Dr. Hauschka’s Cleansing Cream, For All Skin Conditions, is an interesting product because it has some aspects of a scrub, but is intended as a cream cleanser. Though it has the potential to be a good oil cleanser for normal to dry skin, the inclusion of some potentially problematic ingredients means this only earns an average rating on Beautypedia.
Cleansing Cream, for All Skin Conditions, comes in an opaque squeeze tube with a screw-top lid. Inside is a slightly orange cream that has an almost paste-like consistency. There is some grit to it, which comes from the inclusion of sweet almond seed meal. In many skincare products sweet almond seed meal is used as a physical exfoliant in scrubs, but Dr. Hauschka says this is not meant to be rubbed across the face, simply patted on. When used in that way, this product can’t exfoliate skin as claimed. If you do rub this cream over your face, the sharp, uneven edges of the almond seed meal have the potential to cause microscopic tears in skin.
As far as the cleansing aspect of this cream goes, this contains no detergent cleansers, so the cleaning action is coming from the oils included (such as sunflower seed oil, wheat germ oil, and sweet almond oil). While this can definitely help benefit and soothe normal to dry skin, those with oily skin will find this product does not leave their skin feeling cleansed. Note: One of the oils this product contains is peanut oil, which should be a consideration for those with peanut allergies.
The rest of the ingredient list is made up of antioxidants (though you won’t be getting the full benefit since they’re being rinsed off), a small amount of fragrance, and an iffy amount of drying alcohol. Again, this formula is being rinsed off skin, but the amount of alcohol means that with daily use, this could potentially start drying out skin—which is not what you want in a product that’s supposed to help repair your skin’s barrier! See More Info for details.
Overall, while many of the plant oils are beneficial, because of its inability to live up to its claims and the inclusion of some potentially-irritating ingredients, Cleansing Cream, For All Skin Conditions isn’t a product we can enthusiastically recommend. Instead, see our list of highly-rated Cleansers (Including Cleansing Cloths), for some superior options.
Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: A significant amount of research shows alcohol causes free-radical damage in skin even at low levels (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 2012). Small amounts of alcohol on skin cells in lab settings (about 3%, but keep in mind skin-care products contain amounts ranging from 5% to 60% or greater) over the course of two days increased cell death by 26%. It also destroyed the substances in cells that reduce inflammation and defend against free radicals—this process actually causes more free-radical damage. If this weren't bad enough, exposure to alcohol actually causes skin cells to self-destruct (Alcohol, 2002).
Research also shows that these destructive, aging effects on skin cells increased the longer skin was exposed to alcohol; for example, two days of exposure was dramatically more harmful than one day, and that's at only a 3% concentration (Alcohol, 2002). In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
For all skin conditions. Cleansing Cream gently cleanses, exfoliates, fortifies and refreshes, protecting the skin’s natural protective function for healthy, radiant skin. Cleansing Cream retains the skin’s natural hydro-lipid barrier while also preparing it for the next stages in the Dr. Hauschka skin care daily care routine.
Water (Aqua), Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Seed Meal, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract, Alcohol, Arachis Hypogaea (Peanut) Oil, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Hypericum Perforatum Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Bark/Leaf Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), Citronellol, Geraniol, Malpighia Punicifolia (Acerola) Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, Algin.
Dr. Hauschka At-A-Glance
Strengths: None for skin care; one good lipstick.
Weaknesses: Every skin-care product contains at least one volatile fragrance component or plant ingredient that can be irritating to skin as well as causing increased sensitivity when skin is exposed to sunlight; no sunscreens; the moisturizers are mostly redundant and easily replaced by plain, non-fragrant oils; no products to address even the most basic skin-care concerns; several hokey products with absolutely zero research attesting to their effectiveness.
Dr. Rudolf Hauschka is no longer around, although the Germany-based cosmetics company bearing his name definitely is. Sold primarily at health food stores, the products are a standout for their high prices alone.
If plants are your thing, these formulations, according to the ingredient lists, are some of the most "pure" there are. However, the formulas are a frustrating mix of good and bad natural ingredients, and there are no suitable options for those with oily, combination, or sensitive skin (especially for sensitive skin, as everything, and we mean every product, in this line contains fragrance).
As for the products themselves, despite the inclusion of lots of natural ingredients sure to pique consumer interest, Dr. Hauschka's development team seemingly ignored copious research on skin-care ingredients from the last 20 years or so. For example, almost every product has plant extracts that have irritation potential, and most of the problematic ones have no known benefit for skin, so you're risking irritation without a reward. Instead, the company literature goes on and on about how the products are rhythmically mixed and the spiritual connection between nature and people. It all sounds tempting and quite Zen until you realize such back-to-nature philosophies aren't necessarily the key to a healthy complexion. We have little doubt that most consumers using these products will experience some amount of skin irritation, and the textures of many items are inelegant at best; "silky" is s not a word that comes mind!
We're skeptical about the disclosure of the ingredients in the products because preservatives are not listed. If that is truly the case, the risk of contamination after just a couple of weeks of use is significant, especially considering how many plant extracts these products contain. The company insists that the ingredient lists are accurate and that the natural extracts and essential oils chosen have self-preserving properties—but cosmeti chemistry research doesn't support this; such ingredients don't have the same preservation track records as those (such as the parabens and phenoxyethanol) that show up in thousands of other products.
From a modern, research-supported perspective, this is one of the most ineffective, potentially irritating lines around and a classic example of why natural isn't automatically the best way to go for intelligent skin care. The moisturizers have their share of helpful ingredients for dry skin, but are about as state-of-the-art as a console television.
In early 2009 the company announced that they discontinued all of their sunscreens. This decision was in response to new European Union regulations governing labeling for products with UVA-protecting ingredients. Dr. Hauschka will not formulate a sunscreen with synthetic active ingredients, and from everything we've read and from all of the discussions we've had with cosmetic chemists about this issue, there is no way a sunscreen can meet the EU's new UVA standards without including a synthetic active.
For more information about Dr. Hauschka, call (800) 247-9907 or visit www.drhauschka.com.
Dr. Hauschka Makeup
Termed Decorative Cosmetics, the collection doesn't much reason to give this makeup more than a passing glance, as the products are downright ordinary to inadequate, and the prices should snap even the most meditative soul back to reality. Sadly, every color cosmetic product from this brand, even those meant for use around the eyes, contains one or more problematic fragrance ingredients.
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