Grown Alchemist Hydra-Restore Cream Cleanser – and a rant

Followers of my Instagram will have seen the below picture last week showing my face immediately after cleansing with the above product. I had high hopes for Grown Alchemist – and in fairness to them, I have only used this product so far, and this result won’t stop me using the rest of the range – BUT: the cleanser above gave me a reaction quite unlike one I’ve had in a long, long time.  

I can only assume it is one of the essential oils – probably balsam? However unless I take further allergy tests it will prove hard to find out – and this is the reason I’m writing this post – which is not in any way to bash a brand, not my style – more to make a point that it is possible for anyone to be allergic/unsuited to anything

No filter, just reddened, burning hot skin.

Having said all of that, upon doing research for this post it does kind of grate that the brand talks about its range as if it’s the second coming of an organic Jesus and yet – not only doesn’t publish the full ingredients listing on their site, claims to be safe and free from ‘harmful chemical ingredients’. See their own page for yourself: grownalchemist.com/philosophy

This is what is in the product according to Grown Alchemist’s site:

‘Active ingredients – OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT, A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT AND TONIC, HELPS SLOW THE VISIBLE SIGNS OF AGE LINES WHILE SOOTHING, HYDRATING AND FIRMING THE SKINS APPEARANCE. B VITAMIN NOTICEABLY REDUCES PORE SIZE, ASTRINGENT YARROW EXTRACTS AND TRACE ELEMENT ZINC ASSIST TO VISIBLY TONE, FIRM, AND ENERGISE THE SKIN GIVING A NATURAL RADIANCE TO THE COMPLEXION. POLYSACCARIDES AND FUCOIDANS FROM RED SEAWEED PROVIDE LASTING HYDRATION AND VISIBLY EVEN OUT SKIN TONE. PLANTAGO EXTRACTAND BETA-GLUCAN FROM OAT SOOTHE AND THOROUGHLY CLEANSE THE SKIN LEAVING FACIAL SKIN LOOKING BEAUTIFULLY HEALTHY.


Right. Thanks for that. I was actually looking for ingredients. (If you can actually find the entire list of ingredients on their site, please do let me know, but you have better eyes than me.)

This is what is actually in the product (thanks to Space NK’s site):

ALOE BARBADENSIS (ALOE VERA) LEAF EXTRACT, AQUA (PURIFIED WATER), CAMELLIA OLEIFERA (CAMELLIA) SEED OIL, CETEARYL OLIVATE (AND) SORBITAN OLIVATE (PLANT), CETYL ALCOHOL (PLANT), OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) LEAF EXTRACT, BENZYL ALCOHOL (PLANT), PLANTAGO LANCEOLATA (PLANTAIN) LEAF EXTRACT, CITRUS SINENSIS (SWEET ORANGE) PEEL OIL EXPRESSED, SODIUM DEHYDROACETATE (ORGANIC LISTED), XANTHAN GUM (POLYSACCHARIDE), LACTIC ACID (PLANT), CANANGA ODORATA (YLANG YLANG) FLOWER OIL, TOCOPHEROL (PLANT), MYROXYLON PEREIRAE (PERU BALSAM) OIL, ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM (YARROW) EXTRACT, AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT, ZINC OXIDE (MINERAL), POGOSTEMON CABLIN (PATCHOULI) LEAF OIL SANTALUM SPICATA (SANDALWOOD) WOOD OIL, NIACINAMIDE (VITAMIN B3), ALGAE (FUCUS) EXTRACT, CITRUS PARADISI (GRAPEFRUIT) PEEL OIL, LINALOOL (PLANT), LIMONENE (PLANT), BENZYL SALICYLATE (PLANT) FARNESOL (PLANT), BENZYL BENZOATE (PLANT).

First of all, if you’re that proud of your ingredients, list them in full, surely? Secondly, all ingredients are active. They all serve a purpose. You could technically say that baking soda is an active ingredient in cakes, but without the flour it does jack. The flour is part of the equation – a rather big one. This whole ‘active’ ingredients trend is at best annoying, and at worst, lying to consumers.

All of the above leads me to this post from Colin’s Beauty Pages – which he posted on Saturday (rather nicely timed). Colin is a cosmetic scientist who frequently dispenses fact over marketing hype and this is exactly one of those occasions. Please do have a read.

So I guess what I’m saying is:

  • any brand can make any claim about any ingredient – and they blatantly do – all the time. The proof is in the pudding. Hardly anyone patch tests anymore, but do try and test everything for yourself before you buy. 
  • with more people than ever buying online, surely you are losing money and custom as a brand by not being completely open with your customers about your ingredients. If you don’t have something to hide (and I’m not suggesting that Grown Alchemist do), and are particularly proud of your organic non-harmful second coming of Jesus ingredients, please do prove it.
  • don’t make people scout around online looking for ingredients lists before they can purchase. From a customer service point of view, its poor, very poor – and from a monetary point of view, if you are a brand that inadvertently sends your would-be customers elsewhere because you don’t tell people everything that is in your products, you are losing your 100% margin. How does that make any sense at all?

This is not the first time I’ve had a rant about the lack of information re ingredients on websites:  carolinehirons.com/ingredients and sadly I doubt it will be the last – but people need to know what they are buying. Don’t they?

As I said, I’m not generally comfortable with negative blogging so if you have used Grown Alchemist and love it – or have any recommendations of what else to use from the range first – please do let me know, I’m all for being fair.

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