What's In It Wednesday: Jergens® Naturals™

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



A drugstore product for $7 or so AND 93% natural? Sounds too good to be true...Is it? Jergens introduced a new line of body care products filled with fabulous ingredients such as chamomile, yogurt extract, sunflower oil, shea butter, and more. I was thrilled when the line came out and then I saw the ingredients list.

Today we're going to look at  Jergens® Naturals™ Soothe formula body lotion in depth.

What's in it? The ingredients I am concerned with are in green.

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Water (Deionized Water)--Water; harmless

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Glycerin--a Safe Humectant

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Glyceryl Stearate--Safe Humectant and Surfactant

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Myristyl Myristate-an ester of myristyl alcohol and myristic acid, this is a conditioning agent

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Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Glycerides--Palm Oil Derivative

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Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil--Antioxidant, nourishing oil dervied from soybeans; continues to be one of my favorites in any price range

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Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter)--Comes from the fruit of the Karite tree; wonderful!

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Cetearyl Alcohol--Harmless emulsifyer and surfactant; not a drying alcohol like SD Alcohol

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Tapioca Starch--thickener

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Yogurt Extract--as its name implies; good for the skin

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Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (Chamomile Extract)--soothing

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Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract--thickens and adds bulk; conditions, harmless & beneficial

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Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil--One of the best oils out there (which will also soon be in my face creams); helps skin retain moisture and absorbs very quickly and easily into all types of skin

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Jojoba Esters (Jojoba Oil)--Harmless, wonderful!

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Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract--Soothing

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Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5)--Conditioner; anti-stactic agent

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Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil--Avoid it. It gets a very poor score on the EWG's Skin Deep Database, and with good reason. In addition to the fact that this oil in hydrogenated form will clog the pores so easily, it may contain a high level of pesticides from the cotton crops.

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Hydrogenated Palm Glycerides--PALM OIL DERIVATIVE

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Cylcopentasiloxane--Conditioning Agent; Questionable. There is some concern, as lab studies have shown this ingredient to cause uterine tumors in female lab rats, as well as changes in the liver

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Polyglycerin-10--A safe humectant; helps make the lotion effective as a moisturizer

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PEG-100 Stearate--A surfactant; Without a shadow of a doubt, I would avoid this ingredient. PEGs contain 1,4 Dioxane, a PROVEN toxin, one of the worst according to the EPA.

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Ceteareth-20--Rated very poorly by the EWG as is its surfactant cousin above. A major concern, once again, is 1,4 Dioxane contamination. This is restricted for use on broken or damaged skin, which bothers me since most people with that type of skin will only apply MORE of the lotion thinking it will be good for them.

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Carbomer--Helps to stabilize an emulsion; harmless

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Fragrance--Gives scent; since "fragrance" is broad, this may contain phthalates (yet the lotion could still legally be called Phthalate Free); Fragrance in artificial form is one of the most irritating ingredients we put on our skin

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DMDM Hydantoin--Proven carcinogen; contains Formaldehyde; banned in cosmetics in the EU and Japan. Given one of the worst possible safety scores by the EWG. This is a very harmful preservative. To give you an idea, if I were forced to choose a lotion with parabens or DMDM Hydantoin, I would easily choose the one with parabens.

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Sodium Hydroxide--Lye. This is used in soapmaking. When used to make soap, the lye is no longer caustic and harmful once the saponification process has occured and soaps are fully cured. That being said, even at VERY LOW concentrations, it has shown to cause harm to organs with repeated exposure. In a lotion, it would be used as a pH adjuster. 

• 
Phenoxyethanol & Ethylhexylglycerin--Safer synthetic preservatives

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Caramel--A colorant derived from sugar solutions; not harmful

The Bottom Line

I would not recommend this line of products. I looked at the ingredients on the other lotions in the line and all contain the harmful chemicals. Next week we will explore a WONDERFUL line of drugstore lotions! This comes from an established line which has smartened up and become more natural.

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