Monday, 19 July 2010

Heavenly Rose Oil

In past posts I have touched on the debate about harmful ingredients in cosmetics and beauty products. I say ‘touched on’ because this is still not something that I feel I can discuss with any confidence. Every time I try to gen up on the subject I find myself being sucked into a labyrinth of complex chemical names, difficult to read research papers, claims and counter claims. Whenever I pick up a bottle in the chemist or department store I first fish around in my handbag for my spectacles then pretend to study the lengthy list of ingredients written in ant-writing. At that point it becomes apparent that I have no idea what any of them are nor can I remember which ones I am meant to steer clear of. Generally I end up either A: buying it anyway and then not using it because I later discover that it is chock full of of mutoid toxic waste that will shortly have me sprouting an extra head, or B: putting it back in confusion and then going home to take a couple of Asprin and lie down in a darkened room.

Chemo Chic is all about maintaining one's feminine identity in the face of the physical and emotional ravages of breast cancer. I know that most beauty products are overpriced and probably ineffective. But they're fun and they make me feel lovely. I recoil from the idea of living out my days as a hemp-clad, sweat-stained, bare-faced troll. Yet neither do I wish to be blasé about factors that may encourage the growth of malignant tumours. I genuinely want to learn how to avoid loading my body with possible carcinogens and endocrine disruptors such as: Parabens; Phthalates; Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and 1,4-Dioxane, to name but a few.

Of course most of us lack the wherewithal to race out and buy a whole new stock of these expensive goodies. I have put in place a regime of replacing them over time. So whenever I run out of, say, body lotion or shower gel, I look around for a more innocuous product to take its place on my bathroom shelf.

I have come to the conclusion that the best approach is to keep it simple. Now I look for products that contain only natural substances (whatever that actually means).
In the hope that my endeavours may save you some time and energy I will begin reviewing some of the beauty products that I have tried.

Product: REN Rose 012 Ultra-Moisture Serum (30ml £40)

REN state that their products contain ‘NO Petrochemicals, Sulfates, Parabens, Synthetic fragrance, Synthetic colours, T.E.A., DEA, Glycols, Silicones, PEGS.’ So that’s a good starting point. Then again, neither does fish paste but I wouldn’t necessarily put it on my face.
This luxurious facial oil is light and absorbs into my skin without leaving any sticky or oily residue. It leaves my face feeling soft and wonderfully hydrated. I’ve been using it for six months now and can honestly say that my skin looks bright and supple. Best of all it smells utterly divine.

Ingredients (as listed on the REN website): Oryza Sativa (Rice) Germ Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Source Coconut Oil), Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Macademia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Ximenia Americana Seed Oil, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Eugenol, Linalool, Citral, Farnesol, Limonene, Phospholipid (source Soybean), Oryzanol (Source Rice), Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Berry Oil, Omega 6 Ceramide (source Carthame), Tocopherol (Vitamin E).


Blind Faith said...

Canalily, you're so persuasive. I went straight to the REN website. I shall stop using fish paste at once.

Unknown said...

Of course it then begs the question are all these ingredients from genetically modified plants or organic plants :-) How far do we go?

X Jude

paolability said...

There are harmful things in nature, such as cyanide. And all of the tomato plant except the fruit it poisonous. There are also naturally occurring acids.

Unnatural (synthetic) harmless items include vinegar and baking soda.

Thus, an ingredient with a natural source isn't, by definition, harmless.

I just found this:


canalily said...

In the EU all foods that are derived from GM sources must be labelled. I don't think it applies to cosmetics however.

I am trying to concentrate on substances that are known or strongly suspected to be either carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors. Most of those substances seem to be synthetic. I have not read anywhere that GM plants are implicated in this way.

Yes all substances are chemical and yes there are poisonous plants. I will do my best to avoid reviewing any face creams that contain cyanide or tomato stalks.

Cosmetics database is fantastic. Unfortunately the thousands of products featured are mostly American. I wish that we had a European equivalent.

Thanks for all your comments. I hope to review more products soon. I can tell that you're intersted.

paolability said...

"I am trying to concentrate on substances that are known or strongly suspected to be either carcinogenic or endocrine disruptors. Most of those substances seem to be synthetic."


I was furious last week when a Facebook contact messaged me to say that sugar (any sugar) causes cancer and I should stop having chemo and stop eating sugar. *sigh*

canalily said...

It is difficult. Everyone seems to know someone who was miraculously saved by some miraculous cancer cure.

Professor Jane Plant debunks a lot of this nonsense in her excellent book 'Your Life in Your Hands' (there's a link on the right).

Of course stopping eating refined sugar wouldn't be disastrous from a dietary point of view but other sugars are necessary. Stopping having chemo, on the other hand could be disastrous.

In the end I have found it best to thank my friends and acquaintances for their concern (they do mean well), to inform myself as much as possible and then rely on those experts that seem to me sensible and credible.