No one desires dry, scaly skin, unless maybe you’re a lizard living in the desert. If only we could go back to the days when we were babies and had the softest, supplest skin ever. Since we can’t travel back in time, we use lotions instead to moisturize our skin and keep it smooth.

Three Babies

What To Look Out For

The chemicals you want to be cautious of are phenoxyethanol, parabens, formaldehyde releasing preservatives, ceteareth-20, petrolatum (if not fully refined), PEG compounds, benzyl alcohol, ethanolamine compounds, and fragrance.

I wanted to take this opportunity to discuss phenoxyethanol, which is a preservative found in a ton of personal care products, like moisturizer, makeup, baby wipes and lotions, sunscreen, nail polish, and even ultrasound gel.

Magnifying Glass on Phenoxyethanol

The biggest headline phenoxyethanol made was back in 2008. You probably heard about it if you were a new mom at the time. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned people not to buy Mommy’s Bliss Nipple Cream because it contained two potentially harmful ingredients, one of which was phenoxyethanol.

Phenoxyethanol has the potential to depress the central nervous system and cause vomiting or diarrhea in nursing infants. The FDA advised consumers to seek medical attention if they had difficulty awakening their infant or if they noticed a decrease in appetite, limpness of extremities, or change in skin color. That’s pretty scary stuff! Luckily, there were no reports of injuries to infants. The product no longer exists.

Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream

What other products use phenoxyethanol?

Strangely enough, companies still utilize phenoxyethanol in products marketed specifically for babies, like lotions, sunscreens, wipes, and soaps. Just to give you a couple examples, it’s found in Aveeno Baby sunscreen, Babyganics Moisturizing Daily Lotion, and Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Shampoo & Wash (what a tongue twister!). Although these products aren’t intended to be eaten, unfortunately babies don’t know any better. They put plenty of things in their mouth, like maybe a freshly moisturized hand.

Takeaway Message

If you are a parent, you may want to be a little more cautious of phenoxyethanol in leave-on baby products. Lecture your baby on the dangers of phenoxyethanol (I kid). As for the general population, we may want to avoid phenoxyethanol in products used on the lips. Otherwise, it’s a relatively safe preservative with regard to long-term health effects. Here are my recommendations for the best lotions without phenoxyethanol.

The Best Lotion & Moisturizer I Like

Andalou Naturals Body Lotion, Best Lotion & Moisturizer

Andalou Naturals Body Lotion

Why I Like It: Their body lotions are super moisturizing and come in divine scents like aloe mint, rose, lavender thyme, and citrus verbena. They are non-GMO, paraben and sulfate free, cruelty free, and vegan.


Acure Body Lotion, Best Lotion & Moisturizer

Acure Body Lotion

Why I Like It: I was going to recommend the Acure baby lotion for all you babies out there, but unfortunately it got bad reviews regarding the scent. I’ve tried the Acure ultra-hydrating body lotion myself. I think it’d work great for babies since the ingredients are gentle and most are organic; plus, there’s no added scent. Otherwise, if you’re not a baby, it also comes in mandarin orange, lemongrass, and calming lavender. The preservative they use is potassium sorbate, which is a safe food-grade preservative.


100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream, Best Lotion & Moisturizer

100% Pure Nourishing Body Cream

Why I Like It: Their body creams come in a variety of scents, like pink grapefruit, honey almond, blood orange, and eucalyptus. It’s a highly nourishing cream without any synthetic chemicals or artificial fragrances. They also formulated an extra gentle baby lotion without perfumes or chemical preservatives.


100% Pure Hand Lotion

100% Pure Hand Lotion

Why I Like It: Same with their body cream, the hand lotion gives your skin plenty of hydration and nourishment. Comes in 8 great scents!

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