since derma-e discontinued our beloved, acne-safe body lotion, we’ve been trying to find an acne-safe substitute until the one we are formulating passes the development and stability testing stages.
MARKET RESEARCH RESULTS
it’s surprisingly difficult to find body lotions that don’t have any clogging ingredients. i spent 45 minutes in the body lotion aisle at whole foods one day, and found only 2 or 3 lotions that seemed ok – but they still had fragrances in them that needed to be researched and tested. (if i can find those pics, ill update this post and upload them). all lotions i looked at at places like walgreen’s or target were heavy on these ingredients too.
the problematic ingredients i kept running into included:
- coconut oil
- cocoa butter
- high concentrations of olive oil, grapeseed oil or argan oil
- cetearyl alcohol AND ceteareth-20
- ethylhexyl palmitate
- glyceryl stearate SE
THEN, if the formula didn’t include any of the above, our old tricky friend fragrance was the questionable ingredient remaining. (read here about fragrance, if you don’t already know). if a fragrance is derived from an essential oil it should be acne-safe. BUT, if the fragrance is synthetic, the odds are that that fragrance is going to cause some trouble. then, to make things even more complicated, many manufacturers will combine both essential oil and synthetic fragrances. so, we can ask the companies what exactly is IN the fragrance. and, if they are willing to disclose that info (most aren’t) and the ingredients seem safe, then we’d put that product through the live-body-testing: finding acne-safe-lifestyle compliant clients who happen to be acne-prone on their body but are now clear, and have them test the lotion for at least 3-6 months. it’s imperative that they meet these criteria, so that we can isolate any new breakouts to the product in question.
quick tip: synthetic vs essential oil fragrance
a fragrance is more likely to be essential oil derived if: 1. the manufacturer is a ‘natural, hippy’ brand and 2. the scent comes from an actual flower or plant, like lavender, rose or peppermint.
but, if the product you’re checking out is fragranced from things that don’t readily come abundantly fragrant from nature, like ‘marshmallow pumpkin latte’, ‘strawberries and champagne’, it’s very VERY likely that the fragrance is synthetic, and can break you out or cause skin irritation.
WHAT WE FOUND
shea butter seems to be the most abundantly and easily found moisturizer to date. it’s not the best at moisturizing, takes a long time for the skin to absorb (so you’re left greasy for a little while until then) and some may not like the inherent shea butter scent. but, we found that this combined with safflower and/or sunflower oil, if extra moisture is needed, is the best bet.
alaffia’s ‘shea moisturizing body lotion’ in the 8oz, clear plastic bottle pump bottle is the one that we’ve been using in clinic. you can find it on amazon prime for $12.50!
the ingredients for this one should be:
camelia sinensis (green tea) aqueous extract, rubus idaeus (raspberry) aqueous extract, butyrospermum parkii (shea) butter*, emulsifying wax, glycerin stearic acid, potassium sorbate, ascorbic acid, d-limonene.
BE AWARE that whole foods carries another alaffia shea butter body lotion called ‘everyday shea fair trade shea butter body lotion’ but it has red palm oil in it, which we have not tested so we don’t know if it’s safe, and dr. fulton’s team doesn’t have a definitive word on it either. we would rather you stick with the unscented version, and of course, avoid the coconut oil scented one at all costs. you can find this in lavender, vanilla and unscented on amazon for $14.50.
the ingredients for this one are:
lemongrass (cymbopogon citratus) extract (aqueous), shea leaf (butyrospermum parkii) extract (aqueous), handcrafted shea butter (butyrospermum parkii) certified fair trade, vegetable emulsifying wax, palm stearic acid, red palm oil (elaeis guineensis), essential oils (scented versions only), phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, limonene, ascorbic acid.
it’s a much larger 32oz bottle and its also much cheaper – if you do end up trying it out, please let us know how it works and if you stay clear with it! TRY AT YOUR OWN RISK!
sS body lotion update
so we’ve finally gotten a formula we like, and doesn’t seem to clog (we are still testing this). we are now testing it’s healing abilities, as we’ve added some ingredients to help with itching and redness, as we are intending it for use post-body peel. we know it absorbs well, smells neutral.. we just need to see how it does with itching and healing. once we approve the formula, it will undergo 3 months of stability testing (to make sure it’s shelf stable and bacteria, etc don’t grow). we hope to have it ready to launch in spring 2016!