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Fake Natural Skincare - Sanex Zero, Jergens, Lush

Fake Natural Skincare - Sanex Zero, Jergens, Lush
I feel there are number of products on the market that claim to be natural and organic but are full of synthetic ingredients. It is all about clever marketing, ambiguous wording and fancy packaging. If you decide to switch your skincare from mainstream to natural you need to become a savvy shopper and learn ingredients and INCI. As the saying goes "do not judge a book by its cover". It is a skill that takes a little while to perfect and I do not always get it right, as you'll remember from my previous post about Body Shop shower gel.

You've probably heard of Jergens Natural, which is promoted as “natural” skin cream. The claim is "95% natural ingredients" but the formulation still contains synthetic fillers. A natural extract has been altered in a laboratory it's not quite the same as using the ingredient direct from nature. Lush is another brand who I believe is hiding behind its image of natural handmade products. Many of their product still contain parabens, colourants, parfum and SLS. These are ingredients frowned upon in the Green Beauty community. I became all to aware of this after purchasing Dream Cream, a product often recommended for eczema prone skin. Sadly, I experienced a reaction and that's when I decided to do a little research on the ingredients. Dream Cream does contain naturally derived ingredients but also lists parabens, parfum and Triethanolamine (a synthetic emulsifier).

It was Sanex Zero% that kick started my thought processes today after a sample drop from a magazine I was reading. Now Zanex isn't claiming "natural extracts" so they are not competing for a piece of the green beauty pie, however, they are claiming to have omitted ingredients which might give the impression that it falls under the "free from and natural" umbrella. Part of what the natural community believes in is the ingredients we choose to avoid. At first glance this product boldly tells you "Zero %" with parabens, colourants and soap listed below but it's the full ingredient list which gives a complete picture of the formulation. Turn the packaging around and you read “contains a reduced number of ingredients” which is a clever use of words. Cast your eye over the full ingredients and you see listings for SLS and parfum. Why does this bother me so much? well, Sanex markets to the consumer with sensitive skin, SLS and parfum are known skin irritants. Of course everyone is different but it still bothers me on principal.

I've become aware of ingredients out of a necessity to try and establish why I'm reacting to some products. There are online resources such as EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database and searching Google will bring up other articles. I encourage reading as much as possible so that you can obtain a balance of views. It's important to arm yourself with knowledge, look towards smaller brands who are transparent with ingredient lists. Remember that some big global brands are simply jumping on trends, "paraben free" are the buzz words at the moment.


  1. Thanks for the post! Very informative! Now I know which products is fake natural skin care!

  2. How deceptive are the companies! People suffering from allergies and skin conditions are being mislead. Another loosely used term is "Organic".

    BTW, not a big fan of Lush, the smell puts me off!

  3. This is one of my pet hates... Companies who try and pretend they're natural. It's very misleading for people who are trying to find products that won't cause reactions for them. Very informative post.

  4. Thank you everyone for commenting & I am happy that you found what I had to say informative

    @DeyiMizu Companies are very misleading so I am glad you have been able to learn something from my post

    @Su I agree with you regarding the word Organic, it is an area that I need to learn more about. I know what you mean about Lush it makes me sneeze just walking past the door

    @Beauty Junkie I feel exactly the same as you it makes me mad

  5. I completely agree with you. I had the exact reaction to Dream Cream, after being lead to believe it was the perfect answer to eczema. What a waste of money that was!

    I've taken to making my own skincare wherever I can now as I find it very hard to believe which brands actually are natural now. -Unless I see them on here of course!
    Great post by the way.
    Carrie xx

  6. @Carrie - I have never attempted making my own skincare. Is it an relatively easy thing to do? Yes, evil Dream Cream mine ended up in bin as well. The world a natural skincare is confusing the key for me is lots of research and google the ingredients if you are unsure :)

  7. Hello and thanks for the post! I was not aware that Sodium Laureth Sulfate was bas....just for the skin or for the environment as well? Where can I buy a good, biodegradable, and possibly vegetarian soap in Manchester? Cheers :-)

    1. SLES is a skin irritant for some people, man made synthetic ingredient will have impact on the environment. As I don't live near Manchester I do not know where you could buy locally. I suggest seeking out a health/organic store or ordering online.