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Why do so many people still use it?

The widespread use of traditional aqueous creams for babies is something that continues to puzzle many in the natural and organic personal care industry. The typical ingredient list of a conventional aqueous cream will contain a few (if not all) of the following:

  • Petrolatum
  • Mineral Oil or Paraffinum Liquidum
  • Propylparaben, Methylparaben
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
  • Parfum.

Taking a more detailed look at each of these reveals a bunch of ingredients that aren’t benefitting the skin, or the environment.

Petrolatum (better known as petroleum jelly) & Mineral Oil

Both of these ingredients are petrochemicals i.e crude oil derivatives. The petrochemical industry is one of the greatest contributors to environmental destruction and global warming.

More specifically, these ingredients are also not good for the skin. At some stage we have all been addicted to a lip salve or hand cream or face cream which soothes and gives us the “feeling” of hydrating our skin. Unfortunately all these products (that include petroleum and/or mineral oil) are just giving a temporary perception of moisture as they sit on the surface of the skin forming a barrier, instead of being absorbed into the skin. This creates an addiction because the moment to surface product is gone, the skin feels dehydrated again. Mineral oil has been linked to clogged pores, trapping in toxins, slowing skin cell growth, disrupting normal hormone functioning and robbing the body of magnesium and other vitamins.

Propylparaben, Methylparaben (Parabens)

There is now widespread evidence that parabens are linked to a number of long term health concerns. The 3 most concerning are the links to cancer, the mimicking of estrogen so creating hormone disruption and lastly the link to premature ageing.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

An inexpensive, harsh detergent used widely in products that foam, such as shower gels, shampoos, etc. It is a well-known skin irritant so when included in products that aren’t washed off, is even more likely to create sensitivity and skin reactions.

Parfum (fragrance)

In addition to the actual fragrances (which are often irritating to skin), parfum can contain many ingredients which manufacturers “hide” under the parfum listing as part of their formulation “secret”. Unfortunately, since there is no disclosure, consumers aren’t aware of all the ingredients under the parfum label. One of the most concerning are the group of ingredients known as phthalates: A chemical plasticizing element used to extend the longevity of scent of a product on the skin. In addition to phthalates being an alleged carcinogen, research has mostly linked phthalates to wide scale reproduction complications such as infertility and hormone disruption.

Aqueous creams containing these ingredients have been advised by the medical profession for sensitive skins and for the treatment of eczema for decades. Unfortunately as a result of the ingredients they contain they won’t be of benefit to any skin, especially one with a compromised skin barrier, such as sensitive skin or eczema. Elevated consumer awareness coupled with selected professionals now recommending natural alternatives, is slowly creating a demand for aqueous creams which don’t contain any nasty ingredients.

Pure Beginnings’ fragrance free natural aqueous cream has a plant oil base and doesn’t use any petrochemicals, SLS, fragrance or parabens.