Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jergens Refresh Ingredients

Instead of listing every single ingredient off of the bottle, I will just put on the ones that were flagged*.  That way, you can look for them in your next purchase and hopefully avoid them. 
  • Menthol - an alcohol, known for its drying properties in the skin.  It's weird that this is in here because it is counterproductive to all of the conditioning agents that are added to slow the loss of water from the skin such as glyceryl stearate and myristyl myristate.  So for some, it may dehydrate the skin.  It also penetrates the skin and sometimes carry with it other chemical compounds.
  • Cyclopentasiloxane - been shown in 1 or more animal test studies to cause tumor formation, endocrine disruption, and skin irritation @ moderate doses.  ( the silver lining - if any - is that it's what gives the lotion a smooth, silky feel to it!
  • Ceteareth-20 - shown in 1 or more animal studies brain and nervous system effects and skin irritation at low doses. (
  • PEG-100 stearate - 1 0r more animal studies show tumor formation @ moderate doses.  Endocrine system disruption @ high doses, reproductive effects @ high doses, skin irritation @ very low doses. 
  • Trideceth-9 - 1 0r more animal studies show liver effects @ high doses and also skin irritation. 
  • Propylene Glycol - penetrates the skin quickly to retain moisture content.  However, when it does this it weakens the protein and cellular structure of the skin.  EPA warns factory workers to avoid skin contact to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities.  This can also be found in tire sealant, de-icer, degreaser, and wallpaper stripper.  Known health effects: throat irritation, headache, backache, kidney problems, oedema (swelling).  Found in many skin "firming" lotions.
  • Caprylyl glycol - often used as a preservative.  Potentially irritating and harmful to the skin. 
  • 1,2-hexanediol - usually used in conjunction with cap..gly...mentioned above.
  • Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer - a.k.a. polyacrylic acid, it's used as a thickener.  In it's pure form, it can be flammable and a carcinogen.  It corrodes many metals, injured lungs, livers and kidneys in animals.
  • Hydrogenated cottonseed oil - one of the cheapest oils on the market for skincare it is used to save money and it's hydrogenated to prolong shelf life.  This is a stretch, but since it's made from cotton and cotton is a crop sprayed by pesticides, if it's not filtered properly the oil may be full of pesticides too.  Sensitive skin may break out with this ingredient. 
  • Sodium hydroxide - very strong chemical, a.k.a. lye and caustic soda. Even diluted solutions of this are caustic (able to burn or corrode organic tissue by chemical action) and can easily burn skin, cause damage to eyes if it comes in contact with them or other mucous membranes.  Can be found in many industrial solvents and cleaners, including flooring stripping products, brick cleaners and cements. 
  • Fragrance - gives lotion a pleasant scent but can also cause allergic reaction if your system is sensitive to smells.
  • DMDM hydantoin - a preservative that contains formaldehyde.  Which is a known irritant and potential carcinogen (a substance capable of causing cancer in living tissue)
  • Phenoxyethanol - a synthetic alcohol preservative.  Leading dermatological associations consider them to be the #1 cause of contact dermatitis.
  • Ethylhexylglycerin - say it 10 times fast...preservative and known irritant.

So here are just a few ingredients exposed for their insensitivity to our sensitive skins.  There are many, many, more that I am sure we will eventually get around to talking about also.  Just recently, I came across a list that had over 100 harmful ingredients!  My reading list just gets longer and longer as the days go by.  No worries!  Just stay healthy & safe.

* all info. was obtained from, and

Next Review coming Monday the 12th of 2009: bodycology fresh waters foaming bath & shower gel!
                                                        Bodycology Body Lotion, White Gardenia
Music: Israel Kamakawiwo 'Ole Somewhere Over the Rainbow. Beautiful version.  Sadly he died @ age 38 due to weight-related respiratory illness in Hawaii in '97. 769 lbs. on 6'2" frame.


Amber said...

Hi Lynn. I have been off line for a week or so, so it is nice to meet you.
I am attempting to buy cruelty free as much as possible which means finding decent and affordable replacements for some favorite products. I just do not see a need beyond company greed for torturing innocent little beings. So perhaps you provide info on that? I will keep watch.

Lynn said...

Amber, thanks for this. I didn't (unfortunately) think to cross reference these products against animal testing standards. The Jergens clearly stated "No Animal Testing", but I didn't look yet for the bodycology. It got me looking around and I found this great site that can help you definitely with your search: I will try and remember to include this in my reviews from now on for others who are concerned about this. Thanks again.

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