General Question

skfinkel's avatar

Favorite hand lotion without Parabens?

Asked by skfinkel (13478points) June 12th, 2010

Lots of lotions still have parabens, even though they are on their way out. Do you have a good one that doesn’t have the dreaded paraben contamination?

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17 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

Bag Balm.

lilikoi's avatar

I’m using one right now by aubrey organics and it is okay, no parabens. I think their marketing is slightly misleading though so I may try to find something else in the future.

gailcalled's avatar

L. has introduced me to Jojoba oil, found at Trader Joe’s. It isn’t quite the same as a lotion, but is easily absorbed by the skin and doesn’t leave greasy marks on clothing like the massage oils do.

UScitizen's avatar

Amlactin ... It is a pharmaceutical product. Not a lotion.

dpworkin's avatar

Have you ever tried Bag Balm? It does have the drawback of smelling like lanolin, but it sure works well, and it is rather inexpensive. I get it at Agway.

perspicacious's avatar

J.R. Watkins vanilla

BhacSsylan's avatar

Just to ask, what exactly is the “dreaded paraben contamination”? I’ve just read up on the literature on it, and it seems quite harmless according to studies. Worst things they’ve found is that it localizes to breast tumors, which doesn’t mean it’s causing them.

So, yeah, just wondering.

skfinkel's avatar

@BhacSsylan I guess the cancer connection isn’t good. Many companies are removing parabens from their goods, although it’s a preservative.

I just remembered how good coconut oil is!!

BhacSsylan's avatar

From what i read, it seems like another media hype problem like aspartame. But I was wondering if anyone had some better info, since Wikipedia isn’t exactly the best.

lillycoyote's avatar

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion. It’s my favorite lotion all the way round.

skfinkel's avatar

Knowing how reluctant companies are to acknowledge any problem with anything, if parabens have some oblique or direct connection to cancer, which has caused lots of companies to remove the stuff from their products, I suspect the badness is there—whether or not it has shown up on wikipedia or elsewhere.

lilikoi's avatar


From Wikipedia: “Upon ingestion, aspartame breaks down into natural residual components, including aspartic acid, phenylalanine, methanol,[22] and further breakdown products including formaldehyde,[23] known to have a number[quantify] of detrimental effects on the human body[24], formic acid, and a DKP – Aspartylphenylalanine diketopiperazine.[25]”

Although that doesn’t matter much since Monsanto apparently owns NutraSweet, and there is no way in hell I’d put my health in their hands to the extent possible.

There are fine (and arguably superior, at least in the case of cane sugar) alternatives to both aspartame and paraben-preserved cosmetics. Why expose yourself to these question marks unnecessarily? There is simply no need to.

casheroo's avatar

I love Jojoba Oil, like @gailcalled mentioned.

gailcalled's avatar

@skfinkel: The Kiss My Face products seem to be made with safe ingredients. I’ve used their face and body lotion for years.

casheroo's avatar

Also Alba products are great. I just got their Very Emollient lotion. love it! That one has a scent, it does come unscented.

liminal's avatar

We use Shea-butter and coconut butter:

We also use the alba lotion like @casheroo and find them worth the price. Some Whole Foods stores carry it in bulk.

My son had severe eczema and we were able to stop using topical steroids once we switched to these products.

BhacSsylan's avatar

@lilikoi Yes, i already knew that. I’m a chemist and have looked quite a few of these up. And yes, it breaks down into formaldehyde, but incredibly small amounts. There is a tiny amount of aspartame in most foods, and that results in even less formaldehyde. It’s not great, but i can assure you that you’ll never notice the effects unless you start guzzling a bag of the stuff.

Also, the LD50 for formaldehyde is 100mg/kg. So a 70kg person, which is about average, would need 5 grams of formaldehyde to hit it. Granted, you’ll notice effects sooner, but it’s a good yardstick. Caffeine is only twice as much. And at 200x the sweetness of sugar, you’ll never get much in your system.

I bring up aspartame because it’s a good example. The original controversy was after a study on rats that found that it could cause cancer. However, the resulting media frenzy failed to take note of the amount consumed vs bodyweight. As in, sure, the rats got cancer, but the amount they ingested was a significant fraction of their bodyweight, something that would be extremely hard to ingest normally. A rat is usually less then a kg, and so it would take less then 100mg to hit the LD50. In comparison, it would take about 150mg of caffene to kill the same rat, and each cup of coffee contains about 40mg caffene.

The european version of the FDA reviewed the study, and said “oh, wait guys, this is totally out of proportion”, which is why aspartame is back on the market. Many, many things we ingest naturally break down into harmful chemicals. And then we filter them out. It is the purpose of the liver, after all.

Now, back to the main topic, I agree, to an extent. If they are easy to find (and in many cases, superior products, just as a result of the smaller companies making them), why not use them? I wasn’t trying to derail the thread, and i’m glad to see I haven’t. I was mostly wondering if anyone had any better data. Being a chemist, it’s a bit of a pet peeve of mine when media outlets go crazy over totally stupid data. It happens quite often, so i wanted to see if this was the same.

@skfinkel In general, I’ve noticed the opposite. That is, companies may be hesitant to change with scientific articles, but are very, very quick to change policies if the media picks up on anything, because the media can cause a huge stink about something that isn’t real. But the stink will drive their stock into the basement before they can do anything.

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