When the nice people from George’s Cream contacted me about trying out two of its products, Miss Q had just had another bout of cradle cap. She suffered from the yellow flakes as an infant, and I used Substance’s Nappy Rash Ointment to help ward it off. I didn’t know when the cream would arrive and I didn’t want those unsightly flakes on her head to stick around just for a new-product experiment – so I used the ointment again. By the time George’s Cream arrived, there was no cradle cap to speak of.
But I’m a sucker for a good story.
There’s a real George. He’s a pharmacist in Alberta. If you haven’t heard, winters are super-dry in Alberta. When a dermatologist noticed a gap in the market for über-rich moisturizing skin creams, he asked George to create one. And, obviously, George took to the kitchen mixer. Yep, his wife’s trusty Kitchen-Aid. That’s where he started mixing up concoctions and ultimately created both George’s Special Dry Skin Cream and Special Light Moisturizing Lotion.
Without a child suffering from eczema, psoriasis, sunburn, windburn, cradle cap, winter itch, flaky skin, tough elbow skin, radiation therapy, sport chafing, swimmer’s itch, dry hands or cracked cuticles, I tested the Special Dry Skin Cream on myself and my horrifically dry feet. (Yeah, now you know that about me.)
After confirming that there’s no sodium benzoate in the products – a carcinogen that’s used in many mid- to high-end baby products, many of which market themselves as “natural” – I used George’s Special Light Lotion on The K Man and Miss Q after bathtime instead of their usual moisturizer, and on my face instead of my usual moisturizer.
The company is not kidding when it says “it works!” Does it ever. I’m just going to say this about my feet: they’re so dry, they’ve got permanent lines where the cracks form; this is a year-round problem for me. I spend a lot on pedicures, not only to give me one golden hour every few weeks by myself with a trashy magazine, but also to try to keep them from frightening strangers. I’ve tried $2 products from the bargain bins at the grocery store all the way up to $50 specialty foot creams – all in the name of smoothing out these blasted cracks. I have never – and I mean ever – had a cream work literally overnight. This was the case with George’s Special Dry Skin Cream; I applied it to my feet (and didn’t put on socks; I wanted to see how well it would work without helping trap moisture), went to sleep and woke up with the feet of a child who’s never gone barefoot.
George’s Light Special Moisturizing Lotion did a great job making my babies’ skin feel, well, baby-soft. And I’ll probably continue to use it as my personal facial moisturizer – avoiding my eyes…more on that in a sec – until I find an all-natural replacement for my California Baby Calendula Cream that’s almost gone (as I’ve mentioned before, I won’t use California Baby products any longer since it changed its ingredients and chose not to disclose it openly to customers for a long time). Unlike many products, my face doesn’t react negatively when I use it as part of my normal routine.
Neither of the creams have urea, lanolin or parabens in them. They’re fragrance-free, too, and that’s often what sensitive babies and kids can react to in skin products. It’s also gluten-free, if that’s important for you and/or your child.
They’re creamy – not greasy. They absorb quickly and don’t leave that slick feeling on your palms.
George doesn’t test on animals. Just Kitchen-Aid mixers.
White petrolatum (a.k.a. petroleum, a.a.k.a Vaseline) is second only to water in both George’s creams. Petroleum, while overwhelmingly considered safe (barring some important, ongoing questions to study its safety with low-weight, pre-term babies) isn’t a renewable resource. For many eco-conscious parents, it’s important to use petroleum-free products; these are two, among many, that aren’t.
Sodium lauryl sulphate is another tricky ingredient that’s seeing its share of controversy. I’m (currently) not as firmly opposed to it as sodium benzoate, but it’s on my watch list. Because of the unknown side effects on children’s eyes (apparently, those under age seven are at the greatest risk), I wouldn’t put either cream anywhere near your kid’s eyes. I won’t personally go neck-up.
Phenoxy ethanol – another ingredient in both George’s creams, which is essentially there to replace the use of parabens – isn’t winning any hearts in the green world, either. It’s going by the wayside with products that are committed to being “clean” but it’s still present in many brands you probably know and love.
The long and short of it is this: you have to know your comfort limit. While I lean toward natural products for myself, I don’t lose sleep if I put something on my face or body that’s got a few questionable ingredients. For my kids, on the other hand, I’m strict. I gravitate toward truly natural brands that don’t use ingredients that have controversy attached to them (increasingly difficult to do, admittedly). If Miss Q managed to get a sunburn despite her SPF protectant, I’d probably turn to an all-natural remedy like Nature’s Aid before I’d use a cream like George’s. But I think in below-the-neck doses, it’s an acceptable, wallet-friendly option for out-of-the-bath moisturization. However, for my ridiculously rough feet, I may just be a George’s lifer. For real.
Remember – if your child is sensitive to creams in general, please do a patch test.
For my kids? 2.5/5
For me? 4.5/5
So…where can you buy it?
- Across Canada! Check out George’s “where to buy” section