One of the unsexiest posts of the year, this one. I was doing some price comparisons this morning between “similar” hair, face and shower products along the lines of green(er) v. “not green at all” high street/supermarket shelf big household name brands, and these three caught my eye.

So, zooming in on the ingredients, here’s what your money really is buying you…

TOP ROW (there is a pretty significant price difference here, but Dr. Organic’s product is a nourishing intensive treatment SOS for hair, while Garnier are bit cagey about their ingredients on their website, simply stating: “The Weightless Nourisher is enriched with the most mythical of oils, Virgin Olive Oil, and Safflower Seed Oil” (I think you may have left out a few ingredients, Garnier marketing team! But they’re on Superdrug’s website so here they are, below…)

Dr Organic Hair Rescue and Restore (2016 Beauty Shortlist Awards winner) £10.99 (they also do a Hemp Rescue 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner for £6.99) A lot of essential oils and plant extracts mentioned on the label:

Aqua, Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Cocamidopropyl betaine, Sodium lauroyl methyl isethionate, Lauryl glucoside, Sodium cocoamphoacetate, Cannabis sativa (Hemp) seed oil, Propanediol (Naturally derived), Arginine, Lactic acid, Glycine soja (Soybean) germ extract, Triticum vulgare (Wheat) germ extract, Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap) root extract, Gluconolactone, Calcium gluconate, Humulus lupulus (Hop) extract, Hibiscus sabdariffa flower extract, Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) extract, Sodium lauroyl sarcosinate, Sodium methyl oleoyl taurate, Coco-glucoside, Glyceryl oleate, Sodium cocoyl isethionate, Dipterocarpus turbinatus (Gurjum balsam) oil, Cymbopogon martinii (Palmarosa) oil, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (Rosemary) leaf oil, Cinnamomum camphora (Camphor) bark oil, Mentha piperita (Peppermint) oil, Pogostemon cablin (Patchouli) oil, Pelargonium graveolens (Geranium) oil, Vetiveria zizanoides (Vetiver) root oil, Citrus limon (Lemon) peel extract, Cupressus sempervirens (Cypress) seed extract, Litsea cubeba (May chang) oil, Lavandula hybrida (Lavender) oil, Silk amino acids, Tocopherol, Hydrogenated palm glycerides citrate, Benzyl alcohol, Sodium phytate, Sodium chloride, Citric acid, Alcohol, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Geraniol, Linalool, Limonene.

Garnier Ultimate Blends Extreme Nourisher Shampoo £3.95 (but it’s under £2 at Superdrug at the moment)

Ingredients: (Other than Olive, Safflower Oil and Castor Oil, not sure where the “extreme nourishing” bit is coming from (cough).

As a side note, authenticity is going to be really key in 2017, so The Beauty Shortlist’s “Read The Label” mantra will apply more than ever.  I hope there’s an uprising against brands that pretend to be green/organic, but are not that – at all. It’s deceitful. It’s all about money. They know green beauty has a skyrocketing consumer fan club and they want a juicy, fat chunk of the money from their pockets. End of.

Right now the only way you really know what your cash is buying is to read the label (don’t take front-of-box claims as being true till you’ve checked the label or see that the product is certified by one of the organic/eco associations like Soil Association, NatTrue, etc.)

This particular Garnier Shampoo has a longer list of ingredients than the mythical olive oil and safflower oil on their website. The full list is:

Aqua / Water, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Coco-Betaine, Cocamide MIPA, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Hydroxide, Olea Europaea Oil / Olive Fruit Oil, PPG-5-Ceteth-20, PEG-55 Propylene Glycol Oleate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyquaternium-10, Salicylic Acid, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Benzyl Alcohol, Amodimethicone, Propylene Glycol, Carthamus Tinctorius Seed Oil / Safflower Seed Oil, Citric Acid, Laureth-5 Carboxylic Acid, Hexyl Cinnamal, Parfum / Fragrance

Next up…not too big a difference in price, and both of these are really affordable moisturisers but the big difference once again is in the ingredients.


Dr Organic Pomegranate Anti-Ageing Cream £8.79 

Ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice extract, Aqua, Coco-caprylate, Dicaprylyl ether, Glyceryl stearate, Cetearyl alcohol, Caprylic/Capric triglyceride, Cetyl ricinoleate, Glycerin, Cetearyl glucoside, Rhus verniciflua peel wax, Parfum, Sodium stearoyl glutamate, Chondrus crispus (Carrageenan) extract, Xanthan gum, Tocopheryl acetate, Punica granatum (Pomegranate) fruit juice, Menyanthes trifoliata leaf extract, Ubiquinone (Coenzyme Q10), Citric acid, Sodium benzoate, Potassium sorbate, Citronellol, Hexyl cinnamal, Limonene, Geraniol, Linalool.

Side note again – this is a lovely, light, clean-feeling moisturiser not in the least bit sticky and I think it’s good value for money. Earmark it for next time you’re feeling a bit strapped for cash but need a new day cream.

Nivea Pure and Natural Anti-Wrinkle Cream  is currently £6.00 at Tesco’s.  I do think Pure and Natural is a misleading name for a range which is not, in broad daylight or in darkness, pure or natural. Nivea plays heavily on the natural ingredients it does include in its formulas, using words like “trusted”, emphasising its history as a big brand and stating the fact that there’s barely a German household without a Nivea product in it. There’s barely a UK household without a Nivea product in it, either. (And years ago, there was barely a mum who wasn’t using Johnson & Johnson’s No More Tears Baby Shampoo until the lawsuits forced J&J to take out the potential carcinogens and reformulate it, which it did gradually, country by country. Shocking, yes, as so many millions of mums rubbed the “gentle” golden shampoo onto their babies’ heads…just look at the news about their Talc now – same story. The big take away here is:

Big + Popular does not mean it’s good, or good for you (same applies to the music industry and celebrities).

But back to Nivea’s Pure and Natural Anti-Wrinkle Day Cream, and here’s the lowdown on this one:

Aqua, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Alcohol Denat., Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Methylpropanediol, Octyldodecanol, Dicaprylyl Ether, Glyceryl Stearate, Arctium Lappa Fruit Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Carbomer, Xanthan Gum, 1,2-Hexanediol, Phenoxyethanol, Linalool, Limonene, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Geraniol, Parfum

Stepping into the shower now, with one more swap – this one’s “night and day” when the ingredients glare back at you.

Dr Bronner Peppermint Pure Castile Shower Soap £7.03, 100% organic, on Amazon.co.uk today

(All natural ingredients which you can see clearly on the front label)

Water, Organic Coconut Oil*, Potassium Hydroxide**, Organic Palm Kernel Oil*, Organic Olive Oil*, Mentha Arvensis, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Mentha Piperita, Citric Acid, Tocopherol

** None remains after saponifying oils into soap & glycerin.

NIVEA Energy Men’s Shower/Body Wash £1 at Superdrug (£2.49 at some other stores)

Aqua, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Parfum, Glycerin, Glyceryl Glucoside, Menthol, Sodium Chloride, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyquaternium-7, Citric Acid, PEG-200 Hydrogenated Glyceryl Palmate, Sodium Benzoate, Linalool, Limonene, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Citronellol, Benzyl Alcohol, Coumarin, Citral, CI 61570

£1 to slather myself in Benzyl Alcohol, SLS’s and Butylphenyl Methylpropional? I wouldn’t pay 30p.

(Side note: Butylphenyl Methylpropional in Sept 2015 was deemed not safe – it’s a controversial ingredient and basically it’s a cheap, synthetic fragrance with a “poor” rating by the EWG (Environmental Working Group), too.

Pass the Dr Bronner’s Peppermint Wash, I’m keeping my shower and my skin clean in 2017.

Have you found any fab clean(er) beauty swaps lately? Feel free to share them here or with me on Twitter or Instagram.






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