Essential Body Wash Cleanse and Invigorate
It is inexplicable that Essential Body Wash Cleanse and Invigorate would carry the claim "free from skin irritants" when in fact it contains a notable mix of potent fragrant irritants (see More Info for details on why fragrance isn't helpful for skin). Although this does contain a good array of mild cleansing agents, there isn't anything remotely gentle about the overall formula of this body wash (including its price tag, which is surprisingly high for this type of product and the small amount).
This product claims to be free of sulfates, which is irrelevant because there isn't any research demonstrating that sulfates are inherently bad for skin (or hair) or that sulfate-free formulas are any better. The "sulfate free" claim is ironic, given KORA Organics' decision to include such irritants as sandalwood, ylang ylang, and patchouli oil. An irritant is an irritant, whether it's natural or synthetic!
Note: Despite the "paraben free" label, there isn't anything wrong with parabens as preservatives in cosmetics. They have a substantial, decades-long (and global) safety record for use in both food and cosmetics. For more information on parabens in cosmetics, see our article on the topic.
- Non-irritating cleansing agents.
- Contains a potent amount of fragrant plants known to irritate skin.
- Contains multiple irritating citrus oils.
- Expensive, especially given the small amount of product.
Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way to go for all skin types. If fragrance in your skin-care products is important to you, it should be a very low amount to minimize the risk to your skin. (Sources: Inflammation Research, December 2008, pages 558–563; Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135, and November-December 2000, pages 358–371; Journal of Investigative Dermatology, April 2008, pages 15–19; Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2008, pages 78–82; Mechanisms of Ageing and Development, January 2007, pages 92–105; and British Journal of Dermatology, December 2005, pages S13–S22).
A delicious aromatic blend of organically sourced Essential Oils, Ylang Ylang, Noni Extract, Sandalwood, Rose and Patchouli. Free from Parabens and skin irritants, KORA Organics Body Wash while cleansing and hydrating helps provide the skin with all over anti-oxidant protection. Leaves the skin feeling fresh and invigorated.
Strengths: No jar containers, which helps preserve the beneficial antioxidants and other light- and air-sensitive natural ingredients.
Weaknesses: Products contain an overwhelming amount of fragrance; nearly all have multiple irritating ingredients; makes unsubstantiated claims about ingredients; no reliable sunscreens; average, dated formulas that are overpriced for what you get.
Our introduction to KORA Organics began with this quote from its founder, Australian Victorias Secret lingerie model Miranda Kerr: All of the water used in our mists has been infused through rose quartz crystals so that the vibration of love associated with rose quartz flows through each product.
Thats one way Kerr describes the science behind how her products have been developed. It also succinctly summarizes why, from our perspective, celebrity status of any kind does not make anyone a skin-care expert. We cant think of a bigger mistake than trusting your skin to a love-infused vat of problematic formulas, at least not when it comes to dealing with concerns like acne and wrinkles.
Kerr created the KORA Organics brand with the belief that only organic ingredients are suitable for skin. The KORA line makes the unsurprising (and unsubstantiated) claims common to many natural brands, which is that natural = good for your skin and everything else is terrible for your skin.
Lets begin by addressing the organic claim. First of all, the term initially was used primarily in reference to food products, where organic referred only to the raw materials (i.e., the vegetable you pull out of the ground) and/or described food produced without the use of pesticides or artificially created or administered hormonesit didnt have any bearing on skin-care products. Nowadays, as were sure youre aware, its commonly used in marketing for cosmetics and their ingredients. BUTand this is a big BUTthere is no legitimate, published research that demonstrates organic ingredients have any special benefit for skin. Theres literally zero researchits all about the emotional pull of the term organic.
Its important to note that any natural ingredient must be processed to make it safe and usable as a cosmetic ingredient, and that processing modifies the ingredient significantly, leaving it about as natural as polyester!
Many natural ingredients have benefits for skin, but many natural ingredients also are irritating and skin damaging as well. The natural pleasant-scented lavender oil is a notable example, as are most citrus extracts, some of which can cause phototoxic reactions when skin is exposed to sunlight. On the other hand, some of the best ingredients in skin-care products are synthetically derived, such as retinol, salicylic acid, peptides, and others. When it comes to evaluating skin-care ingredients, the critical factor is what the published and peer-reviewed research has demonstrated to be true, especially if your goal is to take great care of your skin.
Among the key natural ingredients present in KORA Organics products, those called out most often are rosehip oil and noni juice. Kerr claims she has been applying noni juice topically for years to treat all her skin-care woes. Unfortunately, noni juice has little research demonstrating any special benefit for skin beyond an antioxidant benefit, which is found in hundreds of other plant extracts as well. Kerr claims that the noni plant contains more than 170 vitamins and minerals alone, but thats inaccuratethe noni plant is a fairly simple mix of about 40 chemical compounds, none of which are unique.
Rosehip oil does contain high amounts of vitamin C, but only when freshly extractedwhen rosehip oil is processed and added to the formula of a skin-care product, the majority of its vitamin C content is destroyed. Fortunately, even after the processing, rosehip oil remains a good emollient for dry skin, but it isnt as magical as Kerr makes it out to be. Pure, stabilized vitamin C is a far better ingredient for skin, but thats not what these products contain.
What youre left with in this line is a collection of products that are potently fragrancedthe toners could actually double as perfume in a pinch. Almost every product in the line has a formula thats a blend of ordinary plant-based emollients, such as olive and jojoba oils, aloe, shea butter, and fatty acids (which is nice for dry skin but thats about it), and a mix of irritating essential oils and fragrant flower extracts. Unfortunately, all of the products are quite expensive considering what youre getting in return, which is a mostly just a headache for your skin.
If youre interested in natural products, there are far better options than the disappointing ones from KORA Organics. Check out our reviews of Alba Botanica or Yes To for comparable or superior alternatives for far less money.
For more information about KORA Organics, visit www.koraorganics.com or call +61 2 9979 5672.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.