Test: Does your moisturizer contain unwanted chemicals?

6. mar 2019

Moisturizing face creams may contain unwanted substances which for example are suspected of being endocrine disrupting.

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Test: Does your moisturizer contain unwanted chemicals?
Photo: The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals

Test: Moisturizers can contain unwanted chemicals

Moisturizing face creams can contain unwanted chemicals, shows a test from The Danish Consumer Council THINK Chemicals.  The test examined the ingredient lists of 24 moisturizers on the Danish market with price tags above 100 Danish kroner (13.40 Euros).

In the test 4 brands receive the best assessment for being without unwanted chemicals such as suspected endocrine disruptors. Moisturizers with the top assessment in the test are also without perfume and substances which may be harmful to the environment for example Limonene, Disodium EDTA and Cyclohexasiloxane.

See the test with product pictures (link to test in Danish)

Unwanted chemicals: Content of fluorinated substance is problematic

A moisturizer in the test from Lancôme contains a fluorinated substance (PTFE). That is a substance, which for example is used to make rainwear waterproof.

Fluorinated substances are detrimental to the environment because they accumulate in nature. They are also under suspicion of affecting health.

Moisturizing face creams can also contain other substances which are suspected of being endocrine disrupting (BHT and parabens). These substances also trigger the lowest assessment in the test.

Cocktail effect: Accumulated exposure may be problematic

Endocrine disrupting substances do not constitute a health risk because you find it in a single moisturizer.

However, you can be exposed to problematic chemicals from many sources in your everyday life. Therefore it is a good idea to minimize your exposure when possible.

These problematic substances were found in the test

The moisturizing face creams receive the following assessments in the test:

  • 4 products receive the top mark in the test (A-flask). These are without problematic ingredients.
  • 15 products receive the average test score (B-flask). This is for example due to content of perfume.
  • 5 products get the lowest mark in the test (C-flask). This is for example because of substances which are suspected of being endocrine disrupting.

These problematic substances trigger a C-flask:

  • BHT is a suspected endocrine disruptor. It was found in 2 products, Clinique Moisture surge hydrator and Estee Lauder DayWear 24H-Moisture creme SPF15.
  • Parabens are suspected of being endocrine disrupting. Parabens were found in 3 products, Elizabeth Arden Visible difference refining moisture cream complex, Lancôme Genifique youth activating cream and L´Oreal Age perfect golden age Day Cream.
  • PTFE is a fluorinated substance, which is also used in non-stick-coating on pans and in rainwear to make it waterproof. Fluorinated substances are detrimental to the environment and also suspected of affecting health. PTFE was found in Lancôme Genifique youth activating cream.
  • Cyclohexasiloxane is a substance which is problematic for the environment. It accumulates in nature and is on EU’s list of substances of high concern. The substance was found in 2 products, L´Oreal Age perfect golden age Day Cream and Lancôme Genifique youth activating cream

See the test with product pictures (link to test in Danish)