I like to make face cream for my family and me. I usually make 1 - 2 quarts of rose hip infused oils to make my creams with per season. After keeping enough for myself and mailing tubs to my family, I sell whatever is left at the farmer's markets.
There are a tremendous amount of websites about making your own cream and it's a fun thing to do. I use Rosemary Gladstar's base recipe from her book Herbal Recipes and have tested my recipes on willing family members for 3 years. My Aunt Cynthi commissioned my first creams and was a chief tester and so was my Mom and grandmother. My brother Jared and Pam bought me Rosemary's book. So it was a family collaboration.
When my cream separated, I learned more about emulsification. When it was grainy, I learned about how some nut butters can fractionate when not cooled properly and learned about tempering. When it got moldy I learned more about natural preservatives and how to care for natural creams by keeping them out of a hot, steamy bathroom and not saving them ~ use them up quickly within 1 - 2 months.
I make my creams with natural ingredients like:
Rose Hip infused oil which has been used since ancient times in
anti-aging remedies, to rejuvenate and revitalize skin, to help acne, burns, scars,
stretch marks, discoloration, brown spots, wrinkles, to restore natural skin color a
nd to help dry, sun damaged skin.
Touted by the beauty industry to reverse the aging processes and promote young, fresh looking skin. This is due to the rich content of liposoluble nutrients and antioxidants which are easily absorbed by the skin. It is well tolerated by all skin types and is especially useful for skin under the eyes. It promotes the skin's natural regeneration cycle helping it produce more collagen and elastin. It contains unique liposoluble carotenoids, flavonoids and other antioxidants beneficial for skin revitalizing processes as well as various phytosterols and essential fatty acids in an easily-absorbed, stable form. ~ www.floraleads.com
A Hazelnut oil base is used for those that are prone to acne and/or need more astringent qualities. An Almond/ Olive oil base is used for those with mature or dry skin.
Kokum Butter is a highly prized butter from the Garcinia tree. It is a non-comedogenic (non pore-clogging) material that aids quick absorption. This incredibly smooth butter has an enormously high composition of beneficial materials to
help regenerate worn skin cells
and support elasticity and flexibility of the skin wall.
It is rich in essential fatty acids and Vitamin E, which aid in cell oxygenation and make nutrients more readily available for use by skin tissues. It has been used traditionally in India to soften skin and restore elasticity and as a balm for dry, cracked, rough and calloused skin. It should NOT be used by those with nut allergies or persistent skin problems like eczema.
Additional ingredients both creams: Aloe Vera gel, distilled water, Missouri beeswax and lanolin.
Top face creams, their prices, typical ingredients & health risks.
"According to the US agency that regulates cosmetics—the FDA's Office of Cosmetics and Colors—"a cosmetic manufacturer may use almost any raw material as a cosmetic ingredient and market the product without an approval from the FDA". Testing of product ingredients is not only controlled by the manufacturers but is also voluntary. …many ingredients in cosmetics are not tested for safety at all, and have not been evaluated for safety by the FDA.” ~ LotionSecrets.com
I assume that many of the ingredients in these commercial creams are beneficial and that even the “bad” ingredients have some benefit or they wouldn’t be there. However I’m only pointing out the potential problems and untested ingredients in the most popular creams, but they are found in most if not all commercial creams. Just because an ingredient has a long, and unpronounceable or strange name though doesn’t mean it’s bad for you. For example Capric Triglyceride is derived from coconut oil and Bisabolol is essential oil extracted from chamomile. Research each ingredient on sites like those found at the very end.
Match numbers after each ingredient with
descriptions in the next section.
Lancome Renergie Double Performance Treatment Anti-Wrinkle Firming ~ $80
“The world’s most expensive petroleum jelly, it’s the fourth ingredient after water and silicone. What you areostensibly paying for is hydroxyproline, a component of collagen – however, the body makes its own and adeficiency only happens
if you are deficient in vitamin C.” ~ www.truthinaging.com
Some Ingredients include: Petrolatum(1), Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate (2), Chlorhexidine Digluconate(3), Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isobutylparaben, Methylparaben, Butylparaben (4),
Blue 1/CI 42090, Yellow 5/CI 19140, Red 4/CI 14700, B5949/2.(5)
Lancome Absolute Night Premium (2.6 oz) ~ $185.00
Some Ingredients include: Alcohol Denatured (5) , Cyclohexasiloxane (6),
Petrolatum (1), Peg-100 Stearate (7), Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 4 (5), C13-14 Isoparaffin (8),
Phenoxyethanol (9), Ethylparaben (4), Triethanolamine(10), Polyacrylamide (11),
Dimethiconol (12), Methylparaben (4), Tetrasodium Edta (13), Hexyldecanol (14).
Olay Age Defying Night Cream (2 oz)~ $11
Some Ingredients include: Cetyl Alcohol (15), Dimethicone (12),
Steric Acid (17), Peg-100 (7), Methylparaben (4),
Imidazolidinyl Urea (18), PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone (12), Propylparaben (4).
Peter Thomas Roth Intensive Anti-Aging Cellular Crème (3.4 oz) ~ $120
Their formulas contain many all natural ingredients (including Rose oil).
Overall I was quite impressed that the very long list of ingredients were mostly beneficial.
These other ingredients are also found however.
Ingredients include : Peg-100 Stearate (7), Dimethicone (12),
Trimethylstearyloxy silane (19),Hexamethyldisiloxane (20), Diazolidinyl Urea (21),
Methylparaben(4), Proplyparaben (4).
(2) from ehow.com: Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate “This material can linger in a person's tissue for several years after initial exposure. It can also negatively affect the liver if used in excessively high doses. It is recommended that octinoxate be kept out of reach of children. Octinoxate is known to absorb quickly and easily into a person's skin. Upon exposure to sunlight, octinoxate converts into a lesser ultraviolet absorbent form, which can be partially prevented with the addition of other ultraviolet blockers like bemotrizinol. In Japan, use of octinoxate is limited in certain cosmetics.”
(3) From Wikipedia.com: “Chlorhexidine is harmful in high concentrations, but is used safely in low concentrations in many products. However, numerous scientific papers have reported complications with low level exposure too. In the UK, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has issued a patient safety alert on the risk of anaphylactic reactions from the use of medical devices and medicinal products containing chlorhexidine.”
(4)-a From Health Guidance.org “Parabens are known to be highly toxic and have caused rashes and allergic reactions and found in almost all creams. Recent scientific studies in the UK found a strong link between the use of parabens and the increasing rate of breast cancer in women. Researchers found a high concentration of parabens in 90% of breast tumors tested.”
(4)-b. From www.madefromtheearth.com “Parabens are a group of chemicals widely used as preservatives in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. They have been linked to possible carcinogenicity, as well as an estrogenic effect from being exposed to the continued use of parabens as preservatives. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in their report "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change?" reported that the parabens displayed estrogenic activity in several tests.
It is a medical fact that estrogen stimulates breast cancer and anything absorbed through the skin may be as high as 10 times the concentration of an oral dose. There have been no successful studies to show that repeated and prolonged use of paraben is safe. It is a low-cost synthetic preservative for which many large cosmetic brands have tried to fund study to prove that prolonged usage is safe; all studies failed.”
(5)-a From Dr. Miller author of “The Epitome of Total Health” and “The Sense of Well Being”: “Coal Tar Dyes – (includes D&C Blue 1, Green 3, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Red 33, etc.) Even though their carcinogenicity has recently been proven, the 1938 Act includes a specific exemption for them. Severe allergic reactions, asthma attacks, headaches, nausea, fatigue, lack of concentration, nervousness, increased risk of Hodgkin’s disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma.”
(5)-b From www.scientificamerican.com: (re: Blue 1 )“the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) and other advocacy organizations have long argued that these (Blue 1) and other artificial colorings may be linked to attention deficit disorder (ADD). In September 2007, a study in the U.K. medical journal The Lancet came to a similar conclusion, leading the European Parliament last July to order such products to carry a label warning consumers of the potential risk.”
(6) From By Canwest News Service: “The federal government (Canada) announced Friday it intends to slap a toxic label on a bunch of chemicals used in everyday products from chewing gum to cosmetics. The 11 chemicals include Vinyl acetate, a carcinogen used as a base in chewing gum, and Cyclohexasiloxane. In the case of the synthetic chemicals belonging to the Cyclohexasiloxane family — D4, D5 and D6 — the government is proposing an additional step to ensure their virtual elimination from the environment.”
(7) from The Environmental Working Group: “The Cosmetics Database found PEG 100 Stearate to be a moderate to high hazard ingredient depending on usage. The EWG issues warnings regarding: cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, contamination concerns, irritation, and organ system toxicity.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Toxicology, PEGs (including PEG 100 Stearate) can contain harmful impurities, including: Ethylene Oxide, known to increase the incidences of uterine and breast cancers and of leukemia and brain cancer, according to experimental results reported by the National Toxicology Program; 1,4-dioxane, a known carcinogen; PAHs, known to increase the risk of breast cancer; lead; iron; and arsenic.
Products and formulas containing PEG 100 Stearate should not be used on broken or irritated skin. Although PEGs are considered safe for use topically on healthy skin, studies showed that patients suffering from severe burns were treated with PEG-based antimicrobial cream; this treatment resulted in kidney toxicity. "The PEG content of the antimicrobial cream was determined to be the causative agent. However, no evidence of systemic toxicity occurred in studies with intact skin. Because of the observation of kidney effects in burn patients, the CIR Expert Panel qualified their conclusion on the safety of the PEG ingredients to state that cosmetic formulations containing these ingredients should not be used on damaged skin (CosmeticsInfo.org)”.
(8) From www.truthinaging.com: “C13-14 Isoparaffin is a mixture of hydrocarbons (mineral oils) derived from petroleum (see (1 ) above), and is used in cosmetics and personal care products primarily as an emollient, and also considered a thickening agent or gelling ingredient”
(9)-a From www.lotionsecrets.com: “Phenoxyethanol is linked to cancer and in high doses it is linked to organ damage, developmental defects, brain and nervous system effects and is a skin allergen and irritant. It is not supposed to be used on the face and there are other emerging concerns according to cosmeticsdatabase.com”
(9)-b from www.truthinaging.com: “It (Phenoxyethanol) only recently came to public attention in the US when the FDA issued a warning about its use in a cream, called Mommy Bliss, for nursing mothers. The FDA warned that phenoxyethanol can cause shut down of the central nervous system, vomiting and contact dermatitis.”
(10)-a from lotionsecrets.com: “Triethanolamine - Skin irritant, skin sensitizer, eye irritant, respiratory irritant, asthma trigger, moderate evidence human immune system toxin, limited evidence human carcinogen, limited evidence organ toxin.”
(10)-b from the Environmental working group: (Triethanolamine) Concern: Human immune and respiratory toxicant or allergen - strong evidence (only for ) (Ref: Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics); Human skin toxicant or allergen - strong evidence (Ref: Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments.); Classified as expected to be toxic or harmful (Ref: Environment Canada Domestic Substance List); Classified as medium human health priority (Ref: Environment Canada Domestic Substance List); One or more animal studies show effects at moderate doses (low dose studies may be unavailable for this ingredient) (Ref: EPA Categorized List of Inert Pesticide Ingredients)"
(11)-a from lotionsecrets.com “ Polyacrylamide - This ingredient is highly toxic. It is a possible carcinogen. Further study is needed. It is extremely irritating to the skin and respiratory system. It is environmentally toxic to the air, soil and water. It is neuro-toxic and genotoxic to humans. Toxic to animals and fish. OSHA has added a skin notation to its PEL for acrylamide, indicating that workplace dermal exposure should be controlled. It soaks into skin immediately. It has no business in lotion.”
(11)-b from truthinaging.com “Polyacrylamide is a polymer that is formed from units of acrylamide, a known neurotoxin. However, Polyacrylamide itself is not considered to be toxic, but is a controversial ingredient because of its potential ability to secrete Acrylamide.
The Cosmetic Database finds Polyacrylamide to be a moderate hazard ingredient and notes multiple concerns, including neurotoxicity, organ system toxicity and data gaps. The biggest warning regarding the use of Polyacrylamide is the contamination concern and the presence of Acrylamide, a known toxin.
Acrylamide is rated by the EWG as a high hazard ingredient, at a 10, the highest level possible, due to cancer, developmental and reproductive toxicity, allergic reactions, organ system toxicity, neurotoxicity, irritation of the skin and eyes, and endocrine disruption, as well as bio-hazardous effects. Polyacrylamide is FDA and CIR approved, but to safeguard consumers, the CIR Expert Panel limits the potential Acrylamide levels that can be present in any product and established an upper limit of 5 ppm Acrylamide residues in cosmetics and personal care products, according to research.”
(12) from lotionsecrets.com: “Silicone derived emollients - "Silicone emollients are occlusive - that is they coat the skin, trapping anything beneath it, and do not allow the skin to breathe (much like plastic wrap would do.) Recent studies have indicated that prolonged exposure of the skin to sweat, by occlusion, causes skin irritation. Some synthetic emollients are known tumor promoters and accumulate in the liver and lymph nodes. They are also non-biodegradable, causing negative environmental impact. Dimethicone, Dimethicone Copolyol, Dimethiconol, Cyclomethicone etc. are all silicone derived emollients.”
(13) from Wikipedia: “Tetrasodium EDTA has been found to be an ecotoxin, however. "Widespread use of EDTA and its slow removal under many environmental conditions has led to its status as the most abundant anthropogenic compound in many European surface waters ... and has emerged as a persistent organic pollutant"
(14) from PubMed: “Contact Dermatitis. 2008 Sep;59(3):177-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2008.01387.x. Severe dermatitis mimicking deep vein thrombosis caused by hexyldecanol.”
(17)-a from truthinaging.com: “Stearic Acid is considered a low to moderate hazard ingredient by the Cosmetics Database, which notes concerns regarding cancer, and lesser concerns regarding neurotoxicity, organ toxicity and irritation. One or more animal studies showed brain and nervous system effects, respiratory effects and skin irritation at very low doses, and in vitro tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results (leading to its designation as a potential carcinogen).”
(17)-b from Environmental Working Group: “This ingredient (Stearic Acid ) may be derived from animals. From PETA's Caring Consumer: Fat from cows and sheep and from dogs and cats euthanized in animal shelters, etc. Most often refers to a fatty substance taken from the stomachs of pigs. Can be harsh, irritating.”
(18) from www.health-report.co.uk: “Imidazolidinyl urea - Releases formaldehyde, a carcinogenic chemical, into cosmetics at over 10°C. Toxic. See Formaldehyde.”
(19) It’s very difficult to find info on this specifically. The hazards for silane alone are tremendous, though I have no idea if the same risks are attached to Trimethylstearyloxy silane. The warnings for Silane can be found at www.sigmaaldrich.com.
(20)-a Note: I couldn’t find anything on how this ingredient reacted with other ingredients perhaps to negate the bad or how it performs topically. Did find this from sciencelab.com “Hexamethyldisiloxane ~ Potential Acute Health Effects: Hazardous in case of skin contact (irritant), of eye contact (irritant), of ingestion, of inhalation. Severe over-exposure can result in death. Skin Contact: In case of contact, immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Cover the irritated skin with an emollient. Wash clothing before reuse. Thoroughly clean shoes before reuse. Get medical attention immediately. Serious Skin Contact: Wash with a disinfectant soap and cover the contaminated skin with an anti-bacterial cream. Seek immediate medical attention. Inhalation: If inhaled, remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Get medical attention if symptoms appear”
(20)-b To be fair, I found a little more info on Hexamethyldisiloxane at www.clearcoproducts.com “Fastest evaporation rate of silicone (12) fluids, cosmetic grade.”