All-Natural Ingredients?

I recently bought a new bottle of my favourite moisturizer. I like it because it is not tested on animals and it contains 100% natural ingredients.

I am not a certified tree-hugger, but I like the idea of not slathering myself in chemicals and artificial colours and scents. And the vanilla fragrance is to die for!!

I have been reading a lot about ingredients in skincare lately. To make great products, it makes sense to do your research.

With my new-found knowledge, I pulled out my bottle of moisturizer and searched out the ingredient list.

After digging out a magnifying glass to read the teeny tiny words, I saw mineral oil, triethanolamine (pH adjuster), dimethicone (a skin lubricant and conditioner), phenoxyethanol (a preservative) and fragrance.

Huh? A bit of googling led me to discover that these ingredients are indeed natural (so is motor oil, but I don't really want to moisturize with it). They are also toxic and known carcinogens.

Yes, they are poisonous and cancer-causing. Exposure to these substances has been known to cause allergic reactions, organ system toxicity, irritation to skin, eyes and lungs, and immune system toxicity. Even my beloved vanilla fragrance is a secret recipe of who-knows-what chemical, synthetic ingredients. Yikes! (Check out the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database at to see for yourself).

Food guru Michael Pollan recommends that we “avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.” Solid advice. I think we should take this same logic and apply it to the products we smear on our bodies. If we can't pronounce it, we shouldn't use it. Indeed.

- Lori

Savon du Bois
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