Moisturizers Up Skin Cancer in Mice. So what?

WebMD Health News is reporting that four commonly used moisturizers promoted skin cancers in mouse studies. The moisturizers tested in the study were Dermabase, Dermovan (a wholesale-only product discontinued in 2006), Eucerin Original Moisturizing Cream, and Vanicream.

My Take?

Five days a week, for 17 weeks, the researchers rubbed moisturizer into the animals’ skin. The result?

Dermabase increased the total number of tumors by 69%.

Dermovan increased the total number of tumors by 95%.

Eucerin increased the total number of tumors by 24%.

Vanicream increased the total number of tumors by 58%.

But, the $64,000 question is, what about humans?

And, the answer is … drum roll please .. we simply do not know.

Although the findings are interesting, they simply many not apply to humans.


Drugs that have been implicated in growth in animals in the past do not always have similar effects in humans.

The bottom line?

Protect yourself from continuous UVB and UVA light that may lead to skin cancer by practicing good sun protection and sunscreen use in the first place.

And, until there is more research, feel comfortable with skin moisturizers – especially those with sun protection added.

As one dermatologist says, “As we get older, our skin gets drier. We need to moisturize, otherwise our skin gets dry and we get eczema, dermatitis, rashes, and so on. It is too soon to say from this study people should stop moisturizing.”


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