Saturday, July 26, 2008

It's Not Green: Be Fine Exfoliating Cleanser

Here's one for the "save your money" files.  I was in my local CVS the other week, perusing the cleansers, and close to their exceedingly small group of "natural" skin care products was the "Be fine food skin care" range.  Needing a cleanser, and not having tried Be fine line before, I grabbed it.  I suppose I didn't study the ingredient list on the package, and as I no longer have the outer packaging I'm beginning to wonder if there was one there to start with!  I'm sure it must have had an ingredient list, but I guess I was in a hurry. The line touts itself as containing food-grade ingredients, no parabens, allergen free fragrance, vegetarian proteins, and that it has had no animal testing whatsoever.  So, even though I knew it wasn't claiming to be organic, I thought I'd give it a go as it seemed to be kind of green.  At $12.79 at least it fit into my price range.

Using it was fine - it is quite nicely exfoliating, and lathers very well. However, because it tries hard to be very foody, it feels like you are exfoliating your face with a brown sugar paste. Not that that's a bad thing, but it kept making me wonder why I didn't just go to the kitchen cabinet and make a brown sugar paste that would probably do the job as well.  For a lot less money.

It was only later that I went and checked all the ingredients.  For a start, it contains sodium laureth sulfate, which is a no-no in my book.  But hey, no wonder the product lathered well. Worse still, it also contains ingredients that I hadn't really come across before, and which I now know are nasty preservatives - one being methylisothiazolinone, which is apparently a neurotoxin.  Another is methylchloroisothiazolinone, and I found a website that claims it is an extremely potent allergen that "was responsible for an epidemic of contact sensitivity, in some geographical areas, in the 1980s and early 1990s".  

So clearly I was the victim of some green washing here.  They took out the parabens so that they could claim that the product was "paraben free" and replaced them with some equally nasty, if not nastier, preservatives. Shame on you, makers of Be fine!

Don't make the same mistake that I did!  Zero stars for this one.

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