A few years back a friend gave me a bottle of corn husker lotion as a joke about me growing up in Nebraska. After letting it sit for a few months I finally decided to give it a shot, and I was pleasantly surprised. With a somewhat sweet scent, this oil free lotion starts off with an almost sticky texture, soaking into my skin, and making it soft as ever. I typically use it as a quick fix for my dry feet; I’ll mix it with a few drop of peppermint oil and coat my feet in this mixture, throw a pair of socks on and have soft skin in almost no time. However, after scanning my bottle on the Think Dirty app and seeing a surprise rating of 10 (!!) I was extremely curious as to what makes this lotion I’ve been using for years so “dirty”.
The ingredients on the bottle are, as listed: water, glycerin, SD alcohol 40-B, oleoyl sarcosine, algin, calcium alginate, methylparaben, cyamopsis tetragonoloba (guar) gum, triethanolamine, sucrose, fragrance, calcium sulfate, boric acid, fumaric acid, calcium chloride. The trigger ingredients for the chemically clean crowd being; methylparaben, fragrance and boric acid.
According to LiveStrong.com “boric acid is found in many items from insecticide to cosmetics. Cosmetic use typically is for its antimicrobial properties”. I.e. the insecticide is included to kill or hinder the growth of harmful microorganisms. Boric acid is created from sulfuric acid and natural borax. According to the Think Dirty. app, boric acid can be a possibly harmful reproduction toxin, and may cause skin irritation towards sensitive skin. A product containing 0.01-1.0% is considered safe for consumer use. Due to it’s low stance in the ingredient list, I would assume that boric acid is present in very low concentration and safe for use in this product.
If you follow the cosmetic industry you know the bad light that has been shed on parabens and their use in products. Milady’s Skin Care & Cosmetic Ingredients Dictionary lists methylparaben as “one of the most frequently used preservatives because of its low sensitizing potential” (pg. 191). As a preservative, methylparaben is used to fight off bacteria, molds and fungals in products. Essentially this makes the lotion last for a long time without going bad, which in my case worked out nicely because I’ve owned the same bottle for too many years than I’d like to admit. The use of many parabens together in one product has been sited to be a toxin towards the body. However, methylparaben is most notable due to it’s possibly link with breast cancer.
The final trigger ingredient is fragrance. While I am skeptical about claims being made about various cosmetic ingredients, the ones involving fragrance are ones that I can get behind. The main issue with the listing of fragrance on labels is that there is no regulation on what exactly fragrance is. According to CampaignforSafeCosmetics.com “Fragrance is defined by the FDA as a combination of chemicals that gives each perfume or cologne its distinct scent”. This statement alone shows why fragrance can be a sketchy ingredient to include. Because of the low regulations on cosmetics in the United States, companies are not required to list what is included in their product. Meaning that the term “fragrance” can include a wide variety of different chemicals. Since every company will have their own special formulation one could not run specific tests as to how this ingredient will affect a consumer. Consumers with extremely sensitive skin will want to stay away from products with fragrance listed as an ingredient, especially involving skin care products. In the case of Corn Husker lotion, fragrance is listed quite lowly, and the scent is very mild, making this, from my knowledge, safe for consumers.
Well, I feel like I’ve exhausted the chemistry portion of this post quite a bit, so I’ll get to my review. While I’ve been using corn husker lotion for years I’ve never found myself recommending this product to any of my friends. But I’ve also never stopped using it. So overall I’d say this is a great, light-weight and oil free product for anyone looking for a quick acting lotion.
If anyone’s tried out corn husker lotion before leave a comment below with your opinion! I’d love to hear!!