- Decyl oleate
- Glyceryl oleate
- Dicocoyl pentaerythrityl distearyl citrate
- Propylene glycol
- Cera microcristallina
- Aluminium stearate
- Methyl, ethyl, butyl and isobutyl parabens
- Propyl gallate
- Citric acid
Published February 2011
This product is recommended for the treatment of the cracks that sometimes appear on the thickened part of the skin forming the heel, and which makes walking painful. It acts as a moisturiser for dry skin and this promotes healing.
Urea (NH2)2CO (aka carbamide) helps to rehydrate dry skin. Around 100 million tonnes per year is made by industry to be used as a fertilizer and to make urea-formaldehyde adhesives and melamine plastic.
Lanolin is a mixture of long-chain fatty acids linked to long-chain alcohols. It is excreted by the hair follicles of sheep and it makes their wool waterproof. Lanolin is ideal as an easily absorbed ointment for cracked skin, chapped lips, and sore nipples.
Petrolatum (aka Vaseline) is a mixture of medium chain hydrocarbons (15–25 carbons) that is extracted from crude oil and purified.
Citric acid is produced naturally by citrus fruits and is manufactured by fermenting starch with the fungus Aspergillus niger.
Dicocoyl pentaerythrityl distearyl citrate is used to soften the skin. This complex material is made from the natural fatty acids derived from coconut oil, plus stearic and citric acids, and combined with the industrial chemical pentaerythritol. Semtex is the tetra nitrate derivative of pentaerythritol.
Decyl oleate and glyceryl oleate make the skin feel smooth. They are derivatives of oleic acid, which comes mainly from olive oil, combined with the alcohol 1-decanol or the polyalcohol glycerol.
Propylene glycol (1,2-propanediol, E1520, chemical formula CH3CH(OH)CH2OH) stops the skin from drying out. It is also used as an antifreeze in cooling systems in breweries and diaries where it is necessary to keep liquids below 0 °C. Propylene glycol is used in foods as an emulsifier and is also in cigars.
Cera microcristallina is a wax of longer chain hydrocarbons (35 or more carbons) which is micro crystalline.
Dimethicone (polydimethylsiloxane) is better known as silicone oil and it is added to body lotions because it acts to lock moisture within the skin's outer layer. It is safe enough to be used as a food additive (E900), and as an anti-foaming agent, including being prescribed after operations to prevent the build-up of painful gas in the stomach.
Carbomer is the polymer polyacrylate and it is added to make the product form a smooth gel. Polyacrylate is more generally met in the form of Perspex, the clear plastic which is compatible with human tissue, as doctors discovered in World War II when fighter pilots were wounded by splinters of this from their cockpit canopy.
Triethanolamine is used to solubilise the Petrolatum and make it mix with the water (aqua).
Aluminium stearate is a thickening agent. It is also used to make fabrics and ropes waterproof. It is added to varnishes to make them dry quicker.
Methyl, ethyl, butyl, and isobutyl parabens are there as preservatives for the various ingredients, and they prevent microbes from breeding in the balm.
Propyl gallate (E310) and BHA (aka butylated hydroxyanisole, E320) are powerful antioxidants and there to protect the product from attack by atmospheric oxygen.