A Fly in the Ointment? Ingredients you can do without!

7 February 2013


We are getting used to checking our food labels for added nasties; 'no artificial colours or preservatives,' is becoming a selling point for many products, as people pay more and more attention to what they are eating.

Although there has been some mainstream press about potential problem ingredients in beauty products it is still not as advertised as perhaps it should be. As for the ingredients in skin products endorsed by Doctors, would you even think about checking those? As a recent study, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, shows we might need to start paying closer attention to all our labels.

Many people are familiar with Aqueous Cream BP, it is distributed by most chemists, supermarkets and beauty and health retailers. It has also long been recommended by Doctors as a cheap emollient to soothe irritated skin, moisturise dry, chapped skin and for conditions such as eczema. It has provoked a 'stinging' sensation in many patients, children and adults but this was always thought to be due to a preservative or antiseptic in the cream. A study in children showed that 56% experienced this stinging sensation.

Tests and studies have now shown that one of the ingredients, a detergent, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) has actually been found to reduce the thickness of healthy skin by more than 10% in just four weeks and instead of preventing the loss of fluid in the skin it is actually increasing water loss. Professor Richard Guy, professor of pharmaceutical sciences at Bath, who led the research, said that the cream was more likely to aggravate the itchy rash that afflicts eczema sufferers.

Avicenna prides itself on providing natural creams that are free from SLS, parabens and other ingredients with irritant effects such as the preservative chlorocresol and the antimicrobial phenoxyethanol. Zi Cao Shui Gao was originally formulated as an all over body moisturiser for eczema sufferers to smooth, soften and soothe their skin but is increasingly being used by many as their daily facial and neck moisturiser! Apart from the prescribed medicalised creams for specific conditions, Avicenna also makes a highly enriched Vitamin E moisturiser. This rich and creamy moisturiser was specially developed for dry and sensitive skin and is particularly well tolerated by people who are sensitive to most creams on the market. Please don't hesitate to contact the clinic for any further information on our creams.