Today on the blog we thought we'd address a very controversial topic that is starting to gain ground more and more: the controversy of 'all-natural' beauty brands being not so clean.
Why care about doing your research?
Doing your research before you purchase can be one of the most life-saving things you can do to protect your health. Just because brands claim to be clean, all-natural, and organic, doesn't mean they actually are.
In 2019, The New York Times conducted research into the 5,000 chemicals the National Toxicology Program had tested. Out of these chemicals, the NTP only found 11 chemicals to be unsafe for dermal use.
Here's the kicker though: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) then came out with a statement that of these 5,000 chemicals tested, they "still don't have a clear understanding of how these chemicals may be absorbed through the skin or mucous membrane".
Therefore, there is a risk that these chemicals may have potentially hazardous impacts on women and children, without knowing exactly what may happen or the reactions that may ensue.
So why do your research? It's important that you know exactly what is in the products you are using. If you are prone to allergic reactions, have sensitive skin, or have known sensitivities to certain ingredients or products, it is incredibly important you make an educated and informed decision on what you are using!
Skylar Natural Perfume
Skylar hit the market and came roaring into the all-natural beauty scene after Bath & Body Works was reported to contain known carcinogens and other cancer-causing agents in some of their products, including their famous 3-wick candles.
Skylar began advertising that their perfumes and products were natural, clean, and were created from clean ingredients. Their sample packs became a huge hit because you could try their products at lower prices without having to commit. One of their big points that they also like to focus on is that their perfume is reasonably priced for their market.
However, how do their claims match up with what we are finding on their website and by doing a simple Google Search on their products and ingredients? Let's find out!
Here's What We Really Found:
When you do an initial Google Search of Skylar, the first ads and links that pop up name the brand as Natural Perfume, Made in the USA, and claim to have Clean Fragrances. Sound pretty good, right?
I'll be honest, I was pretty darn excited when I first started reading about Skylar. I have a huge passion for clean beauty, especially when it comes to perfume, cologne, and body sprays. Therefore, when I found Skylar, I was thrilled for our industry! Finally, a brand that actually is free from synthetics and has clean, natural ingredients!
However, the more and more I looked into Skylar, the more disappointed I became. When you go to their website, you will see a screen that looks similar to this:
The first thing that immediately came to my mind was, unfortunately, a red flag. With the naming conventions they use and the scents they continually mention over and over again on their front page, I knew something was up.
Nevertheless, I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt. Their branding and adorable product names were super cute!
Therefore, I decided to do a little more digging. I ran my mouse over their "Fragrance" option in their menu, and was met with a huge array of options to choose from, including a larger button on the right of the screen called "About Our Scents":
I was super excited that they actually had a section about the ingredients in their products, so I decided to click on it! This was exactly what I was looking for. But you know what I found?
Their advertising is almost completely false.
If you scroll down to their first product that they feature on their page, you are met with an explanation of scents and a short bio of their ingredients, like below:
If you aren't familiar with natural ingredients, they can be defined as such:
Natural ingredients include plant, animal, mineral and/or microbial ingredients present in (or produced by) nature. Natural ingredients may also be directly extracted using simple methods (like simple chemical reactions) or they may be the result of naturally occurring biological processes.
When I looked at just the main ingredients listed for Vanilla Sky, I was met with conflicting information: caramelized cedar isn't a natural ingredient; and neither is "Cappuccino STT".
When you look up Smell-The-Taste to see if other brands use it, you'll find that there is almost no information on these ingredients. The simple act of translating the smell of a food to a chemical also gives me a red flag that those ingredients aren't actually all-natural either.
At this point, I pretty much had found what I was looking for: SKYLAR PERFUME IS NOT NATURAL LIKE THEY CLAIM TO BE. However, I still wanted to find out more just to be sure.
I then clicked on "Shop Vanilla Sky" and clicked on their first product listing, Vanilla Sky Scent Squad. They thankfully had a tab that listed all of their ingredients, first with fragrance ingredients, and then with an extensive list of every ingredient in their products.
The biggest red flag I saw was the ingredient 'Parfum/Fragrance'. If you do a simple Google Search into this term, you will find that over 1500 ingredients that are known to be potentially toxic to the human body can be hidden under this ingredient term to protect a company's "Proprietary Blend" from being revealed on the market.
What I'm saying is what I've already mentioned before: we have no idea what actual ingredients are in these products, meaning we have no idea how they could impact us or what reactions we could have if we use them on our bodies.
BUT WAIT. I'M STILL NOT DONE.
As a last stitch effort, I decided to click on the "View Full Fragrance Ingredient List Here" button. Be prepared, y'all.
What I met with left me undoubtedly shocked and heartbroken:
This was the end of the line for me. Not only do Skylar's products contain un-natural ingredients, but they are also filled with synthetics and botanical ingredients that are not identified correctly (see Cedarwood: it's legally supposed to be identified by its scientific Latin Binomial, but is not).
So what am I saying, exactly? Do your own research before you trust a brand. It is imperative to your own health to make sure you aren't taking a brand for what it says; over the past couple years, we as consumers have been starting to learn this harsh reality with large corporations like Johnson & Johnson, Old Spice, and many others.
This is why we have such a big passion at Ampersand Essentials for truly all-natural products and ingredients. Every single product we create has truly natural ingredients that you can recognize, pronounce, and do your own research on.
We pride ourselves in being transparent with you, the consumer. We strive to be a healthy and trustworthy resource so you can go out and make your own decisions for yourself, your family, and even to help educate your friends.
Stay safe, y'all!