Saturday, October 7, 2017

Life with Chronic Conditions: Skin Care

If you follow the Journal Updates, you may remember the following article:

Many skin moisturizers that claim to be fragrance-free or hypoallergenic are not, and may aggravate skin disorders such as psoriasis and eczema, a new study says. Northwestern University researchers examined the top 100 best-selling, whole-body moisturizers sold at Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart for affordability and content. They found that 83 percent of so-called hypoallergenic products had a potentially allergenic chemical. The researchers also discovered that 45 percent of products marketed as fragrance-free contained a botanical ingredient or one that reacts to a fragrance that can cause a skin rash or skin allergy. In addition, moisturizers with "dermatologist-recommended" labels cost an average of 20 cents more per ounce than those that did not have the label. Only 12 percent of the best-selling moisturizers were free of such allergens, according to the report. Looking for allergen-free skin products? Your best bets are white petroleum jelly, some coconut oils that are cold-pressed and not refined, Vanicream's hypoallergenic products and Aveeno Eczema Therapy moisturizing cream. And the three most affordable moisturizers without any NACDG allergens: Ivory raw unrefined shea butter, Vaseline original petroleum jelly and Smellgood African shea butter, the researchers said. JAMA Dermatology

Because of another article in JAMA Internal Medicine about the un regulation of the cosmetics industry, in July, I wrote the post Life With Chronic Conditions: What Touches Our Skin. Since skin is a critical protector of our body, and we’re heading into the winter months, when it can feel incredibly dry, it’s a good reminder to read, or re read this post, as it provides links to check out the safety of the products you are using and other tips.

Note that the most recent article recommended Vaseline Petroleum Jelly. However Vaseline, is a derivative of oil refining. Originally found coating the bottom of oil rigs in the mid-1800s, it’s a byproduct of the oil industry and therefore an unsustainable resource-not eco-friendly. Because there are carcinogenic components that are removed to make Vaseline, and therefore the product is regarded as safe, you have no idea what’s going on with the generic brands marketed as “petroleum jelly.” Check out Petroleum Jelly May Not Be as Harmless as You Think.

Research indicates that  organic coconut oil  and virgin olive oil are good moisturizers to use. Note: If you are going to use olive oil, be sure to check that your brand is certified by the North American Olive Oil Association Also keep in mind that a product containing coconut oil is not the same as pure coconut oil. Both of these oils are readily available at your super market and will cost less and last longer than many commercially available skin products.

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