Thursday, December 13, 2012

Hair Oil Smackdown

(Part of the Continuing Saga of the Search for Better Beauty Products)

Well, I have been using LUSH Revive & Balance Hair Moisturizer for a couple of weeks now. I gave the ingredient list a thorough going over, and it holds up much better under scrutiny than Moroccan Oil's (See previous blogpost scrutinizing Moroccan Oil, and see somewhat boring LUSH R&B ingredient review at bottom of this post.) The knowledgeable manager at LUSH told me to use just a tiny bit of their hair oil, but the first two times I used too much. The effect seemed a bit greasy to me. Finally I dialed the amount WAY back, and got a good result. I prefer a more forgiving product, though. And I didn't love the smell. So, I went in search of organic argan oil. (Argan oil is a main ingredient of Moroccan Oil.) At Sephora, I found the Josie Maran line of cosmetics, which has organic and natural ingredients. The Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil was $48 for 1.7 ounces. I balked at that price. Perhaps because I am a sucker and certainly because I like to place my vote with some cash, I did buy a $22 lip gloss. It contains many natural oils including argan and is very moisturizing.

   But I digress.
I found cheaper organic argan oil online at for $9 per ounce plus shipping. I thought I'd check my local Whole Foods too.
VoilĂ . There it was for $14.99 per ounce and a convenient part of a trip I would make anyway. Also! I met a great staff person named Mary Ramos who raved about the neighboring organic rosehip oil. It had been recommended to her years ago by Dr. Encarnacion in the Dominican Republic, and she said it really makes her skin glow: $12.99 for the rosehip oil.
Both the argan oil and rosehip oil can be used for skin or hair according to the bottles. I have the argan oil at home for hair and the rosehip oil in my purse for my hands. They come in glass bottles with a plastic pump top-- no box. The plastic pump is less eco-friendly but far more convenient than the Moroccan Oil packaging. So enough already. I'm settling in with my organic oils from Whole Foods, though I will miss the lovely engineered smell of the Moroccan Oil.

LUSH Revive and Balance ingredient study:

Most of the ingredients-- including the five most prevalent-- are natural.  Two of the ingredients are organic and one fair-trade-certified. 

Oat Milk(?!)  (Aqua, Avena sativa)  This seems to be oats mixed with water. - natural

Glycerine-  a naturally occurring alcohol compound and a component of many lipids.

Organic Avocado Butter (Persea gratissima)-

Fair for Life Olive Oil (Olea europaea) - fair trade-certified olive oil

Glyceryl Stearate  A naturally derived fatty acid, most often used as an emulsifier

Polyethylene Glycol  100 Stearate-- synthesized  emollient.  The Environmental Working Group lists this as a "moderate"  (3 out of 10) hazard based on "limited" data.

Perfume - a big unknown

Cetearyl Alcohol- a stabilizer and emollient mixture of cetyl and stearyl alcohols that can come from vegetable or synthetic sources.  The FDA lists it as food-safe.  It may be irritaing to those with sensitive skin.

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (Cocos  nucifera) - natural

Cold Pressed Organic Jojoba Oil (Simmondsia chinensis) - natural

Bay Oil (Pimenta racemosa)- natural

Orange Flower Absolute (Citrus Aurantium amara)- orange flower extract fragrance

Jasmine Absolute (Jasminium grandiflorum)- jasmine flower extract fragrance

Cupuacu Butter (Theobroma grandiflorum) moisturizing derivative of the Cupuacu plant

Candelilla Wax(Euphorbia cerifera)- plant-derived wax

Benzyl Alcohol- a naturally ocurring and synthetic ingredient used as a solvent and preservative; it has been associated with contact allergy.

Phenoxyethanol-  a naturally-occurring but usually synthetically-derived preservative that is often used to replace paraben, but may have some of its own problems.

* Benzyl salicylate



*Benzyl  Benzoate


*Package note states that these occur naturally in essential oils.  They are scent compounds that may be an allergen for some.


1 comment:

  1. such great research I actually love the "slightly boring" ingredient names - I think I'll be using "Linalool" and "Cupuacu Butter" as future cat names.

    also, hoe odd that you mention rose hips right after I find this great deal at Still Point for a rose hip facial...coincidence? I don't think so...;-D