Cetaphil moisturizing cream has been on the market for a number of years, it is even recommended by some dermatologists, but new studies involving some of the ingredients have put the safety of Cetaphil and other cosmetics into question. The dangers of Cetaphil are up for debate. Because of the nature of cosmetic use, and the relatively small amounts of chemicals absorbed with each application, it is not clear whether there are adverse effects over the long term.
Ingredients in cosmetics are listed in order of amount, so the first ingredient on the list is the most abundant in the product. Cetaphil moisturizing cream contains petrolatum as the second ingredient. Petrolatum was made illegal in the European Union due to the amount of impurities in the substance. It is a by-product of crude oil processing that is sold very inexpensively and is often listed as “mineral oil” in a list of ingredients. There is a possibility that some petrolatum is contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, a cancer-causing agent.
Cetaphil moisturizing cream is intended to be used on very dry areas of the body, like the elbows and knees, it can also be used for dryness on the face. It has been recommended by some dermatologists for psoriasis and eczema relief.
The best way to avoid any dangers from Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream, or other cosmetics, is to read the labels. Although your skin is a tough barrier to the outside world it is permeable and the same pores that open and close to release heat can absorb toxins applied to the skin’s surface.
The ingredient petrolatum in Cetaphil sits on the surface of the skin, blocking the pores. Although this may feel like your skin is soft for days, which is generally perceived as a positive thing, it is actually preventing the pores from being able to release heat or sweat. Over time this will irritate acne and may cause premature aging.
The dangerous effects of using Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream are debatable. Although some of the ingredients have been put into question by environmental advocates no hard evidence exists linking Cetaphil to a specific disease. It is believed that long-term use of the ingredients in Cetaphil may have a negative effect on the body, but these effects are difficult to track because of the length of time it takes for the symptoms to manifest.
References and ResourcesCetaphil: Products, Moisturizing Cream
The Environmental Working Group: The Ugly Face of Cosmetics
The Environmental Protection Agency: TSCA Chemical Testing, Reciept of Test Data
Health Report, Organic Natural Health: News Flash, Petrolatum