Moisturizers' Hidden Risks

We're not about to give up our favorite moisturizers, but after reviewing a couple recent studies, we may never look at them the same way.

A dissertation presented at the University of Sweden has confirmed what some have always suspected: some face creams actually make skin drier. Specifically, the dryness occurred in normal skin at the molecular level, regardless of the creams' pH. Creams containing vegetable or mineral oil even made skin less able to cope with environmental stress.

Scarier yet are the findings of a Rutgers study. Four common moisturizers, including Eucerin, promoted skin cancer in mice. The mice had already been exposed to UV light twice a week for 20 weeks. When the creams were then applied five days a week for 17 weeks, their tumors increased by 24% to 95%.

Of course, men aren't mice and not all creams will throw off your skin's hydration levels. However, both studies should have manufacturers thinking seriously about performing more extensive tests before bringing a moisturizer to the market.