I get daily alerts from Group On and one day a couple of years ago I received an offer for a discount voucher for the organic cosmetics website 'Green People'. I believe I paid £12 for a voucher that could be used for £30-worth of products and one of the ones I chose was the 'Day Solution SPF15 Skin Defence Moisturiser'. I'm always on the look-out for good moisturisers and I particularly struggle to find good day creams so I thought this was well worth a dry. With a list price (checked today) of £14.95 it was at the top end of what I'd pay for something from a company I didn't know, but with a substantial saving due to my voucher I was ready to give it a go.
Green People was a new company for me and I read up that it was founded in 1997 by a mother whose young daughter suffered with eczema and allergies. She believed that if she could create 'home made' style skin care products which were free from irritants such as alcohol and parabens, stuffed full of as many 'organic' ingredients as possible and avoided things like SLS, phthalates, petrochemicals and synthetic colours and fragrances, she could keep her daughter's skin problems under control. What started as a small scale problem solving for her family grew into a company which now has more than a hundred products on offer.
I am not at all committed to organic anything although I will concede that organic fruit and veg sometimes taste better than mass produced alternatives. I'm also a sceptic about 'natural' skin care products and a firm believer that a more scientific approach is better. OK, some people don't want parabens - I say "Stuff them in". If you could see the age of some of the toiletries tucked away at the back of my cupboards you'd know why I am preservative-friendly. However whilst I don't look for these things myself, I'm quite happy for others to seek out such products. I can understand that some people do want these types of products due to allergies or ethical reasons but I personally have no strange allergies other than sticky plasters and my skin is not problematic.
The star of my order was the facial oil which I have previously reviewed and which I started playing with straight away. From memory my order was not delivered at a particularly hot time of the year so sun protection wasn't top of my priorities and the day cream sat in the cupboard for a while until the weather perked up.
I liked the simplicity of the packaging - a slender white column of plastic with the product label neatly wrapped around it. I rather admired that this was a pack that could be used by the company for lots of different products just by changing the label. The front of the pack told me that 85% of the ingredients were 'certified organic' whilst the back listed dozens of ingredients, where appropriate giving the botanical names followed by the common names in brackets. I'll come back to a few of the ingredients in more detail later.
The back label also displayed the product's credentials with logos indication that ingredients were fairly traded, vegan, certified organic and that the company is listed with the 'Good Shopping Guide' as an 'ethical' company. The logo that tells me the product is good for 12 months after opening was also displayed.
The proof of the pudding however is not in the ingredients or where they come from - it's in the eating or in this case the using. With the cap removed, the pump top is easy to push and it's not difficult to control how much cream you get. The cream is slightly off-white in colour and is quite a firm lotion. It spreads easily but leaves a white residue on the skin that might appeal if you are a geisha or a trainee clown but for everyone else means you'll need to rub it in carefully to avoid looking like a ghost. Once it's on the skin and well rubbed in, it manages to perform the miraculous feat of feeling both too heavy and greasy and leaving my skin feeling rather dry and tight. I have no idea how it can do both at the same time but my skin doesn't feel comfortable when I use this cream. If the weather is hot enough to need sunscreen, this leaves my face unattractively oily or sweaty. At other times I just feel in need of putting a 'proper' moisturiser on top. For this reason I have barely used more than a small part of this cream as it just doesn't suit my skin at all.
Back to a few of the ingredients. Don't worry I won't bore you with the whole lots as all the info is on the website. There's a whole host of natural oils in this cream including sunflower seed, jojoba, hemp, and olive oils. Other plant extracts include aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile. The oil which gives the product the distinctive light scent (which I recognised from the facial oil) is geranium. For those who care about such things - and we probably should - two sun screens are used. The first is isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate which is apparently a 'naturally-occurring UV-filter although if I really did care, I'd want to know where it 'naturally occurs' and rather more mundane titanium dioxide which is no doubt responsible for the whitening effect on the skin. Green People like to tell us almost as much about what ISN'T in the product as what is and the website confirms that there are no parabens, Lanolin, ethyl alcohol, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals, phthalates or colourants.
This product was not a hit with me and is now just taking up bathroom cupboard space. Somehow I can't bring myself to throw away something so expensive but I loathe the way it makes my skin feel. I decided to try to use it up as a hand cream but even my hands don't seem to like it very much. If you are someone who cares about ingredient sourcing and cosmetic ethics, I would suggest to see if you can get a sample size before diving in with a full bottle of this, just in case your skin doesn't like it either. I'm sure it will be perfect for many people but it's not one for me.
Ingredients: Aqua (spring water), ^Elaeis guineensis (palm) oil, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamate (naturally-occurring UV-filter), Cetearyl glucoside (emulsifying plant wax), Titanium dioxide (mineral UV-filter), Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Cannabis sativa (hemp) oil, Cetearyl alcohol (emulsifying plant wax), Glyceryl stearate (plant-derived moisturiser), Olea europaea (olive) oil, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) powder, Sodium stearoyl glutamate, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) extract, Camelia sinensis (green tea) extract, Chamomilla recutita (chamomile) extract, Aroma , Phenoxyethanol, Benzoic acid and Dehydroacetic acid (preservative system), Geraniol, Citronellol, Linalool, Citral, d-Limonene (from essential oils) / 85 / 10 % organic / Day Cream / Organic Aloe Vera, Green Tea & Chamomile / Day cream with medium UVA/UVB protection / Ideal , even sensitive skin / The nourishing, protecting effects of this gentle day cream help to prevent premature ageing / Moisturises and rebalances your skin / Protects against cell damage / Natural sunscreen protection – SPF15 / Gently scented with Rose Geranium / Directions for use: Apply in the morning to a freshly cleansed and toned face and neck using gentle stroking movements /