This body lotion's main issues are how fragrant it is and the amount of alcohol is potentially irritating, though less so in term of causing dryness because it's mixed with some very rich plant and nut oils that are actually quite good for dry skin. Had Dr. Hauschka examined at least some of the research showing that fragrant plant oils are a problem for skin, the company may have formulated a better natural body lotion. As is, the lavender, sandalwood and numerous fragrance ingredient such as eugenol makes this body moisturizer one that's impossible to recommend—and that's before you even consider how pricey this is for less than five ounces of product. If you're going to charge in this range for a body moisturizer, it should be an outstanding formula packed with anti-aging ingredients, and this one simply doesn't get there. Sadly, it doesn't even come close, as it's seemingly about pleasing your nose more than improving your skin.
See More Info for details on why daily use of highly fragrant products like this is problem and the particular issues lavender oil presents.
Irritation From Fragrance and Fragrant Oils: 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).
Lavender Oil: Research indicates that components of lavender, specifically linalool, can be cytotoxic, which means that topical application causes skin-cell death (Source: Cell Proliferation, June 2004, pages 221–229). Lavender leaves contain camphor, which is a known skin irritant. Because the fragrance constituents in lavender oil oxidize when exposed to air, lavender oil is a pro-oxidant, and this enhanced oxidation increases its irritancy on skin (Source: Contact Dermatitis, September 2008, pages 143–150). Lavender oil is the most potent form, and even small amounts of it (0.25% or less) are problematic. Although it's fine as an aromatherapy agent for inhalation or relaxation, it is a must to avoid in skin-care products. (Sources: Psychiatry Research, February 2007, pages 89–96; and www.naturaldatabase.com).
This body moisturizer features the smooth, comforting scent of lavender complemented by a warm note of sandalwood. Extracts of lemon balm and wood sorrel balance and renew, while fine oils of macadamia nut, apricot kernel and avocado support and fortify the skin's protective barrier.
Water (Aqua), Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Alcohol, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Glycerin, Pyrus Cydonia Seed Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Water, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Anthyllis Vulneraria Extract, Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot) Kernel Oil, Equisetum Arvense Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Oxalis Acetosella Extract, Melissa Officinalis Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Fragrance (Parfum), Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Oil, Linalool, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, Farnesol, Benzyl Benzoate, Eugenol, Benzyl Salicylate, Coumarin, Citral, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Hectorite, Cetyl Alcohol, Sucrose Stearate, Sucrose Distearate, Chondrus Crispus Extract, Xanthan Gum
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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