We had a story on 11 News at Five that honestly set me (an admitted lotion freak) back, and maybe it did you too. A new study from Rutgers University, that said putting moisturizer on your skin may increase you risk for skin cancer. Whaaaaaat?? Now, keep in mind this study was done on mice, and for those of you who missed it, after exposing hairless mice to UV rays for 20 weeks, they then applied moisturizer to the mice once a day, 5 days a week, for 17 weeks. They found the mice who got the moisturizers had an average 70% increase in production of skin cancer tumors! I did a little more digging into that study and here’s what I found.
Scientists felt that maybe, mineral oil or sodium lauryl sulfate were the culprits…that they may both promote tumors. I took a look around my house to see what’s in lotions I use. Of the four bottles sitting around, two of them….Bliss Lemon Sage Body Butter and Williams-Sonoma lotion don’t contain mineral oil, the Olavie Chardonnay lotion doesn’t list any ingredients (?), and the French Gabriel Couzian body moisturizer lists mineral oil as their third ingredient!(This one I use everyday, and love it.)
So what does it mean? I’m not sure and neither are the scientists…here are the brands they tested….Dermabase, Dermavan, Eucerin Original Cream (its website say its the brand dermatologists trust), and Vanicream(the only I’ve ever heard of is Eucerin)…but here’s the kicker. One of the creams that seemed to cause tumor growth, Vanicream, had neither ingredient, so they really don’t know what is causing it. Here’s the good news, the skin cancers involved were not melanoma… the most dangerous kind of skin cancer, but basal cell and non-squamous cell carcinomas. Most people do not die from these and they can easily be treated with surgical removal. I’m not sure that will make any of us feel much better. Oh, and scientists weren’t really looking to find any of these results when they stumbled upon them…they were investigating if caffeine had any effect on skin cancer and were working on skin delivery systems for getting the caffeine to the skin. How about that? I’ll let you know more when I hear it….in the meantime, I’m sticking with my moisturizers….