This Popular Moisturizer Applied to Mice for 17 Weeks Got 69% More Tumors Posted By Dr. Mercola
PreviousNextA study has found that topical applications of moisturizers such as Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, or Vanicream could increase skin cancer risk.
Irradiated mice who were treated with the moisturizers exhibited a significant increase in their rate of tumor formation and increase in tumor size per mouse. Treatment of the mice with Dermabase, Dermovan, Eucerin, or Vanicream for 17 weeks increased the total number of histologically characterized tumors by 69 percent.
According to the study, as reported by Green Med Info:
"The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications of moisturizing creams ... in humans."
This also applies to tanning oils and lotions—which many of you may be using right now with summer in full swing—as well as the baby oil or lotion that many parents unwittingly slather on their babies.
Green Med Info
The Journal of Investigative Dermatology February 2009: 129(2):468-75
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
Many skin lotions, creams and oils contain mineral oil, as do many tanning products. Mineral oil may sound safe enough, but… it's not.
Mineral oil is actually a derivative of petroleum, the same stuff you put in your car's engine. Because it's very viscous (slippery), many products use mineral oil as the main ingredient, as it allows the lotion to be spread easily across your skin. This despite the fact that it's a known carcinogen!
It's also comedogenic which means it blocks your pores and your skin's natural respiration process. Blocked pores can lead to blackheads and pimples. And, because mineral oil can create an impenetrable film on your skin, it may also block the absorption of any beneficial ingredients that might exist in the product.
Moisturizing Creams with Mineral Oil Can be Tumorigenic
The featured study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, found that commonly used moisturizing creams containing mineral oil are tumorigenic when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. What this means is that these creams and lotions can increase the rate at which skin tumors form. The study tested four common skin lotions:
•Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream
What these creams have in common is that they all contain mineral oil. Mice that were at high risk of developing skin cancer received a topical application of 100 mg of one of the creams once a day, five days a week for 17 weeks. The researchers concluded that the rate of tumor formation significantly increased, as did the tumor size per mouse. In fact, the number of histologically characterized tumors increased by a whopping 69 percent!
According to the authors:
"The results indicate that several commercially available moisturizing creams increase the rate of formation and number of tumors when applied topically to UVB-pretreated high-risk mice. Further studies are needed to determine the effects of topical applications of moisturizing creams on sunlight-induced skin cancer in humans."
Watch Out for Tanning Oils Containing Mineral Oil!
In light of the potential tumorigenic effects effect of mineral oil on UVB-exposed skin, it stands to reason that this is NOT an ingredient you want in your suntan lotion or tanning oil. However, that's just what you'll find in many tanning products. Unfortunately, just because you don't see it on the label, it doesn't mean it's not in there. Mineral oil has countless different names, but each has the same effect... one you'll want to stay away from!
Alternate names include:
Adepsine oil Albolene Drakeol
Lignite oil Liquid paraffin / paraffin oil Mineral seal oil
Petrolatum White oil Baby oil