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Moisturizers and Nonmelanoma Skin Cancer

Gina Sines on 3rd Jun 2014

A study published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology (2009) 129, 468-475 recently caught my eye. I encourage you to read the study in its entirety (it can be found at ). Until then, here’s what I found interesting:

In the United States there are more than one million cases of nonmelanoma skin cancer per year. This is by far the most prevalent type of cancer in the United States. Fortunately early detection and treatment generally means a high recovery rate, but factors contributing to nonmelanoma skin cancer are still being discovered. This study was originally designed to further examine how topically applied caffeine effects tumor development. Before applying caffeine by way of lotion the researchers tested the effects of several common moisturizers on tumor growth.

The test subjects were hairless mice that had prior chronic exposure to cancer causing ultra violet-B (UVB) rays. Five different moisturizers (four common lotions and one custom blend) where tested over the course of 17 weeks. Here are some of the results:

Mineral Oil Petrolatum Sodium Lauryl Sulfate
Dermabase Cream X X X 64%
Dermovan X 88%
Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream X X 49%
Vanicream X 58%
Custom Blend 0%

These noteworthy results show that the mice rubbed down in moisturizers containing Mineral Oil, Petrolatum and/or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate had 49%-88% larger tumors than both the control group and the mice rubbed in a moisturizer not containing those ingredients.

At this point it is discretionary to note that hairless mice and humans have different skin types and that these are the results of just one study. That said, what we put on our skin is absorbed into our bodies… and can have lasting affects on our health. Mineral Oil, Petroleum Jelly and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate are very, very common ingredients in the skin care industry. I encourage you to read the labels of your soap, shampoo, conditioner and lotions.

SIMPLICI Natural Body Care products are always free of these and many other questionable ingredients. Our soaps can be found at , on by searching “Simplici Soap.” Like to see new product release updates.