I have been moving onto more natural skin products and make up for many years. I try to think about where the product is made, who the parent company is, and what kind of packaging is used. Without making my own products this is always a balance. I find the Ethical Consumer scoring system very helpful as they research into a companies background on many different measures from environmental impact and tax evasion to animal testing. My personal values then help me to decide on the products I find acceptable and those that I don’t.
Something I used for many years was Lucus Papaw cream, I was introduced to this cream for all things; from a lip moisturiser to a bite cream to sun burn salve. Made in Australia, by a small family company, I believed it to be 100% natural paw paw fermented fruit. Every time I went to Australia, or had friends going, I would get some and often bought it as a presents for friends and work colleagues. I never questioned the tube labelling and it seemed to work well.
Then my sister in law, who is Australian, and a big user of the Lucas Paw Paw cream researched the product a bit further after she had her second child. She discovered on their website, to her horror, that it was mostly petroleum jelly!! This is used as a filler in many beauty products and is felt to be safe for human use by many regulatory bodies around the world. However if you are trying to keep your chemical cocktail down as much as possible and you try to avoid ingesting products made from oil derivatives this this not a product for you. We both felt let down by this company who we had trusted. The label says “fresh fermented fruit” the only other ingredient on the bottle is 0.1mg potassium sorbate as a preservative, no mention of the main ingredient. The company have an explanation of their rational on their web site which you can read here and make up your own mind. However on the flip side a number of reasons to avoid petroleum based products can be found here. Most products need a base to help the active ingredient work or to water it down, when the pure product could be too strong, things like coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil or Shea butter are all natural options.
The moral of the story for me is if you want to be sure what is in what you are putting in, and on, your body don’t just trust a personal recommendation or a label. Check it out for yourself, check the product has a certification label you can trust such as the Soil Association (organic) or the leaping bunny (no animal testing) or consider making some things yourself if you can’t find one that meets your requirements. Thankfully while on this trip to Australia I have found an alternative 100% natural product called Pure Papaya.