Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nourish Food for Healthy Skin's Cucumber & Watercress Face Wash: Truth In Labeling, My Ass!

Author: Tamatha

Last summer I was at my local natural food store because I needed to buy more secondary face wash. (My primary face wash, the one I use daily, is an apricot scrub; this was for those times when I need to wash my face a second (or third, or fourth) time during the day.) My plan was to get more of the one that I had recently run out of, but my eye was caught by Nourish Food for Healthy Skin's Cucumber & Watercress Face Wash, which in addition to being all kinds of natural, is also certified organic. If you've read my bio, you know I'm a sucker for beauty products that claim to be natural. So, something organic is only going to set my bells a-ringin' (is that an actual saying, or am I just making up my own shit now?). ANYWAY.

I look at the ingredient list, and I have to agree that nothing on the list looks particularly chemical-ly; I recognize all the items listed. There's also this message on the back of the bottle:
Product labels shout about the "good stuff" in them and many claim to be "organic." READ the ingredients on the labels. LOOK OUT for chemicals--they can dry or irritate skin, absorb into our bodies, risk our health, and contaminate our earth. LOOK FOR the USDA seal to assure that the product meets strict standards and really is 95-100% certified organic.
I look at the ingredient list of my previous face wash, and well, not so much with the words that don't bring to mind a lab. So I decide to give this new face wash a try.

Given all their hoopla about how awesomely natural and organic their product is and exhorting folks to not be tricked by products that claim to be something that they are not, you can imagine my surprise when I used the product and it really didn't live up to its name. This is supposed to be a cucumber & watercress face wash, so I was expecting it to be cucumber-y and watercress-y. Nope. Not at all.

My first clue that this face wash wasn't going to meet my expectations was when I poured it onto my hand. It was orange. Now, I may just be a victim of previous products relying on dyes, but I was expecting this face wash to be green or at least some shade of white/cream. Definitely not orange. Last time I checked, neither cucumbers nor watercress are orange. But never mind, I'm sure that since they are focused on being all natural, they don't believe in dyes (natural or otherwise); this isn't a deal breaker.

Then I applied the product to my face. Was I greeted with the scent of cucumber and/or watercress? No, I was not. Instead it was more orange, which is strange since this is not an orange face wash. Oranges have very different properties than cucumbers or watercress. And what was it that I noticed when I was washing my face with my new cucumber & watercress face wash? Why, it was orange oil of course! (If you've ever used an orange oil product, it has a very distinct feel on the skin.) Imagine my surprise, because I'm not sure if I've mentioned this or not, but this is a CUCUMBER AND WATERCRESS face wash. I know because it says so RIGHT ON THE FUCKING LABEL.

I take a closer look at the list of ingredients. The fourth item listed (not surprisingly at this point) is, yes, you guessed it, sweet orange oil. That explains a lot. Hmm, where is cucumber or watercress on this list? Let's see. Cucumber extract is item number ten (out of twelve ingredients). Watercress extract is number eleven. The only thing there's less of than those two ingredients is aloe! No wonder I get no hint of cucumber or watercress, but instead find this product to be so damn orange-y.

So yeah, I was not pleased. After purposefully picking this product due to its natural and organic ingredients, I felt duped, because I was expecting the soothing qualities of cucumber and watercress (I assume watercress is soothing, it sounds soothing and it's a soothing shade of green), not a product whose dominant feature is orange oil, which although good at cleaning, is not particularly soothing in nature. I was also really annoyed because I felt like a product that accused other products of being less than honest in how they represented themselves to the customer, then described their own product as being a cucumber and watercress face wash when it was really an orange one, and that was definitely misleading. (Also, I don't remember how expensive it was, but I'm pretty sure it was A) more expensive than my previous one, and B) not cheap.)

I seriously contemplated sending them an angry missive (back in the day I used to be so good at those), but the laziness won out. Luckily, I have this public forum to vent my frustrations. You're welcome.

Here's the funny thing. It's a perfectly fine face wash. It does a good job of cleaning my skin--even when it's a hot and humid day in the middle of summer and I've been outside gardening, so my face is good and sweaty and oily--without being too drying. And a little of the product goes a long way. I use less than a dime-sized amount at a time. I've just finished my second summer of using the product (the bottle is 8.5 oz), and I've used maybe half of it. And it really is full of completely recognizable ingredients. Not to mention it is certified organic and it's not tested on animals. So, all those are good qualities. I'm just still pissed that they advertised their product as one thing, but it turned out to be quite different.

4 out of 8 tentacles. Ironically, as a face wash it's totally fine, good even, but they lose four tentacles for pulling what felt like a bait and switch. In fact, if I weren't so annoyed, they probably would get six tentacles.

Rating: 4/8 tentacles

1 comment:

  1. You have just cracked me up with this review. I am a product reviewer myself and praise other bloggers for speaking out against companies and products that are full of BS! Who would have thought? Watercress and Cucumber being almost the last ingredients on the list??