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Ingredient Review: Marks & Spencer Pure Natural Beauty

Marks & Spencer Pure Natural Beauty
(Note: please be mindful that products can be re-branded & formulations changed, this post is the opinion of author at the time of publication)

I became aware that Marks & Spencer had launched a skincare line called Pure Natural Beauty. You know me I had to hot foot it down to my local store to see if this was as "natural" as it implies. The new range promises BUAV approval, 95% natural ingredients, eco friendly packaging, British manufacturing and ingredients. Products are free from artificial colours, synthetic fragrances (100% essential oil), parabens, silicones and mineral oil. I decided to purchase the Moisture Plus Treatment Mask (50ml £6) as I have been trying to replace the Liz Earle Intensive Nourishing Mask which contains parabens. 

I have not got around to testing so this is going to be a review of the ingredients. Unfortunately, at the time of writing this post the ingredients are not listed online so I am unable to analyse every product from the range, that would also be a huge undertaking on my part.

Marks & Spencer Pure Natural Beauty

I have selected INCI ingredients in the mask that are of interest to me and may be a little scary sounding as we can all identify naturally derived ingredients such as water and oats

Sodium Polyacrylate - a sodium salt of Polyacrylic Acid
Phenoxyethonal - preservative that may cause irritation, synthetically derived
Caprylhydroxamic acid - preservative I can not find any information to say it is a cause for concern
Tocopherols - class of naturally occurring chemical compounds related to Vitamin E
Methylpropanediol - an organic glycol that functions as a solvent in beauty products and cosmetics.
Trisodium ethylenediamine disuccinate - a biodegradable chelator used in detergent applications a low hazard according to EWG 
Sodium Hydroxide - a highly caustic and reactive inorganic base. In high concentrations it can cause irritation but in cosmetics it’s used in small doses
Aspartic acid - An amino acid that occurs naturally in sugar beet, sugar cane, molasses and other plants, can also be created synthetically. Used to make skin smooth, is most often found in products for dry skin.
Sodium chloride - Common table salt.
Algin - a type of carbohydrate, derived from brown seaweed

Preservatives are required in products containing water so you can't always avoid these types of ingredients. Personally I would rather see Phenoxyethonal further down the ingredient list because it may indicate a smaller amount present in the formulation. Cosmetics that are cruelty free are always top priority so it is nice to see M&S products now carrying the BUAV leaping bunny logo. I think my biggest problem with the branding is calling the range "Pure" and I'm of the opinion this can lead people to think it's ideal for sensitive skin and that might not be the case for everyone. All cosmetics are a cocktail of ingredients whether naturally derived or synthetic. How you react to these ingredients depends on your skin type. My intention here is to highlight that you might be wise to look beyond the name. For me "PURE" isn't full of natural ingredients plucked from the garden (I know formulations are more complex than that but it's the best way I can express myself here). There are synthetic fillers which help a company achieve the lower price point. You can find better ingredient lists from green beauty indie brands who are devoted to sourcing plant extracts. I appreciate that allergic reactions can be caused by any ingredient (natural and synthetic) and that's why I stress that people with sensitive skin need to re-evaluate formulations and take time reading labels.