A study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk.
Irradiated mice who were treated with the moisturizers exhibited a significant increase in their rate of tumor formation and increase in tumor size per mouse. Treatment of the mice with Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream for 17 weeks increased the total number of characterized tumors by 69 percent.
According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:
“The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications of moisturizing creams … in humans.”
Many skin lotions, creams and oils contain mineral oil, as do many tanning products. Mineral oil may sound safe enough, but… it’s not.
Mineral oil is actually a derivative of petroleum, the same stuff you put in your car’s engine. Because it’s slippery, many products use mineral oil as the main ingredient, as it allows the lotion to be spread easily across your skin. This despite the fact that it’s a known carcinogen!
It’s also comedogenic which means it blocks your pores and your skin’s natural respiration process. Blocked pores can lead to blackheads and pimples. And, because mineral oil can create an impenetrable film on your skin, it may also block the absorption of any beneficial ingredients that might exist in the product.
Moisturizing Creams with Mineral Oil Can be Tumorigenic
The featured study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that commonly used moisturizing creams containing mineral oil are tumorigenic when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. What this means is that these creams and lotions can increase the rate at which skin tumors form. The study tested four common skin lotions:
- Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream
Many women who breastfeed will apply cream to their breasts without too much consideration for what’s in it. Hopefully, you now will not be one of them. Studies have actually found that mineral oil paraffins can bioaccumulate in both fat tissue and human breast milk. According to the authors of one 2008 study:
“Mineral paraffins might be the largest contaminant of our body, widely amounting to 1gram per person and reaching 10 grams in extreme cases.”
It’s believed that your baby may receive about one percent of the mineral paraffin accumulated in your body and breast milk. A previous study sums up the problem of using mineral oil-containing skin creams when you’re breastfeeding:
“Beside exposure of babies via human milk, the intake by direct licking off salves (in the worst case consisting of Vaseline) from the breast of their nursing mothers may be much higher. In a worst case situation, daily intake from breast care products by babies is estimated to reach 40mg/kg bw.
Many compositions do not comply with the specifications and a temporary group ADI of 0-4mg/kg bw established by the SCF. This possible exposure of babies either calls for a toxicological re-evaluation of the mineral paraffins or for measures ensuring that exposure of babies is reduced.”
With that in mind, please avoid using creams and lotions that contain mineral oil (especially Vaseline) on your breasts while you’re still breastfeeding. It would also be wise to avoid putting baby oil on your baby’s skin, as most baby oil brands contain straight mineral oil!