Q.I’ve just recently started to use natural organic products and have chosen Dr.Organic products, but came across people saying these are a very misleading company. Could you please put my mind to rest and let me know if this is a good honest company as I’ve just spent over £100 on the products? Just before I tried Dr.Organics I tried another product, which severely dried out my rosacea-prone skin, and then gently exfoliated with baking soda as I’d read that was great. It’s dried out my skin even more and wrinkles have appeared in the last few days – and I can’t believe this has happened!
A.First of all we will say: we like the Dr.Organic range. It’s excellent value for money and Jo, in particular, uses several of the products (the Rose and Pomegranate ranges, mostly – plus the 100% Organic Aloe Vera Body Butter, which she slathers on her feet every night). This is a range available in Holland & Barrett and on-line. On the strength of your query, meanwhile, we’ve done a bit of investigation -and can’t find the negative comments about it.
We suspect that some people may have issue with the name, however, as the range itself isn’t organically-certified. SOME of the ingredients are, but not all – and so perhaps the name is somewhat misleading. It does not, however, contravene any laws as the European organic regulations don’t cover organic claims for cosmetics; only foods. However, we have seen many worse abuses of the term ‘organic’ (sometimes for products that aren’t very natural at all) – whereas this range does avoid parabens, silicones, mineral oils, GM, animal ingredients, SLS, artificial fragrances etc. That’s a pretty long list of ‘nos’.
In our book The Green Beauty Bible, most Dr.Organic products would earn a ‘one-daisy’ or ‘two-daisy’ rating, meaning that the products contain mostly but not exclusively botanical ingredients. (Two is all-natural, three we reserve for organically-certified products.) But there are none of the ‘no-nos’ that would exclude the products from being included in our ‘natural’ book. In addition, Dr. Organic has won accolades in The Green Parent Natural Beauty Awards 2011 and the Natural Health Magazine Beauty Awards 2011.
And now for the rest of your question… Baking soda! Noooooo! Just don’t do it again. Baking soda is abrasive and drying, and we would never recommend it for faces. But do relax: your skin will replenish itself in 28-32 days and that current dryness should calm down – especially if you regularly moisturise with a rich cream. Also try applying milk at night with a cotton pad (ideally organic milk): the fats will help nourish skin, and several rosacea-prone friends of ours have found this calming and effective. We would also suggest adding in an Essential Fatty Acid supplement to your diet, to help skin from within. This is pretty much a universal prescription, actually – but you should really see/feel the benefits within six weeks or so; the one we repeatedly recommend (because we swear by it ourselves) is IdealOmega IdealOmega 3. (See below for sources.)
And the bottom line: no, you haven’t wasted your money… And we hope we’ve put your mind at rest so that you can enjoy using the products.
• Dr.Organic 100% Organic Aloe Vera Body Butter, £9.29 for 200 ml at www.hollandandbarrett.com; buy here
Q.I am interested in a skincare line called Sophyto. What is your opinion of Sophyto? Is there a product that you would recommend?
A.Despite contact with the makers of Sophyto, who even used to sit on the same Soil Association Healthy & Beauty Products standards-setting committee that Jo chaired, we’ve never successfully got hold of enough product for our testers to put this range through its real paces. We’re still trying! We certainly applaud the company’s ethical credentials and their efforts to create high-performance natural skincare. Speaking personally, our own opinion is that the products are OK – but there isn’t a lot of sensual pleasure when it comes to using them, because the packaging’s a bit workaday and clinical. And pleasure IS a big part of skincare, because when we love using something, we do it diligently and apply like clockwork – and that’s half the battle (at least when it comes to anti-ageing). Watch this space, meanwhile – we tend not to take ‘no’ for an answer…! And meanwhile, if you are looking for natural and organic skincare, do check out specialist site www.lovelula.com, which is one of our Beauty Bible-‘approved’ websites: they offer a terrific selection, including Laveré, Neal’s Yard and Dr.Hauschka – and as a Beauty Bible ‘insider’ you get a 5% discount on everything when you add the code bb12 at the checkout.
Q.I currently use natural and organic skincare products, including Lavera Faces for my face. Even though these are cheaper than other natural brands, I am still finding them very expensive, so I was wondering whether you knew of any other natural facial skincare brands I could try which might be better value for money? I am a fan of your book The Green Beauty Bible and would love to use products which would achieve the equivalent of at least two stars. I have oily skin so really do need skincare which prevents/reduces shine.
A.We’ll be frank: some of the really inexpensive organic and natural facial skincare products we’ve trialled have been a disappointment (and you can include some of the leading supermarket brands in that). Lavera’s products offer excellent value for the price, and are choices that we frequently recommend for wannabe-natural beauties on a budget. However, if you’re still looking to shave some pennies off your beauty budget, there are two ranges that we suggest that you check out. Purity Organic Skincare is a capsule range of Ecocert-certified skincare, including a wash, an exfoliator and two moisturisers; you can find it on-line at www.hollandandbarrett.com, if you click here. Also at Holland & Barrett, we have been hugely impressed by the Dr. Organic range of skincare (even though, despite the name, it’s not organically certified); we especially like the Aloe Vera range, and Pomegranate for more mature skins; find them on-line at www.hollandandbarrett.com or click here.