June Junk Claim #2: Aveeno Not So Natural

June Junk Claim #2 is Aveeno’s claim that “all of [its] products come from nature.”

Okay, so June Junk Claim #2 isn’t a specific product claim as discussed in the post for June Junk Claim #1. June Junk Claim #1 addressed Josie Maran Cosmetics’ false claim that the line’s Argan Mascara is petrochemical free.

But I wanted to talk about Aveeno. The Aveeno claims really bother me because people believe that the products are all natural.

So, Aveeno markets itself as using the science of Active Naturals, which are ingredients derived from nature and uniquely formulated by Aveeno to optimize skin’s health and beauty. Aveeno’s tag line is “that’s the beauty of nature + science.” And there is a little box on the website that states “all of our products come from nature.”

So the problem with the claim that its ingredients are “derived from nature” is that most of us picture flowers and herbs and similar items when we hear that the ingredients are derived from nature. We don’t picture petroleum derived ingredients. And there’s the rub. The claim that the products are “natural” or “derived from nature” has no legal or regulatory meaning. It means whatever the company wants, including long decayed organic matter (petroleum).

Aveeno has a reputation for being natural with a lot of parents and it isn’t deserved. If you buy the products because you like the smell or they work well, that’s great. But if you buy the products because you think that the ingredients are all natural, you might want to reconsider. Let’s look at the ingredients of Aveeno Baby Soothing Relief Moisture Cream, described as naturally soothing and hypoallergenic. The ingredients are:

Water, Glycerin, Petrolatum, Mineral Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Flour (Oat), Carbomer, Sodium Hydroxide, Ceteareth 6, Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Hydrolyzed Oats, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, PEG 25 Soy Sterol, Tetrasodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Benzalkonium Chloride Solution, Benzaldehyde, Butylene Glycol, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Ethyl Alcohol, Isobutylparaben, Phenoxyethanol, Propylparaben, Stearyl Alcohol

So, petrolatum and mineral oil are derived from petroleum. And while that is natural, it isn’t what you expect, is it?

Cetearyl alcohol can come from vegetable sources, or can be synthetically derived. Without more information, it is hard to say how natural it is.

Dimethicone belongs to a group of polymeric organosilicon compounds popuarly referred to as silicones.

Ceteareth 6 is a polyoxyethylene ester where the “6″ indicates the average number of ethylene oxide residues in the polyethylene chain. To get ceteareth 6, ethylene oxide is used, which is derived from ethylene, which is derived from petroleum. Notably, because ethoxylation is used to derive ceteareth 6, it can be contaminated with the carcinogen 1,4 dioxane. 1,4 dioxane won’t appear on the ingredient list because it is a by product of manufacturing and is a contaminant, not an intentional ingredient.

Butylene glycol is derived from petroleum.

The production of phenoxyethanol involves ethylene oxide, which is derived from petroleum.

The various parabens in the product are synthetically produced. While some parabens are found in nature, all commerically used parabens are synthetically produced. And parabens are a group of compounds that many choose to avoid in products. One reason is that parabens have been detected in breast tumors, although no link between the topical use of paraben containing products and breast cancer has been found. Parabens do mimic estrogen, however. And, parabens can cause skin irritation and contact dermatitis in those with paraben allergies, which is at odds with the claim that the product is hypoallergenic.

Okay, so I think that advertising that pushes the natural basis for the Aveeno products is junk. And before you decide that it doesn’t really matter because the FDA makes sure that the products sold in the US are safe, think again. The FDA does not approve or evaluate cosmetic ingredients for safety before they are sold even thought most of us think that the FDA does undertake such a review.

If you want a more natural, soothing cream designed for baby, try Earth Mama Angel Baby’s Angel Baby Lotion.  (Yes, I’m an affiliate but this link is not an affiliate link.) Or  Weleda’s Calendula Baby Cream. Or erbaviva’s Baby Lotion.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

Comments

  1. I hate the whole “derived from” wording. Vodka is derived from potatoes, but that doesn’t make it potatoes nor mean it carries the same safety or health rating. It’s just crap.

  2. white adder says:

    The broadest meaning of the word “natural” can be applied. Synthetically-produced compounds are natural because they can exist within the physics of our universe. The origin of the compound is irrelevant to its nature. Only compounds which cannot physically exist are non-natural. Everything else, regardless of origin, is natural.

    Devil’s advocate :)

  3. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

  4. LK says:

    Thank you SO much for this article! Now I’m going to look for Ceteareth 6 before purchasing any product for my son.

  5. Dennis says:

    excellent! thank you for saying so… aveeno is garbage loaded with harmful chemicals and preservatives.

  6. Arlene Wise says:

    I say your product is made under false claims! It is not all natural! I am alleregic to all Petroleum products and cannot find any without any type parabens in it. Be honestfor people like me who must avoid certain products for this reason, Arlene.

  7. Sadie says:

    thank you, confirmed what I though from reading the ingredients list. what a con

  8. janice says:

    I bought their “natural” face wash last month and the only “natural” result I got was an ugly rash that has left my face red and itchy, not to mention blotchy.

  9. ramona says:

    aveeno / j&j are the worst product . i had bad reaction to and also its made by johnson and johnsons whos products are constatly harming people and being sued, including blinding babies with their “gentle shampoo”

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45111139/ns/health-childrens_health/t/activists-call-boycott-johnson-johnson-over-chemicals-baby-shampoo/

  10. Cathy Degenstien says:

    Have been using aveeno lotion for over 25 years. Never thought that the aveeno I was using everyday for years could be the reason I developed cancer on my kidneys and am on dialysis for 13 years!!!

Speak Your Mind

*