StriVectin is a skin cream marketed as an anti-stretch mark and anti-wrinkle product. There are many varieties in the StriVectin line, all of which have slightly different ingredients, but the basic lotion is StriVectin-SD. If you are concerned about any ingredients in an individual type of StriVectin cream or lotion, speak with your dermatologist before using it.
Although the mango butter, cocoa butter, peppermint oil in StriVectin-SD may be the easiest to understand, they can pose risks to people with allergies. Also peppermint oil can be irritating to the sensitive skin inside the nose. As with many skincare products, StriVectin must be kept away from eyes. Trying the cream on a small area of skin can be a safe way to test for a reaction, such as breaking out in hives or itching.
Many of the ingredients listed are common to numerous body creams and lotions, but striadril complex is unique to StriVectin. A study published in “Dermatologic Surgery” in 2006 detailed adverse reactions to the StriVectin cream containing that complex in some study participants. These reactions were reported as red bumps on the forehead and itching eruptions on the arms and legs, all of which were moderate in intensity. The itching caused the participants to abandon the study.
Oils, Triglycerides and Glycerine
Many ingredients in StriVectin-SD are variations on fats. These chemicals and oils increase lubrication of the skin by trapping water in the skin. Hot and soapy water strips skin of its natural moisture so that it may become dry, cracked or itchy. Dry skin also is more prone to wrinkling, so applying oils to the skin helps to plump it and diminish the appearance of lines in some people. Those prone to acne or who have naturally oily skin may experience increased breakouts and blemishes, but there is no evidence that the fats used in StriVectin-SD are unsafe to use on the skin.
Popular belief tends to consider parabens to be cancer-causing, but research by the FDA has yet to prove that to be true. According to the 2007 update of the FDA website, new research has been started in response to consumer concern after parabens were found in some breast tumors. Parabens of all types exert actions similar to the hormone estrogen in the body, but the FDA has determined their effect to be weak and has found no evidence that parabens physically cause cancer. Until further research shows otherwise, parabens remain safe to use as preservatives in personal care products like StriVectin.
PPG-12/SMDI copolymer has not been studied for adverse effects thoroughly, but there is no evidence that is it harmful to humans. Glyceryl stearate is just another form of glycerin–which is another ingredient in StriVectin as well–and is also regarded as safe for topical use. PEG-100 may contain harmful impurities, but levels in skincare products are tightly regimented so the risks associated with its presence in skin cream are very low.
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate
C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate acts as a thickener and emulsifies the large amount of fats in the lotion, which allows it to be applied smoothly and keeps the ingredients from separating. It is regarded as safe for topical use and has not been shown either to accumulate in the body or to have any toxic effects.
References and ResourcesFDA: Paraben Safety
Wiley Interscience: Dermatologic Surgery
University of Iowa: Winter Dry Skin