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mommy's bliss nipple cream

FDA warning on phenoxyethanol

Reviewed by Marta June 4, 2013 57 Comments

Last week the FDA issued a consumer warning against a nipple cream called Mommy's Bliss. Personally, I thought the name alone was enough to merit banning it. Still, as my husband pointed out, the ingredients that the FDA doesn't like in Mommy's Bliss may turn up in other products as well and so this morning I dug out the FDA's press release. I could hardly believe my eyes. One of the offending ingredients is phenoxyethanol.

Regular visitors to Truth In Aging will know that phenoxyethanol is a very common cosmetic preservative. It seems to be in just about everything I review and I usually point out that it can be a potential irritant. In Europe, many products go out of their way to say they don't contain in. This is what the FDA has to say about it:

"Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that is primarily used in cosmetics and medications. It also can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea".

The second ingredient in Mommy's Bliss is one that I came across only yesterday in Zirh Platinum PM Rescue. It is called chlorphenesin. The FDA says it can depress the central nervous system as well as cause dermatitis.

I know that potion makers are going to write in and tell me that these ingredients are used only in minute and, therefore, safe doses. well, what we'd like to know is exactly what concentrations you are using with independent clinical evidence to back up claims of safety.

For more information on safe skin care read our article on skincare ingredients to avoid and safe alternatives.

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  • August 24, 2016

    by Lily

    It's pretty obvious that the warning on nipple cream - which is used by breastfeeding moms - is because the ingredient is likely to be ingested on a daily basis by a tiny infant. Daily ingestion by a tiny human weighing less than 30lbs is a much different situation than an adult using it on their skin. Many ingredients that are fine to use on your skin - even 100% natural ones like tea tree oil - can be toxic if you ingest it.

  • March 3, 2016

    by Shelley

    I used a Brauer Arnicaeze,Arnica cream last night in back and legs . I am allergic to,ots of preservatives , had a dreadful night. Full allergic reaction, no rash
    Just heart banging and waves of terror, headache and loose bowels all night. Saw in tiny print that Phenoxyethanol 0.9 percent was in the cream as a preservative. This is a new one to me.

  • February 26, 2016

    by Marta

    Thanks Yevgeny. It appears the FDA had archived the press release. I found it and the link now goes straight to it.

  • February 25, 2016

    by Yevgeny

    The warning against the nipple cream pertains to infants and only if ingested orally. Many ingredients, not just Phenoxyethanol, can cause nausea and diarrhea if swallowed. Even your most common 'healthy' ingredients and natural oils. Phenoxyethanol in skin care (applied onto skin and not swallowed) for adults is a different story and there have not been any direct links to side effects caused by this preservative. Just a thought.

  • February 25, 2016

    by Yevgeny

    Your link to the FDA page is not functioning.

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