sábado, 30 de mayo de 2015

AHAVA: no parabens but lots of silicones in their products

         Two days ago, I went to a Sephora evening event. While I was browsing around, one of the employees approached me and started recommending me some products. I was off guard, just enjoying the nice atmosphere at the shop, and somehow I let her advice get to me without reluctance, not even reading the list of ingredients of the products or looking at their price. So, I ended up buying a bunch of very promising products that I will be returning after having read their list of ingredients.
The brand that the employee recommended me was AHAVA: a paraben-free natural cosmetics brand that has Dead Sea water in all its products and packs its lotions and potions in plastic containers and jars that are supposedly 100% recyclable. 

Here are the products I bought at Sephora and their retail prices:

Dead Mud Purifying Mud Soap. 100gr. 8€.
Potassium Lauryl Sulfate, Disodium Lauryl Sulfosuccinate, Corn (Zea Mays) Starch, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Purified Water, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Water), Silt (Dead Sea Mud), Dioctyldodecyl Fluoroheptyl Citrate, Titanium Dioxide, Phosphoric Acid, Parfum (Fragrance).

Time to Hydrate Active Moisture Gel Cream. 50ml. 38,75€.
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Glycereth-26, Cyclomethicone, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propanediol (Corn derived Glycol), Glycerin, Cyclopentasiloxane, PEG/PPG-19/19 Dimethicone, Squalene (Phytosqualene), Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Methicone, Propylene Carbonate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Chitosan Succinamide, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), Dimethiconol, Alanine, Creatine, Dehydroacetic Acid, Glycine, Magnesium Aspartate, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Urea, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Actinidia Chinensis (Kiwi) Fruit Water, Allantoin, Parfum (Fragrance), Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Linum Usitatissimum (Linseed) Seed Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Benzyl Salicylate, Hexyl Cinnamal, Limonene, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Geraniol.

Time to Hydrate Gentle Eye Cream. 15ml. 30,50€.
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Cyclopentasiloxane & PEG/PPG-18/18 Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone & Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Isostearyl Isostearate, Glycerin, Propylene Carbonate & Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Butylene Glycol & Ruscus Aculeatus Root (Butcherbroom) Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract & Propylene Glycol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol & Ethylhexylglycerin, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Water), Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Saccharide Isomerate, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Allantoin, Bisabolol, Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob Bean) Gum, Dunaliella Salina Extract, Phoenix Dactylifera (Date) Fruit Extract, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Hippophae Rhamnoides (Oblipicha) Fruit Oil.

 Dead Sea Osmoter™ Concentrate. 30ml. 52,50€.
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), PVP, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Glycerin, Isodecyl Isononanoate, Diisobutyl Adipate, Caprylyl Methicone, Butylene Glycol, Sodium Lactate, Trehalose, Dimethiconol, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Phenoxyethanol, Citrus Aurantium Amara Fruit Extract, Bisabolol, Squalene (Phytosqualene), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Sigesbeckia Orientalis Extract, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate\Sodium Acryloydimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Rabdosia Rubescens Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citric Acid, Lactic Acid, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower ) Seed Oil, Melissa Officinalis Leaf Extract, Polyglyceryl-3 polyricinoleate, Citrus Reticulata Fruit Extract, Tris (Tetramethyl Hydroxypiperidinol) Citrate, Sodium Benzotriazolyl Butylphenol Sulfonate, Laminaria Digitata Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Glucosyl Hesperidin, Olea Europaea (Olive) Leaf Extract, Fructose, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Extract, Phosphatidylcholine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-di-t-butyl Hydroxyhydrocin.

Dead Sea Osmoter™ Eye Concentrate. 15ml. 43€.
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Glycerin, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), PVP, Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Caprylyl Methicone, Phenoxyethanol, PEG-12 Dimethicone/PPG-20 Crosspolymer, Darutoside, Strelitzia Nicolai Seed Aril Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Albizia Julibrissin Bark Extract, Caffeine, Lecithin, Palmitoyl Carnitine, Propylene Glycol, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Alanine, Creatine, Glycine, Magnesium Aspartate, Saccharide Hydrolysate, Urea, Sodium Lactate, Isohexadecane, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Bisabolol, Chrysin, N-Hydroxysuccinimide, Palmitoyl Oligopeptide, Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-3, Steareth-20, Disodium Lauriminodipropionate Tocopheryl Phosphates, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Allantoin, Titanium Dioxide, Silica, Tin Oxide, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Extract, Benzotriazolyl Dodecyl p-Cresol, Aminomethyl Propanediol.

I had a 20% off so, I ended up paying 34,55€ less for the whole lot of products.

The AHAVA samples I was given with my purchase were:
Time to Clear Facial Mud Exfoliator
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Cocamide MEA & DMDM Hydantoin &Sodium Chloride & Sodium Lauroamphoacetate & Sodium Trideceth Sulfate & Aqua (Water), Ceteareth-20 & Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Disodium Lauroamphodiacetate & Hexylene Glycol & Isopropyl Alcohol, Nylon 6, Propanediol (Corn derived Glycol), Silt (Dead Sea Mud), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Glyceryl Stearate & PEG-100 Stearate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Glycol Stearate, Cetyl Alcohol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Lactic Acid, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate & Methylisothiazolinone, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Maris Sal (Dead Sea Salt).

Time to Clear All-In-One Toning Cleanser
Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Isohexadecane, Cyclomethicone, Propanediol(Corn derived Glycol), Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) flower Water, Sodium Lauroyl Glutamate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil & Propylene Glycol & Trideceth-9 & Aqua (Water), Acrylates\C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Aminomethyl Propanediol, Allantoin, Parfum (Fragrance), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate & PEG-4 Laurate & PEG-4 Dilaurate & PEG-4, Methylisothiazolinone, Maris Aqua (Dead Sea Water), Dunaliella Salina Extract & Hydrogenated Polydecene, Glycerin & Phoenix Dactylifera (DATE) Fruit Extract.

Time to Clear Purifying Mud Mask
Kaolin, Silt (Dead Sea Mud), Aqua (Mineral Spring Water), Cocamide MEA & DMDM Hydantoin & Sodium Lauroamphoacetate & Sodium Trideceth Sulfate, Propanediol (Corn derived Glycol), Glyceryl Stearate, Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract & Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Ceteareth-30 & Cetearyl Alcohol, Maris Sal (Dead Sea Water), Sodium Lactate, Zinc Oxide, Caprylyl Glycol & Chlorphenesin & Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5) , Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Oil, Stearyl Alcohol, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Peg-40 Stearate, Allantoin, Lactic Acid, Dimethicone, Sorbitan Tristearate, Xanthan Gum, PEG-5 Cocoate & PEG-8 Dicocoate & PEG-9 & Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Triclosan, Methylisothiazolinone, BHA, Tocopherol (Vitamin E).

I tested a couple of the products in the store before buying them and, by the way they left my skin, I should have known that one of their main ingredients was some sort of silicone.
There’s nothing wrong with silicones generally speaking, it’s just that -in high amounts- they don’t get along with my skin. What silicones do is that they form a non-soluble barrier on the skin, giving it a temporary “plump” look. In my case, when I apply a product that has silicone among its first five ingredients, my skin suffocates and starts getting bumpy around the sixth day of using that product.

When looking at the list of ingredients of all the products (something I usually do before buying a product), I sadly discovered that both the creams and the serums contain a high amount of silicones among its main ingredients. In addition to the silicones, the serums also have PVP, which is another barrier-forming (and fixing) ingredient, also amongst the first ingredients on the list. With such an amount of silicones I wonder if the good ingredients in the products will penetrate in the outer layer of the skin or if they will just sit on top of the skin doing nothing.

Comparing the ingredients from both the creams and the serums, I also noticed that while the Dead Sea water is one of the main ingredients in the serums, it is halfway through the list of ingredients in both creams.
Browsing through the internet (Paula’s Choice website and other sites), I also learned that the minerals in the Dead Sea water have not been proven to have any antiaging/wrinkle or dark spots-fighting properties, as the Sephora’s sales lady told me. So, all and all, the “plump” skin effect that that woman was raving so much about actually comes from all the silicones in the products and not from the minerals in the Dead Sea water. Since these products don’t come cheap, I feel scammed!

These products also have phenoxyethanol quite high up on the list of ingredients (higher than the Dead Sea water in both creams). Phenoxyethanol is one of the least irritating preservatives in cosmetics and it’s usually used as an alternative to parabens. “Phenoxyethanol is approved for worldwide use in all types of water-based cosmetics, up to a 1% concentration” (Paula’s Choice website). Now, if that ingredient is high up in the list of ingredients, either its concentration is higher than 1% in these creams and serums or, if it is 1%, you are basically just lathering mineral spring water, silicones and aloe juice on your face (add Dead Sea water for the serums).

I’m thinking about keeping the soap because it’s only got a couple of ingredients that are tagged as low health concern ingredients, because they might be irritating. But for 8€, it’d better be an amazing damn soap. 

As for the rest of the products: I will be returning them. I feel so stupid for not reading the list of ingredients before buying the products. I always do! Well, I guess I got caught up in the moment.

Regarding the samples I was given, I think I’m only going to use the scrub and the mud mask. The cleanser is one of those cleansers that don’t need to be rinsed off, which I’m not very fond of, and silicone is its third ingredient so, I don’t think I’m going to be using that sample.

Also if you are concerned about politics, then you probably would like to know that there is an international boycott campaign against AHAVA because, quoting Code Pink, “its products come from stolen Palestinian natural resources in the Occupied Territory of the Palestinian West Bank, and are produced in the illegal settlement of Mitzpe Shalem.” For more information about this campaign click here.

Have you ever been in a similar situation where you let the sales lady advice you on what to buy just to find out you have to return what you bought because it doesn't suit you?

Take care!

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