I’ve reviewed quite a few cleansers already on the blog (which you can find here and here). I’m a little obsessed with them. As something you use every day and on your face, it’s important to get right. You want a cleanser that’s going to remove all makeup, dirt and toxins at the end of the day while at the same time not stripping your skin of its natural sebum, leaving it soft and ph balanced. Not as easy as you might think, especially when harsh chemicals and fragrances are added.
I’ve been very pleasantly surprised therefore that the majority of the natural cleansers I’ve trialled so far I have really liked. Many I would repurchase and if I didn’t have a blog, perhaps I would’ve stopped looking. I could easily live on Green People‘s Gentle Cleanse or Liz Earle‘s Cleanse & Polish for the rest of my days. Pai Skincare‘s is another fave. However I do have a blog and feel obligated to try more! I’m always on the lookout for new really effective facial cleansing products, ideally with quality natural ingredients. Currently I have half a dozen (at least) which I’m in the process of experimenting with. So I’m going to do a series on cleansers over the next few weeks, at the end of which I will create a ‘league table’ of my favourites (including the ones I’ve already reviewed).
I haven’t shopped in Bodyshop for years but I was in there recently buying a friend some baby shower gifts from their baby range (hard to believe my friends are having babies already but that’s another story!). Of course when a new ‘organics’ range caught my eye I couldn’t help picking something up for myself too. All in the name of research for you lovely readers of course!
I say ‘organics’ in inverted commas because I just assumed it was based on the name (‘Nutriganics’) and the ECOCERT logo in the top right corner of the packaging. Although I confess I reached for this without really looking at the ingredients because I was in a rush. Having gotten it home however, that’s the first thing I went to do, but found the ingredients weren’t on the back; they are hidden under a peel-back sticker.
That annoys me to be honest. Especially when it comes to purchasing organic and natural ingredients, customers should have full and easy access to ingredients information in my opinion. Now I suppose I could have peeled back the label in the shop althoughI doubt very much they’d have appreciated that. So why hide the information Bodyshop? If you’re proud of your product you should display your ingredients openly.
When you do pull the label back you’re faced with difficult to read (small, light grey) text. But here’s what’s in it. It’s just lucky I have 20:20 vision otherwise there’s no way you could read this. I’m actually really straining my eyes to type this but here goes:
Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil*, Citronellol, Arginine, Buddleja Davidii Extract*, Malva Sylvestris (Mallow) Flower Extract*, Foeniclum Vulgare (Fennel) Oil*, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil*, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract*, Litsea Cubeba Fruit Oil*, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (orange) peel oil*, Sodium Bensoate, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) flower/leaf oil*, Potassium Sorbate, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil*.
*ingredients from organic farming.
Ouch. My eyes actually hurt now! I think I need a nap.
Now not only have I given myself sore eyes for this review, I’ve also looked all these ingredients up in the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database to check their toxicity rating. Most of the ingredients get a thumbs up: either 0 or 1 on the scale – meaning no known toxicity properties to worry about. There were two ingredients which came out on the ‘moderate toxicity’ scale though:
Citronellol (a “naturally ocurring scent ingredient derived from plants such as rose, geranium and lemongrass”) comes out at a 4 ( safer end of the ‘moderate hazard’) – potentially an irritant but not a real nasty.
Potassium Sorbate came out at 3. It’s used as a preservative. According to the Skin Database it’s a potential allergen and there’s ‘strong evidence’ it’s a human skin toxicant. The good thing is it comes towards the end of the ingredient list meaning the quantities are presumably quite small. It also fairs better than parabens – the most common type of preservative used in cosmetics – most of which which are ranked at 5 on the scale.
The product claims that 45% of the total ingredients come from organic farming (the ones with stars above) which are certified by ECOCERT; and that 99% of the total ingredients from natural origin. It’s a bit confusing though when you look at the list above as the overwhelming majority are starred, meaning from organic farming – so 45% seems strange. It must mean that there is quite a high concentration of the two non-starred ingredients which come near the beginning of the list – one of which is Citronellol – so that’s not ideal. But in general I’d say there isn’t anything to really worry about with these ingredients. It’s more the fact they don’t openly disclose them which annoys me.
But enough about the ingredients; what about the cleanser itself, you’re wondering? Well, I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either. I am not a big fan of the smell. I think it’s the vanilla which I find a bit overpowering and contrary to what they say, not very refreshing. Refreshing to me is zesty citrus not sickly vanilla, but anyway. The texture is a gel-to-oil, which is quite nice – soft and creamy. You are advised to apply to dry skin, moisturise in then remove with water. I find it’s not that great at removing makeup however and need to use a muslin cloth to feel I’ve cleaned everything off properly, plus remove my eye makeup separately first. And even then I don’t really feel very refreshed and clean.
So, it’s a bit of a ‘meh’ from me. It’s OK but not something I’d repurchase I’m afraid. I stuck with it for a week but after that have returned to old favourites which is a sure sign it’s not for me. Sorry Bodyshop, it looks like I’m not going to be paying a return visit any time soon I’m afraid.