Summer has been rough on my feet. Beyond rough—it’s been plain cruel. And even though I would love to wear sandals well into fall, I often don’t want people to see just how bad my heels look. In and around my constant moisturizing regimen with the various lotions I have on hand, I have found a wonderful solution. Derma e’s Cracked Skin Relief Crème is a blend of herbs and vitamins that keeps my heels soft and ready for flip flop season.
First let’s take a look at everything that derma e uses in their skin relief cream.
Water (Aqua), Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Laurus Nobilis (Bay Leaf) Oil, Glycerin, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Flower Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate and Peg-100 Stearate, Stearic Acid, Allantoin, Panthenol, Dimethicone, Polysorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), *Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A), Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract (0.1%), Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil (0.1%), Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Sorbate
The bold ingredients in this list scored between a 3 and 4 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, sparking low-moderate concern, except for retinyl palmitate. Retinyl palmitate was ranked in the red zone at an 8 concern.
In general, Mother Earth Living advises you to avoid body-care products that use this ingredient. Although retinyl palmitate (a form of vitamin A) is rich in antioxidants and anti-aging properties, it may be more sensitive to sun and is susceptible to risks such as sunburns and skin cancers. Studies show that high doses of retinoids (the class retinol is part of) may be harmful to children in utero and nursing infants, so don’t use if you’re pregnant. With this in mind, I feel comfortable recommending this specific product, even with the use of retinyl palmitate (except to pregnant women and nursing mothers). Beauty experts say you should avoid this ingredient in daytime skin products such as anti-aging moisturizers or sunscreens, as its risks are associated with sun sensitivity. This specific product—which works best when applied at night before going to bed—is a cream for feet, an area of the body that does not enjoy a lot of attention from the sun.
Here’s what derma e had to say about their use of retinyl palmitate:
"Over the course of many years, derma e has in fact reviewed a vast array of scientific research in support of the topical benefits of vitamin A retinyl palmitate balanced with the isolated few emerging tests that raise questions as to this ingredient’s safety."
"The net amount of retinyl palmitate contained in the derma e Cracked Skin Relief Crème is in the low single digits as a percentage of the total formula. And the Cracked Skin Relief Crème does not contain SPF. Hence, the risk of hazard is reduced to virtually zero."
"None of our SPF formulas contain retinyl palmitate. That being stated, we absolutely stand behind the safety and efficacy of our all our skin-care formulas because we have independent clinical tests conducted to verify their non-irritating, non-sensitizing nature."
Now that I’ve made you cautious, rest assured that I wouldn’t be recommending this product if it didn’t really, really work. I am in love with this cream—the results speak for themselves. My skin underwent noticeable changes, making me feel completely confident to wear my new wedge sandals in public. What’s more, a little goes a long way! I apply the cream to my feet nightly before tucking them into a pair of socks and going to sleep. This non-greasy cream smells heavily of clove essential oil, a natural antiseptic that is commonly used to treat wounds and heal fungal infections. Its formula also includes arnica extract, a homeopathic herb that is used to treat sore muscles. Treat your feet to this cream a couple of times a week to score perfect-looking feet.
For a 2-ounce jar of this cream, find it at a store near you or buy it online for $14. They sell derma e products at my local co-op, and believe me when I say I will be going there to snag a jar when my current one finally runs out.
Gina DeBacker is the associate editor at Mother Earth Living. She loves that part of her job entails testing beauty products enriched with natural ingredients.
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