I recently had the opportunity to try out some products from natural Australian brand Moogoo, and their associated cosmetics line Dusty Girls. Moogoo are a cult brand for people with sensitive skin, so I was excited to try it out for myself.
Moogoo and Dusty Girls are on the natural marketing side of things, but they’re relatively sensible – though not always consistent.
For example, they have these encouragingly sensible statements that I wholeheartedly agree with, and address common myths that natural (and non-natural!) brands often exploit for sweet sweet profits:
- We don’t claim that everything not natural is dangerous. Sometimes science can concentrate the beneficial effects from natural ingredients. And we use those ingredients ourselves. However, we do feel that some skin care products use poor quality ingredients because they are cheap and easy to manufacture in large quantities.
- If there are no preservation ingredients shown on the label, then the product will become contaminated with bacteria very quickly, just like any food. The bacteria cannot be seen or smelt. A poorly preserved cream can cause serious skin infection and eye damage if used on the face. Grapefruit Seed Extract and Essential Oils have been proven many times to be unreliable methods of keeping products free from bacteria. In our opinion, a tiny amount of an effective preservative is much safer on the skin than a large amount of bacteria.
- These “trials” and “studies” are not independent. They are performed by the company or its ingredient supplier. The trials are generally not published, are often not supplied when requested, and not able to be reviewed by scientific peers as all studies should be. This makes them meaningless. To find out if the ingredient has any peer reviewed evidence, try using Google Scholar which searches scientific articles (www.scholar.google.com)
- Therefore, if a cream is priced at $250 for 30ml, we would assume it has better ingredients. Unfortunately this is not the case at all. The price is dependent on the target market, not the formula.
- [citing the EWG] Many websites claim that almost anything else with a chemical name is toxic without providing the full references. Presumably the aim is to shock people. (BURN!)
But they also have statements that are a bit dubious:
- Moogoo pride themselves on not using certain ingredients such as paraffin oil (or mineral oil). They have some incorrect information on their site on this topic, such as that Aqueous Cream causes irritation due to paraffin oil, when in reality it’s probably due to the fact it contains SLS or preservatives or pretty much anything apart from the paraffin oil – I think this is a bit careless, since it’s information you can easily find with a quick Google search (here are some sources).
- They cover the sunscreen-not-being-effective debate with links to peer-reviewed studies that found a correlation between sunscreen use and getting skin cancer, but they don’t take into account the massive confounding factor that people who go into the sun a lot put on sunscreen for that purpose, and most people tend to apply it badly. They also mention that sunscreen doesn’t necessarily prevent melanoma, but without mentioning that it’s because sunscreens have concentrated almost solely on UVB protection until very recently.
- There’s a page called “Some pesticide to soothe your scalp?” referring to zinc pyrithione, which is the same logic as “don’t drink water, it’s used in battery acid” (things can have multiple uses), and “don’t take ibuprofen for headaches, because 120 tablets of ibuprofen all at once will kill you” (things that are OK in small amounts can be horrible in large amounts – the dose makes the poison).
The duds look pretty bad listed out, but compared to most natural brands, this is extremely good! It’s rare to ever see a natural brand combat “natural = better, EWG = truth, preservatives = the work of the devil” myths head on – in fact, I can’t think of another natural brand that does this. Bravo Moogoo!
Another thing I like about Moogoo is that they list all their skincare ingredients on their site, with a table detailing what each ingredient does. I don’t agree with all of the ingredient summaries, but they’ve clearly put a lot of effort into consumer education which is awesome.
I tried Moogoo’s Full Cream Moisturiser, and Dusty Girls Tinted Earth Cream in Light and Natural Mineral Blush in Pink Ladies.
Moogoo Full Cream Moisturiser ($18.50 for 270 g) is a heavier version of Moogoo’s classic Udder Cream moisturiser, which I’ve heard so many eczema sufferers rave about. It’s water-based with sweet almond and olive oil as the main oily components, and hydrolysed milk protein (which ties in nicely with the brand’s cow theme). The scent is a bit unusual, but really comforting once you get used to it – it kind of smells like fruity, creamy yoghurt and honey. I also really love that it’s in an airless pump, which limits contamination (i.e. bacteria) and extends the shelf life of the product. I’ve been using this as a night cream, and it’s the perfect texture for my oily dehydration-prone skin during dry winter nights. I don’t have sensitive skin, but I’ve been mixing this with Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol and I haven’t noticed any of the usual flakiness.
Aqua, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Squalene (Olive), Hydrolyzed Milk Protein, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Allantoin, Tocopherol, Piroctone Olamine, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride (Guar Gum), Polysorbate 60, Mel (Honey), Acetum (Apple Cider Vinegar), Pyrus Communis (Pear) Extract, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Extract.
Dusty Girls Tinted Earth Cream SPF 5 ($18.50 for 50 mL) is a tinted moisturiser. Earth Cream only comes in two shades, which is OK because it’s pretty sheer – I used Light. It has a lot of anti-acne ingredients. Unfortunately this cream just doesn’t work on my oily skin – it slides around and gathers in all the nooks and crannies, despite me whipping out every trick in the book (primers, Wayne Goss powder-under, setting spray) to try to get it to stick. It’s not really surprising once you look at the ingredients list. Heavy shea butter is ingredient #2, so I’m guessing this would be pleasantly softening for normal-dry skin. Like most fragrance-free products, this smells a little weird – it has a sort of sour scent.
Aqua, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Titanium Dioxide, Coco Capyrlate, Cocoglycerides, Cetearyl Alcohol, Taraktogenos Kurzii (Chaulmoogra Tree Seed Oil), Nigella Sativa (Fennel Flower) Seed Oil, Leptospermum Scoparium (Manuka Tree) Leaf Oil, Wheat Amino Acids, Palm Glycerides, Glycine Capryloyl, Magnolia Acuminata Bark Extract, D Alpha Tocopherol, Olive Butter, Glyceryl Caprylate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 60, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, p-Anisic Acid, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Brown Oxide C33-115, Yellow Oxide C33 – 8073.
Dusty Girls Natural Mineral Blush in Pink Ladies ($25 for 15 g) is a cool toned pink blush with sparse gold flecks. It’s a little chalky in colour, but blends out nicely. I’ve been getting into all sorts of blush colours recently, so I actually didn’t know whether Pink Ladies or Golden Delicious (peach with gold shimmer) would suit me better, but I’m quite happy with Pink Ladies – I think it’s really a colour that works on anyone. Don’t listen to all those warm/cool tone haters – there are no rules for blush!
Zinc Stearate, Zea Mays (Corn) Starch, Zinc Oxide, Macadamia Oil Ester, Jojoba Esters, Tocopherol, Coconut Amino Acid, Malic Acid, Micas, Tin Oxides, Titanium Dioxide, Iron Oxides, Ultramarines
These products were provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.