male rats. “Under the conditions of these dermal studies, there was equivocal evidence of carcinogenic activity* of triethanolamine in male F344/N rats based on a marginal increase in the incidence of renal tubule cell adenoma. There was no evidence of carcinogenic activity in female F344/N rats receiving 63, 125, or 250 mg triethanolamine per kilogram body weight.”[18] Lab studies yielded mix results, but I am definitely staying away from this stuff as much as I can.

How To Keep Your Skin Clear, Smooth and Moisturized Without Commercial Lotions?

Final Thoughts:

I have a pretty simple approach when dealing with new products. If I don’t know what the ingredients are, I don’t use that product. If I have not done my research on a product, I don’t buy it. Now that we know some of the dangerous ingredients contained inside commercial skin moisturizers, let’s avoid them. Most of the things that the human body needs can be found in nature. Here are seven alternatives to lotions and skin moisturizer’s that pose little if any risk.

Many of these multibillion dollar companies will argue that the dangerous chemicals used in their products are safe because they exist in such low concentrations. The problem is that the duration and frequency of use when consumers use these products vary. DMDM Hydantoin may be considered safe in low doses if the consumer uses a product sparingly and infrequently, but what if he/she uses some lotion that contains that stuff every day. What if he or she uses it every day for years? What if he or she likes to prepare food after using some product containing parabens (and many other dangerous chemicals) and it is ingested on a frequent basis? How do these products impact the environment long term? If someone takes a bath or shower, some of the lotion (chemicals) will end up down the drain, eventually reaching the ecosystem. Who will be around to purchase the products if all the customers are dying from cancer? These are questions that need to be answered, but are often disregarded because profit trumps all.

All health content on is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.