Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul

What’s in Your Facial Cleanser?


I recently spent some investigating the ingredient list of a facial cleanser that one of my good friends swears by. The company’s tag line implies (directly) that it uses natural ingredients. I wanted to know what went into her cleanser so that I could try to make something similar.

Unfortunately, I was met with a wee bit of disappointment when I saw the list of ingredients. Given that they were hard to pronounce, I was pretty sure that they were not actually natural. Some of the best gems were, “Methylchloroisothiazolinone” and “Sodium Laureth Sulfate”. Unfortunately, this product was not listed on the Skin Deep site. However, this ingredient list contained many of the major chemicals that Gill Deacon warns about in her book, There’s Lead in Your Lipstick.  I took it one step further and looked the ingredients up online to see what I could find.

In fact, many of the ingredients in the product seemed to fit the description of ‘natural’.  It included things like:  Water, urea, xanthum gum, and allantoin. All of this seemed to be relatively harmless.

On the other hand, there were a few ingredients that concerned me.  Here’s what I learned:

Sodium Laureth Sulfate – This is what makes your soap and shampoo bubbly.  SLS also works great at degreasing car engines.  Sounds like something that you should put on your face, right?

Propylene Glycol   – found in Tyre sealant, Rubber cleaner, De-icer, and Stain removers.  Need I say more?

PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate – This is a synthetic polymer based on PEG (polyethylene glycol) and fatty acids derived from coconut oil.  Not so natural, after all.

Methylchloroisothiazolinone and Methylisothiazolinone – These are preservatives and are both restricted from use in Canadian cosmetics (My friend’s cleanser is NOT made by a Canadian company).

There’s no doubt in my mind that finding the right products to keep your skin healthy and glowing is a challenge.  As big as that challenge is, I personally believe it’s equally imperative to avoid exposing your skin to more chemicals than is necessary.

Do you know what’s in your facial cleanser?

10 thoughts on “What’s in Your Facial Cleanser?

  1. I know, because I made it myself 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Most Common Toxic Ingredients in Cosmetics « Au Naturel Essence

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