Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion is a very basic body lotion that's an OK option for dry skin, but because of the strong, lingering fragrance Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion has, it earns only an average rating.
Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion comes in two sizes: The smaller of the two has a flip-top cap, the larger comes with a pump-style dispenser. Both are opaque, which is great news for protecting the ingredients inside from light and air. The formula itself feels very moisturizing on dry skin thanks to the inclusion of a good mix of emollients like petrolatum, mineral oil, and the advertised cocoa butter. This also contains a couple of antioxidants in the form of cocoa extract and vitamin E.
There are two main drawbacks with Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion, both of which are considerations if you have sensitive skin (and a lot of very dry skin tends to be sensitive as well). First, this contains the preservative methylisothiazolinone, which is generally recommend for use in rinse-off products due to its potential as a skin sensitizer (Contact Dermatitis, 2010). Then there is the addition of fragrance, which can also cause irritation, especially in sensitive skin. Though fragrance isn't very high on the ingredient list here, it is still very apparent—this has a strong, lingering artificial chocolate scent. See More Info for additional details on the risks of high amounts of fragrance in skincare products.
The simplicity of its formula isn't the reason Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion earned its rating, rather it is for its potential to cause irritation in sensitive skin that we can't give Cocoa Butter Formula Body Lotion a more enthusiastic recommendation. You can find superior options on our list of Best Body Lotions.
Irritation From High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Strengths: Inexpensive; cocoa butter is a good emollient and antioxidant for skin (and Palmer’s typically combines it with other tried-and-true emollients).
Weaknesses: Many formulas are highly fragranced; the products claiming to improve or prevent stretch marks are, well, stretching the truth; most of the body products lack a sophisticated mix of repairing and antioxidant ingredients compared to leading brands sold at the drugstore.
Created by the E.T. Browne Drug Company in New Jersey, Palmer’s is a familiar sight in drugstores across the country, primarily because of its Cocoa Butter Formula Swivel Stick. The brand’s made a name for itself because of its wide variety of cocoa butter-based skincare products, but it’s expanded far beyond its original range to include more than a hundred products in its line!
Now offering products for numerous categories—from hair care to hair removal—the items The Beautypedia Research Team are asked about most often are those claiming to treat and repair stretch marks and scars (Palmer’s has no shortage of them). Unfortunately, there is little topical treatments can do to fix either of these skin concerns, which we detail in the More Info sections of the applicable individual product reviews.
As far as Palmer’s moisturizing formulas go, cocoa butter is a great foundation upon which to build them, as it has rich antioxidant properties in addition to being a great emollient. Palmer’s typically pairs it with other good emollients, which is always a plus—and all of the brand’s products are reasonable priced!
It’s worth noting though that over the course of our reviews, we saw that many of Palmer’s formulas relied almost entirely on cocoa butter for its benefits, omitting some of the additional beneficial ingredients (like more skin repairing and skin-identical ingredients, as well as other antioxidants) that many of its drugstore competitors do.
While some may prefer simpler skincare formulas depending on their skin concerns, for Palmer’s this results in many formulas being near carbon copies of one another, just with different claims. Another concern is that many of their formulas include potentially-irritating fragrances , along with the preservative methylthizolinone, which can be sensitizing to the point where it’s generally recommended only for use in rinse-off products.
Overall, while Palmer’s does have some good products to offer, with just a few additions (and some subtractions) those products could be great!
For more information about Palmer’s, call 877-725-6377 or visit www.palmers.com.
The Beautypedia and Paula’s Choice Research teams have one mission: To help you find the best products for your skin, whether they’re from Paula’s Choice or another brand. By combining efforts, we’re able to share scientific research and remain committed to the highest standards based on our decades of experience objectively reviewing thousands upon thousands of skincare and makeup formularies in all price ranges.
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